Best Restaurant POS Tools: How to Choose the Right System for You

Breadcrumb POS inside of a restaurant

“Understanding the needs of your restaurant is a most important first step in choosing the best POS software. After all, the needs of a small brewery with no food service differ greatly from those of a large restaurant. To assess your needs and find the best restaurant POS system for your growing establishment, here are a few things to consider.”

“You’re likely already using tools to manage your accounting, payroll, food costs and scheduling. These tools are essential for the daily operations in your restaurant. That’s why we suggest choosing a POS system that integrates with these tools that you already use. This will reduce the organizational disruption in your restaurant and ensure that your POS leverages data from the past to make more informed suggestions for the future.”

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How To Address Lack Of Employee Engagement

Image result for RESTAURANT EMPLOYEE WINNING CULTURE

“Your culture can propel your profits, sales, employee retention over the goal post or have it fall short. The cost of not making it over the goal line is something any small to mid-size business cannot afford.”

“In the U.S., according to the US Census Bureau, 97.7 percent of all U.S. businesses have fewer than 20 employees. Many of these employees wear multiple hats to keep costs down and profits up.”

“The most recent survey suggested approximately a third of employees are actively engaged leaving two thirds not engaged or actively disengaged. The cost of disengaged employees is estimated to be 34 percent of their salary due to lost productivity, missed shifts, disruption to others, tardiness, etc., Gallup found. Recently I attended a meeting where the CEO asked for some input from his advisers regarding what to do with negative, complaining people. He made the remark several times this was a small thing, but the behaviors of the negative people were hurting his efforts to more the organization forward. He had inherited longtime tenured employees where their beliefs were “We will be here after you leave.”

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Whole Foods Denied “World’s Healthiest” Moniker

whole-foods1.jpgIn 2010, Whole Foods successfully took on the name “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store,” trademarking the slogan on the basis of existing consumer sentiment. But they recently submitted an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to call themselves  “The World’s Healthiest Grocery Store” – a significant jump in status which could indicate plans for more aggressive expansion overseas.

Unfortunately the Patent office rejected the application, on the basis that such a slogan makes a “laudatory” and unverifiable claim. Papa John’s slogan “Better Ingredients, Better Pizza” was originally denied for the same reason. One reason the switch from “America’s” to “The World’s” might have struck officials as puffery is that Whole Foods currently has a presence in only Canada, Britain and the U.S. – hardly the whole world. They’ve also struggled historically to push into these overseas markets, where existing chains often have a hold on loyal clientele.

Whole Foods now has 6 months to update and refile the case for reconsideration.

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A Pioneering Global Standard to Reduce Food Waste

Pilot-scheme-shows-promise-in-repurposing-commercial-food-wastes.jpgThe issue of food waste is something of a hot topic these days, from proposed regulations overseas  to the ugly-food movement and the startups it has already spawned. This attention is well deserved. Besides the tragedy of waste in a world where 800 million still go hungry, wasted food also produces 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions and costs $940 billion worldwide every year.

The micro-movements that have sprung up on this front are important, but they face some major hurdles, even as more governments and large organizations commit to joining the cause. Most notably, food waste is extremely difficult to track and report on. Since it occurs all along the supply chain, and often across borders, the costs associated with this waste are typically baked into other operational costs and nearly impossible to quantify. Until now, there has been no consistent reporting standard on the issue.

To address this, a partnership of international organizations convened  at the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF) 2016 Summit in Copenhagen to come up with the first-ever set of global definitions and reporting requirements for companies, countries and others to consistently measure and report their food waste. Such standards will be crucial to measure the success of all these organizations as they make commitments to improve. Many major international organizations, including the UN, Consumer Goods Forum, and World Business Council for Sustainable Development, are already behind the coalition’s Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard (FLW Standard). 

The new standard will have the greatest impact on large corporations and governments, but food waste is a costly issue for all retail and restaurant businesses as well. We recommend following the lead set at the 3GF Summit, and making a commitment to tackle waste on a small scale as well.

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Start-Up Spacious has a Vision for New York Restaurants

As more and more businesses (particularly in the tech start-up sphere) forego traditional offices, the demand for alternative working spaces will continue to increase. The new start-up Spacious seeks to capitalize on that, by turning dinner-only restaurants into co-working space during the day. Spacious owner Preston Pesek sees it as a way to “reclaim the city for creative professionals.”

A Spacious membership costs $95 per month, and includes unlimited access to their available workspaces, as well as WiFi, coffee, water, and conference rooms. Currently their only actual space is Daniel Boulud’s DBGB Kitchen and Bar, so Spacious is offering a 20% sign-on discount for members who join now. Eventually they hope to add more options throughout the city, and possibly include lunch in the offer as well.

The benefit to the restaurant (besides exposure) is a profit-sharing agreement, but in some cases the exposure might be enough to justify the risk. According to a  DBGB manager, the partnership has already brought more dinner traffic to the restaurant from Spacious members who see the space during the day and invite back larger crowds at night.

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After 5 Months of Gratuity-Free, Nishi Changes Tact

20160227-Momofuku_Nishi_interior_2.0.jpgWhen David Chang opened Momofuku Nishi in Chelsea 5 months ago, the chef generated the usual buzz for a new Momofuku concept. But Nishi was also earning press as the latest addition to the gratuity-free movement, so far spearheaded by other big names like Meyer and Tarlow. Chang even gave an interview in his magazine Lucky Peach on the decision, citing their desire to pay kitchen workers a living wage.

This week, Nishi will be changing course and adding a tip line to the bottom of all checks. Prices will also lower somewhat, but wages for kitchen should stay the same. The team explained the decision in a Tumblr post, saying “This is by no means the end of the no-tipping discussion at Momofuku. But at this moment, we think a tipping model will benefit our guests and staff.”

Nishi also added brunch this week, which included a number of smaller, more affordable portions of items on the dinner menu. Hopefully the changes will satisfy early critics, who had praise for some dishes but considered them too pricey.

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It’s Dinner: But Is It Cooking?

What is a meal kit?  A meal kit includes all of the ingredients and recipes to make delicious meals at home.  More than one hundred companies now offer to do the planning, shopping, and prepping, leaving the joy of cooking, and eating, to you.  The United States meal market could grow by as much as five billion dollars over the next decade.

Meal kits are regarded by some as a positive development in cooking culture.  The kits provide ideas and eliminate the need to decide “what’s for dinner?”.  Feedback from customers, especially millennials, is that these kits are teaching them how to cook, so they can feel involved in the kitchen,

Blue Apron is one of the leaders in this category, and the company offers a subscription service with: original recipes weekly (500-800 calories per serving), fresh ingredients (pre-measured to avoid waste) and convenient delivery across the nation (arriving in a refrigerated box).  As a pricing example, Blue Apron offers a 2-Person Plan including 3 recipes per week for a total of $59.94 ($9.99 per serving) or a Family Plan for 4 including 2 recipes per week for a total of $69.92 ($8.74 per serving).

A price point of $9-$10 per meal is a lot of money for most people.  However, some believe the kits are worth the time saved driving/walking to the store and shopping.

The meal kit market gets very specialized at a point.  Fans of Northern California cuisine and chefs can join Sun Basket, and enthusiasts of Georgia farmers and Southern chefs may subscribe to PeachDish.

Meal kits might help to cut down on food waste through pre-portioned ingredients.  According to an estimate by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, up to thirty-one percent of America’s post-harvest food supply is thrown away.

One complaint about the kits is that too much packaging is used, and besides current recycling methods, there is a hope that one day the insulation will be compostable.

As far as home-cooking trends are concerned, meal kits are at the forefront.  How much staying power will they have?  Time will tell…

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