From April, 2013

Online Ordering: How to Drive Traffic, Order Frequency & Ticket Size

Pizza and delivery restaurants are making more money with online ordering. SpeedLine POS users can choose from a number of fully integrated web and mobile ordering providers. Today two of those online technology partners, Real Time Ordering and Brygid Technologies, share tips on driving traffic, order frequency, and ticket size online.

Online ordering technology is transforming the way delivery and carryout restaurants do business. Owners report increases in order volume, frequency, ticket size, and service quality.

We asked SpeedLine partners Real Time Ordering (RTO) and Brygid Technology to share tips and best practices for increasing online sales: Read more

Consumer Trends in the Restaurant Industry: What do your Guests Really Want?

I see articles all the time about the latest trends influencing the habits of restaurant guests. Regardless of the trend of the week, the message is the same. Your guests’ wants, needs, and expectations drive their restaurant choices, and capitalizing on trends early helps restaurant companies compete in this challenging business.

The last decade has seen restaurants scaling back and closing doors. A struggling economy has caught too many ill prepared. To flourish in this environment, restaurant operators have had to pay close attention to consumer trends. Read more

Protecting your POS Investment: Choosing a System for Growth

A POS system is an investment in your restaurant’s future success. With new mobile and web technologies driving change in the restaurant industry, it’s more critical than ever to choose scalable point of sale technology with the flexibility to grow with your business needs.

The last thing any restaurant owner or IT executive wants is to invest in a new POS solution and go to all the work of integrating it into their business operations, only to discover a few months or years later later that their “new” technology solution is now lagging, obsolete, and holding them back. Read more

POS Quick Tips – 2 Minutes to Higher Profits: Shift Snapshots

Shift snapshots

Most POS systems can help track labor costs and manage employees, but the more advanced ones also include tools designed to help you summarize and compare the performance of your shift managers.

Are your managers meeting the sales and service targets you set? How does the performance of different managers compare? There’s a unique and often overlooked feature in SpeedLine that can help you answer these questions easily with a few button clicks.

Snapshots capture your store sales, delivery, labor, and cash stats at a moment in time during the business day. You can set snapshots to be taken when a manager clocks out, and you can take them manually at any time. The Shift Snapshots report then lets you compare the performance of all managers over the time period you choose and coach staff appropriately.

Employee Management e-Book: Tips to manage staff and shift performance.

Shift Snapshots are really only the tip of the iceberg—a modern POS can put a wide range of staff management tools at your disposal. To see how your POS can help lower labor costs, increase security, and boost employee performance, download the Employee Management e-Book

Download the Employee Management E-book now

Battling the Fast Food Epidemic: Make your Restaurant Kid Friendly.

Convenience is the number one driver for busy families when choosing a place to eat. Fast food remains a popular choice, not only because of the convenience of the drive-thru, but because of the accessibility to menu choices for every age group.

Where I live, a busy community just outside a large, metropolitan city, there is a fast food chain on almost every corner. And scattered nearby are large restaurant chains that cater mostly to the younger, hip crowd—those without children to cart along on their nights out. I’ve tried taking my children to a few; it hasn’t been a success yet.

Here are 4 tips to improve the ‘kid-friendly’ rating of your own restaurant, and capitalize on your ability to provide a healthier option than the fast food chain down the street: Read more

Restaurant Management: 5 Ways You Can Use Technology to Deliver Better Customer Service

Restaurant Management: 5 Ways You Can Use Technology to Deliver Better Customer Service

A new survey by Technomic shows consumers want to see and use new technology during their dining experience. The restaurant industry has been slow to adopt new ordering and dining technology, but chains (including a number of SpeedLine POS users) are now starting to take advantage of technology solutions to provide a better guest experience.

Technomic reports that over half the consumers who responded said it’s important for restaurants to start using new ordering technologies—and that it could be a deciding factor in choosing where to dine. Further, respondents expect to use technology more often in 2013 to order food.

Are you looking at technology to provide more friendly and convenient ways for your guests to order from you?

Here are 5 things to consider:

Sushi-2-Go

Tablet/Kiosk Ordering. Sushi-2-Go, a fast casual Japanese restaurant in Florida, contacted SpeedLine about a kiosk-ordering solution for their new concept. The solution was self-service kiosks embedded in the walls of their entranceway, fully integrated with the POS system and kitchen printers. Customers find it quick and easy, and appreciate the speed and convenience.

Facebook Ordering. More restaurant companies are seeing the benefit of increased visibility and instant gratification for their guests on Facebook. Some start simply with a custom ordering tab that links to an existing online ordering site. Others are using fully integrated Facebook ordering apps to let guests place orders without ever leaving Facebook. Still others have seen the sales-driving benefit of instant ordering from Facebook deals and menu promotions, and tying it all in with the point of sale system (see Social media and your POS: The search for Bigfoot on QSRWeb).

Earlier this month QSR Magazine online published an article 500 Million Reasons to Launch Online Ordering. The premise? There are more than 500 million active users on Facebook. SpeedLine users: you can integrate web, mobile, and Facebook ordering directly with your SpeedLine POS.

Digital Menu Boards

Digital Menu Boards. Beyond the cosmetic, there are several reasons digital menu boards are quickly becoming a standard fixture in the restaurant and QSR space.

  • Upselling: Eye-catching specials, promotions, and high-margin menu items in full-color can grab your guests’ eyes and boost ticket size.
  • Ease of menu changes: Update prices on the fly—even remotely/centrally for multiple locations—without having to print new menu panels.
  • Menu scheduling: Have a lunch and dinner menu that differ? Digital menu boards give you the convenience of changing menus and pricing on a schedule.

Live entertainment: Nothing kills a wait time like something interesting on the tube. When lines are long, consider having your own commercial or music video for your guests to enjoy, as well as reduce their perceived wait time.

Games @ the Table. Interactive games for children not only improve the experience for them (and the guests around them!), but can give harried parents a break. Some restaurants provide iPads for their guests, while other kid-friendly concepts provide coloring books, a TV room, or handheld gaming devices.

Go mobile. In a recent Hospitality Technology survey, more than 50% of respondents said they had a mobile site, and more than 30% were using mobile apps for marketing. That’s your competition talking. And they’ve jumped on a bandwagon you don’t want to miss: Recent studies show more than 90% of consumers search the web for restaurants, and 75% of those often choose a dining experience based on those search results.

As consumers rely more and more on their smart-phones for information, it’s a no-brainer to make it easier for them to use your site. As anyone who’s tried to view a desktop website on their mobile phone knows, the experience can be rather difficult.

Diners are growing ever more tech-savvy at home—and today, they are looking for the same conveniences in the restaurants they frequent. With over half of the Technomic study respondents placing importance on technology to improve their dining experience, it’s clear that now is the time to look at your options.

How are you using technology to improve customer service? Is it working for you?

200 Posts Later: A Look Back at On Point – The Restaurant Technology Blog

When we launched On Point in June 2011, we didn’t know where it would take us. We had a goal of becoming a go-to source of restaurant technology news and best practices, and a desire to keep our readers up-to-date on emerging technologies and surprising finds in pizza POS and restaurant operations. Nearly two years later, we’re still delivering restaurant technology news and tips twice each week. Read more