It’s been a busy 2011, and here at SpeedLine, we’re gearing up for the New Year. Since the June launch of OnPoint, we have sought out relevant and informative restaurant technology news and advice to share with you—occasionally veering a little off topic to discuss things like customer service and marketing. We welcome your ideas and suggestions on what’s important to you, your staff, and your busines
To wrap up 2011, here is a recap of some popular posts.
One of my early posts, 5 Ways Restaurants are Using QR Codes to Drive Sales, has been the most popular topic on the blog since the day it went live. QR codes are showing up everywhere, and this post discussed some of the ways you can use them to boost sales in your restaurant. For 2012, consider these suggestions for your own business, and let us know what’s working.
In late July, SpeedLine launched the video, How NOT to get Hacked, and hosted a live Q & A. Credit card breaches have been a hot topic this year with concern from restaurant operators already affected, and those worried they could be at risk. Marketing manager Jennifer Wiebe and our in-house PCI security experts put their heads together to produce this slightly cheesy, highly informative video. If you haven’t already, watch it to learn how to safeguard your customers’ personal and payment information (and protect your business).
Menu complexity is an issue we see with in many restaurants that can complicate staff training and slow down service. In late July, project specialist Mike Watson tackled the topic of menu panels in your POS and how you can optimize them for a faster and more seamless customer service experience.
Total cost of ownership is a critical concept to understand when selecting new restaurant equipment—from ovens to make tables to POS systems. In The Hidden Pricetag: Understanding the Total Cost of Ownership of your Restaurant Equipment, OnPoint editor Graydon Clarke discussed a Backburner post on evaluating needs versus cost. It’s human nature to search for the immediate deal. But ongoing costs for maintenance, training, and replacement parts—not to mention the costly toll of making the wrong choice—should play as big a part in a equipment or technology purchase decision as the original price tag.
A popular SpeedLine restaurant guide, Forecast for Profit, describes profitable ways to leverage the sales data collected every day by your POS. In September, we linked to this guide in the blog, and offered up more tips on tracking costs, forecasting sales and setting targets within your POS. Find out how the detailed sales history in your point of sale system can improve the accuracy of your scheduling and prep planning—and help you cut costs.
Cornell University is a valuable source of restaurant industry research. In September, we discussed the recent Cornell study, The Current State of Online Ordering in the US Restaurant Industry. The study debunks the common reports that online ordering drives higher ticket prices, showing instead that the primary benefit that restaurants in the study saw was a significant increase in order frequency. Interestingly, less than half (49.6%) of the restaurants in the study reported having their online ordering system directly integrated with the POS.
Continuing the theme of total cost of ownership from Graydon’s earlier post, I covered important tips for extending the life of your POS in October. You no doubt follow a regular maintenance schedule for your ovens and other key equipment. But many restaurant operators don’t know how to maintain their computers. Review this one for helpful tips on what you can do to help ensure a longer life for your POS system.
Also in October, SpeedLine released version 6.3, a feature-rich update to the SpeedLine POS software. One feature that garnered some attention is new support for paying staff via paycards. With more than 1.7 million U.S. workers receiving their wages on payroll cards, my October discussed the benefits to restaurants of this growing trend.
Driving Delivery Performance highlights some key best practices in managing delivery. This new guide grew out of some unexpected and insightful feedback from a group of SpeedLine users in response to an off-the-cuff question from Jennifer Wiebe. In a November post, she linked to this guide. The common message we heard back from restaurant operators? Profitable delivery requires a mix of effective planning with controls and tracking to get the results you want.
Finally, a few weeks ago, Jennifer wrote about a case study with Happy Joe’s Pizza and Ice Cream. Working with a consultant from Beratung, Happy Joe’s developed a tight integration between their Microsoft Dynamics GP accounting system at HQ and the SpeedLine POS systems in the restaurants. In her post, The Connected Restaurant: Accounting Integration to POS Cuts Costs, Improves Financial Management Jennifer provided the case study as a download and discussed how this new connection cut out hours of wasted effort and improved the company’s overall financial management.