As secure mobile payment methods like Apple Pay, continue to surface, more and more business owners are feeling the pressure to adopt new payment technology for their business.
Mobile POS (mPOS) and iPad-based POS applications provide restaurateurs with significant advantages over businesses that still use traditional cash registers. But even with the benefits of user-friendly technologies at budget-friendly price tags, more than half of restauranteurs are still not utilizing restaurant POS software.you determine a number that will not leave you with surplus inventory.
To have the scoop on why restauranteurs are slow to embrace mPOS, we spoke to market researcher Justin Guinn from Software Advice. Check out Justin's thought on mPOS adoption and the benefits that iPad-based applications can bring to your company.
SK: You recently found out how many restaurants are actively seeking an mPOS system for their business. What did you discover?
"Our recent study found that 72 percent of single-location restaurant owners are looking to adopt a mobile POS for running their business. These systems offer a number of advantages over awkward, traditional restaurant POS solutions. Chiefly, these mPOS systems are much simpler to implement than a conventional, bulky system."
Why do you think that amount is so high?
"To answer, and get a whole picture on that, it's helped for us to look at the many conversations we have with restaurant owners every day; we found that 63% of them flat out don't currently have a POS system in place. Instead, they're relying on manual/paper and pencil procedures, and some kind of Quickbooks or Excel spreadsheet software. Running a restaurant just with this system (or lack thereof) is often incorrect and will definitely be a time-consuming procedure. At the same time, many older legacy POS systems that many restaurant operators are familiar with, are costly to maintain and upgrade, and many times can simply be ineffective. So, given that 72 percent stat I mentioned, it looks like a majority of restaurants are realizing the inefficiencies with both manual techniques and with older systems, and are turning to other possibilities, like mPOS, as an option."
If you were to sum this up, what are three of the highest benefits for a restaurant operator who adopts an mPOS system?
"Mobile POS systems provide many, many advantages for restaurants operators. Along with that, since they do operate on consumer-based tablets, that makes these systems simple to use; especially in contrast to costly and cumbersome legacy systems. Finally, perhaps the greatest benefit of these new mPOS systems is the mobility they provide restaurant servers and other employees. This mobility can lead to improved customer experiences that can really differentiate one establishment from another." Are mPOS systems really that much cheaper than legacy systems?
"As New York City restaurant proprietor Anthony Tse told us,"those traditional systems are, at times, in the six digits for hardware, training, setup etc.. That is actually the first reason we chose to look at iPad systems.
"To get a single-location restaurant, an mPOS system is a great starting POS that could sustain a company for the long haul, but it is not just confined to first-time POS users. Mobile POS systems have the ability to grow and expand with restaurants, allowing multiple restaurant locations to function independently while still being handled by the same backend reporting"
You said freedom, which could seem like an obvious benefit for'mobile POS,' but what have you heard from restaurants who've adopted this sort of software? What's it done for their company?
"The mobility these mPOS systems supply is probably their best benefit. With these tablets, servers can now input and send orders at the table in addition to process payments. This greatly cuts down on server errors by enabling them to set the order in and send it without having to write anything down or memorize anything. Additionally, the software allows for flexibility and customization. Restaurant operators can prompt servers to utilize recommended modifiers and other add-ons. These up-sell things have very positive impacts on revenue, plus they enable customers to get exactly what they want, even when they didn't know it was an option. In addition, a previous study we did found that mPOS systems may also have a positive influence on tips."
You recorded'Ease of Use' as another advantage... Do these systems produce a good deal of downtime for restaurants as they're adopting them?
"Mobile POS systems are easy to use and setup. The downtime for implementation can be as little as a few hours. It really just depends on how complex the total system is (i.e. wireless printers, docking stations, kitchen/bar communications). Plus, the majority of the best vendors out there in today's marketplace have pretty good customer care if any queries or hiccups do arise."
When choosing an mPOS system, are there certain things a restaurant should consider to be certain the platform matches their needs?
"There are definitely things restaurants need to think about before adopting mPOS program. To take complete advantage of the mobility part of these systems, restaurant operators need to put protocols and best practices in place to receive servers, bartenders, the kitchen, and the rest of the staff on board. Along the same lines, the mPOS system needs to feature user-friendly customer-facing functionalities so that the ways that the actual system interacts with customers is a positive, painless experience. Another key aspect to consider is that the mPOS should not be skimping on backend features like inventory management, food costs, customer management, and reporting and analytics capabilities. These are key features for restaurants to employ and many mPOS systems offer them. We've found that it helps to compile a POS checklist of what a restaurant needs to make sure the systems they employ really aligns with what they want."
It's the time of year again: eggnog, gingerbread, and holiday pricing.
But if not, that is OK. We've got you covered. The good thing is that your POS system is a wealth of knowledge to be leveraged throughout the holidays. If your pricing strategy needs a jumpstart or a little inspiration, here are a couple of important practices to bear in mind when the wrapping paper and ribbon begins to fly.
It might seem like a no-brainer, but identifying your best and worst selling items is the first step for any vacation pricing plan, particularly if discounts will be involved. It may seem obvious to slash prices in your worst selling things -- because hey, a dollar in your hand is much better than two in someone else's pocket but directly discounts are not the only way to price slow-moving inventory. Bundling can be a great way to transfer product that is now hesitant to leap off your shelves. Bundling three slow-moving items together at a discount can often look like a much better deal to customers than buying one full-price product. This can incentivize shoppers to either spend more or take the plunge and purchase the item they were initially on the fence about. Because spending $250 on a leather mini skirt seems like a much better deal when a free oversize sweater is included.
Identify Time of Day Slumps
Just as important as keeping track of sales per day is to your pricing plan, so is monitoring sales per hour and by which hours. Based on what your business sells, it's very likely that some products might sell better at particular times of the day. Leveraging this information and making the data work for you may be the difference between consistent earnings and a big profit bump.
By way of instance, let's say a coffee shop owner notices consistent sales of coffee cake between the hours of 9:00 am and 11:00 am. These sales are what she's come to expect, and it makes sense. But what if she could sell more coffee cake per day by discounting slices of cake after 2:00 pm? She would still be still promoting her average quantity daily of cake pieces but might also be selling additional slices through a reduction, ultimately increasing her bottom line.
Have Pricing Strategies Ready on Hand
It is Christmas Eve and the liquor store down the street does a flash sale of Prosecco. They are charging $20 dollars for two bottles and your earnings of bubbly halt. At this point it would be useful to know at the drop of the hat just how low you can go. Can you begin charging $8 a bottle for Prosecco and still earn a profit? Do it!
However, what if you are not in the store? For the individual managing your company it would be good for them to know exactly what options are at their disposal. If you were in the store would you pop open a jar for customers to taste? This is a excellent marketing strategy but one your staff might not think of or know that they are allowed to do. Having these plans figured out beforehand can save you both the headache and a loss in sales.
So before the holidays roll around, take some time to analyze your POS information and strategize a few prospective prizing challenges your shop might encounter. Keep these easily available for many store managers and draw up a few guidelines for how and when these pricing strategies should be implemented.
Anticipate a Hurry
We're not saying a Wal-Mart at 5:00 am on Black Friday kind of rush. But anticipating some holiday excitement to your revenue is reasonable. Make sure that you have a good estimate of the number of stock you will go through during this period. It is always great to sell out of your inventory (hey, that is the goal), but it's also important to maintain customer moral and confidence in your institution. If your customer base continually returns to your shop just to find you sold from their favourite products, sooner or later, they might stop coming by.
To stop this, you want to be certain that you have enough inventory to keep clients happy, but not too much that you are loaded down with stock you can't sell post-holidays. To accomplish this, take a look at the quantity of the product that you usually sell, as well as any comparable sales you have run before. If you sold a comparable thing in a similar discount this past year and sold out, it's safe to say you should have on hand at least the amount of what you sold, plus some.
A good rule of thumb is to look at how many of the items you sold daily. Let us say your advertising was due to run for three days, you'd 40 units on hand, and sold around 20 per day. It may not have been the best outcome, but you can learn from this data by applying those amounts to this year's sale.
Assuming your promotion this season will run again for three days, ensure you have at least 60 units available. Don't get us wrong, it is always good when you have the ability to sell out of an item, but exercising too early can affect your bottom line. Examining past sales won't only help you determine the quantity you will need to last one to the end of your advertising, but will also help