Swipely’s new release, “Winter ’14“, now includes menu and server performer intelligence to help restaurants “make smarter decisions about their key drivers— food, staff, and marketing,” according to CEO Angus Davis. The Swipely system is compatible with several major POS systems, and it stores data each time customers pay using credit or debit cards, which is roughly 75% of the time. Additionally, Swipely reduces the cost of accessing credit and debit card payments for restaurant operators. Operators can apply the information the insights about their servers to aid in training and decision making. Similarly, by evaluating which dishes are best-sellers, operators can more easily make sound marketing decisions.
150 Prince Street between Thompson Street and West Broadway (SoHo) • 646.998.3800
Their Success…Chobani SoHo, currently the only Chobani outpost in the world, transforms a notoriously healthy yet mundane food (yogurt) into something delicious and accessible. Chobani SoHo’s philosophy, “yogurt was meant to be simple— just milk and cultures,” speaks volumes. This “simplicity” is present in the store’s design, menu format and food selection. Genuinely friendly and knowledgable staff operates Chobani, guiding customers through the menu and helping them select their ideal “creation.” Chobani employees take customer service one step further by having foresight and using customers’ questions as an opportunity to make optimal yogurt recommendations. Half portions cost $4 and full portions $5.50. Although yogurt and water are the only food and beverage items sold, Chobani is far from prosaic. The nine sweet and savory creations cater to customers of all preferences, whether they’re coming from the gym, work or school. Each “creation” features three-five additions which will satisfy almost anyone’s cravings. Limiting the number of choices a customer has to make creates a more welcoming environment.
Take Aways…Any food, no matter how it’s currently perceived by the public, can be turned into something exciting. A few additions go a long way, in Chobani’s case.
In a world where technology is progressing constantly and is almost inescapable, several small businesses continue to operate as cash-only. These businesses are suffering tremendous losses by failing to acquiesce to modern operating standards. Accepting credit cards leads to long-term benefits such as earning and retaining new customers and increasing sales. According to Intuit, the Silicon Valley software firm that develops financial and tax prep solutions by not accepting cards, fifteen-million businesses are missing out on $100 billion in sales annually—about $7,000 per company annually in either new sales or sales that go to competitors that do accept cards.
According to a study by Javelin Strategy & Research, 27 percent of all in-person POS purchases were made with cash in 2011, whereas credit card payments made up 66 percent, a figure that’s expected to rise.
“I don’t understand the small businesses that don’t take cards,” said Jason Richelson, a former grocery and wine store owner in Brooklyn and founder ShopKeep POS, a cloud-based point-of-sale software, in 2008. “In my opinion, as a grocery and a wine store owner, if you don’t take credit cards, you suffer—you could be increasing your sales 20 percent and you’re going to make your customers happier.” Another perk to accepting credit cards is that customers end up spending more money. The average spend per transaction is 120 percent higher when customers pay with credit card compared to cash, just considering ShopKeep’s 7,000 merchants alone.
For almost a decade Joe Coffee in New York accepted only cash. Not only was it more profitable since they could avoid credit card fees, but it coincided with the company’s Mom-and-Pop philosophy. After reading dozens of negative reviews on yelp about Joe’s not accepting credit cards, they realized losing current and future potential customers would ultimately lead to a loss of sales. Joe’s progression to accepting credit cards proved so successful that now ten locations take plastic.
Bhaskar Chakravorti, senior associate dean for international business and finance at Tufts’ Fletcher School points out, “as everyone becomes a lot more familiar with doing things on their phones, if the next store over offering the same set of products accepts electronic payments, then you’ll be losing business.”
The takeaway here is, keeping up with technology is crucial if you want to stay in business and be profitable, even for mom-and-pop shops. Customers thrive off convenience, and that usually comes in the form of a plastic card.
Are you using Square?
It sounds like the new features, as reported in FastCasual, – order modifiers and custom kitchen tickets, will enable merchants to customize orders while keeping the line moving, and record orders while improving communication with the kitchen. The customizable kitchen tickets attach a number or customer’s name to an order.
Read the full analysis here.
Leaf, a fast-growing provider of POS systems, business intelligence and customer loyalty platforms, has announced its latest solution: Leaf for Quick Serve. The tablet-based POS gives operators a cost-effective alternative to traditional POS, one that also increases visibility into their business through sophisticated, user-friendly analytics and an improved customer experience.
New features include:
- Support for take-out and delivery: Built-in customer look-up functionality allows QSRs to save customer preferences and delivery addresses that can be looked-up by phone number.
- Clock in/out: The LeafPresenter can now double as an employee time-keeper to track employee data and strengthen its business analytics.
- Email and text receipts: Customers now have the option to receive their receipt via text or email.
- Custom or default tips: Merchants can set a default tip amount or let customers choose an amount after swiping a card and signing with their fingers.
One plus of this proprietary system? A one-tablet system is $50 per month, additional tablets are $250.
Restaurant operators are always looking for the latest solutions to help them cut costs and provide better and faster service. Technologies claiming to do all three emerge daily, so FastCasual.com sat down with the CEOs or founders of four such companies — FrontFlip, Breadcrumb, Irisys and GoPago — to find out if their solutions are worth the investment.
Similar to mobile payment service Square, Breadcrumb runs its point of sale system (POS) with iOS apps. This keeps costs lower because businesses aren’t stuck buying pricy cash register equipment. At a restaurant, Breadcrumb can manage an entire patron’s order from the time they walk in the door to when they pay their check. Groupon alludes that it will integrate its services into the Breadcrumb POS system.