From January, 2013

Beat the Holiday Blues with Gift Cards

Gift cards

Are your restaurant sales suffering from a case of the post-holiday blues? Gift cards can help smooth out the post-holiday drop in sales, because many are given in December and redeemed in the New Year.

Why carry gift cards? Read more

Protecting your POS Investment: Compliance as insurance.

Protecting your pos Investment

New technology is driving major changes in the restaurant business—and along with the change, new security risks. Your point of sale system is at the center of all of it. That’s why due diligence is critical when considering a system purchase.

Are your restaurant systems compliant with Payment Card Industry data security standards?

While too many restaurant operators may not be familiar with PCI and PA-DSS as more than acronyms, they should be. These security standards, embraced by the major credit card companies, mandate security controls in restaurants—including the point of sale system and network—to protect cardholder data. The vast amount of personal and purchase information POS systems retain can make them targets for hackers. Read more

eThor Study Guide: Social Media 101

Social Media 101

eThor Study Guide: Social Media 101, by Gary Ziegler

Social media has quickly become a cornerstone of restaurant marketing. SpeedLine partner eThor makes it easy to manage all your social media marketing from a convenient online dashboard, integrated seamlessly with SpeedLine POS. Read on for a quick study guide from eThor: Social Media 101. Read more

NRA Sales Forecast for 2013: Turn to Technology

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) recently released its industry forecast for 2013. Once adjusted for inflation, forecast sales figures are pretty much the same as last year’s—disappointing for operators hoping for a more optimistic outlook. But it’s not all doom and gloom—three areas offer a glimmer of opportunity in the current “challenging environment.”

Although the tone of the NRA forecast is largely cautious, survey data given in a summary of the forecast in Chain Pulse magazine points to three areas that hold promise for improving the customer experience and increasing your market share in 2013: customer loyalty, take-out, and technology. Read more

Employee Management: 5 Tips for Training a Restaurant Manager

Restaurant operators know that hiring and training managers is a critical factor in growing the business. Things happen fast in a busy establishment, and on-the-fly decisions are crucial to keep the business running smoothing. When you aren’t there, your managers make those game-time calls.

While experience is key, hiring a manager with a strong personality that meshes well with your own is also important. Communication is also crucial. If you can’t talk to your managers, you aren’t going to get what you need from them. But finding the right manager is only the first step. Keep these 5 tips in mind as you establish a relationship with new managers—and coach them to run the business efficiently. Read more

Restaurant Management: Labor planning and cost control

Pablo's Pizza: restaurant labor management

The National Restaurant Association and Deloitte & Touche estimate that food and labor costs together represent 61 to 77 cents of every dollar in restaurant sales. Savings in either area drop straight to the bottom line as profit. Read more

New York Pizza uses eThor marketing and e-commerce platform to drive a 32% increase in online sales

New York Pizza

Last week, eThor announced a free social media marketing dashboard for SpeedLine users. In a new case study released this week, eThor shows the solution in action at a small multi-unit pizza company in California.

Nine months ago, looking for a new marketing approach to drive sales online, New York Pizza agreed to be the pilot location for a new integration between eThor and SpeedLine POS. Read more

Restaurant Industry Insights: Technology savvy makes customers not only impatient but unforgiving.

Restaurant Industry Insights

Last week, Retail Information Systems News editor Joe Skorupa shared some “epic quotes” overheard at the NRF 2013 Big Show. This insight from Lori Mitchell-Keller of SAP caught my attention.

“Technology savvy makes customers not only impatient but unforgiving.”

I didn’t attend the NRF Show this year. I have no idea what the context was for Mitchell-Keller’s comment. But her point rings true in our industry too.

Your restaurant guests have new expectations.

Just a few, short years ago, pizza chains were still debating whether online ordering would ever catch on in their trade areas. Today, we live in a mobile, social, wireless world. Your guests are plugged in 24/7. And they expect you to keep up.

A few months ago, I shared a story on restaurant technology opportunities from the consumer point of view, based on an article from that great technology visionary…Reader’s Digest.

The medium is the message here: the point is that consumer technology is mainstream. If Reader’s Digest is dispensing technology advice for restaurants from the consumer’s point of view, it’s time to pay attention.

Today, your guests may still find “new” technology like mobile ordering, self-service, and social connections with the restaurant cool. Tomorrow, they’re going to expect that kind of service. They’re going to expect it to work as simply and seamlessly as their iPhones do. And they’re going to take their business to places where they can get it.


eThor Supplies Free Social Marketing Dashboard for All SpeedLine POS Users

This week, SpeedLine and our technology partner eThor are offering every SpeedLine POS user a free social marketing dashboard, fully integrated with the POS for instant menu promotions. Read more

Pizza Point of Sale: Marketing from the POS Database

Marketing from the POS Database

In part three of this series on the unique requirements of pizza point of sale, we outline the benefits of customer database marketing.

The gold in your POS database

For a delivery restaurant, the customer database is the core of the point of sale system. With the proliferation of loyalty programs, even take-out and table service restaurants are profiting from building and marketing to a database of customers.

Pizza POS developers understand the value of customer data—and the customer database is integral to the design of their systems. In-depth customer analysis, loyalty systems, and database tools are built directly into an effective pizza POS. Some also allow third-party solutions to tie into this rich data source, giving you the flexibility to choose from an array of cutting edge mobile, social, and email marketing and loyalty programs.

Often a POS not designed for pizza is not customer focused. In fact, most restaurant POS systems do not track customer information at all. While some have created add-on modules to offer some marketing features, transaction-oriented POS systems typically result in slower order-taking and inadequate customer analysis in a delivery environment.

Marketing from the POS Database

A more efficient marketing engine

Targeting direct to customers is seven to ten times more effective than bulk mail promotions. Pizza delivery operations are rich in customer information. So database marketing is a perfect fit.

These capabilities are essential components of an effective pizza POS marketing engine:

  • A detailed customer database.
  • Customer frequency and purchase history reporting.
  • List export options for targeted direct mail campaigns.
  • Detailed coupon tracking and analysis tools to measure the results of a particular promotion or distribution method.
  • E-mail, text, and social media tools.
  • Loyalty programs.

Your customer database is gold. How are you using it?