Growing Restaurant Revenue with Mobile POS

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Mobility is dominating the point of sale world. From table-side service, to tablet point of sale, mobility is making is easier for restaurant owners and operators to perform quick and painless transactions and give their customers the ideal dining-out experience. While some of the smaller, “mom and pop” restaurants may be hesitant to invest in a mobile point of sale (mPOS) system, they could be missing out on a huge boost in revenue by not upgrading. In addition to revenue increase, the adoption of an mPOS system could also mean an increase in tips for servers, making it easier to maintain low turnover rates.

A report by Software Advice shows that mPOS can predominantly impact your servers’ commitment to upselling – therefore, increasing daily restaurant revenue. Upselling is a sales technique that restaurant server often use to induce the customer to purchase more expensive items, upgrades, or add-ons when placing their order. This technique is commonly used by restaurant server because their calculated tip becomes higher with every dollar spent by the customer.

How does mPOS impact upselling?

In restaurant settings where the mPOS system is used for table-side service, the server may have a tablet in-hand entering the order as it is being placed. This can help remind the server to ask the customer if they would like to add a side of fries to their order or upgrade their drink to a larger size for only a dollar more. This is especially helpful for daily promotions or one-day offers that are not a part of the server’s regular order-taking routine.

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In the chart above provided by Software Advice, you can see that restaurants are not upselling as much as they could be. However, we can see that the majority of customers surveyed are more likely to make an order modification that was suggest by their server when dining out.

The Mobile POS Checklist

In case revenue increase isn’t reason enough to adopt a mobile point of sale system, we’ve outlined some additional benefits that mPOS can bring to restaurant businesses. According to an additional report done by Software Advice, 72% of restaurant owners request mobile restaurant POS software.

First and foremost, you need an mPOS system that is simple enough for any server to fluently use. If you’re looking for a mobile solution that will allow for a table-side service, you must ensure that your mPOS software is quick and easy-to-use. If your servers are disrupting the order process by taking the time to search for items in the POS, it defeats the purpose of the table-side mPOS solution.

Secondly, you will need a receipt printer that works seamlessly with your mPOS solution and will allow for a total transaction to be completed right at the table. It has been bound that engaging customers by having them complete the payment process right on the tablet can actually lead to an increase in tips. When this transaction is complete, servers equipped with portable, handheld receipt printers can kindly print and hand the customer their receipt without ever disrupting the transaction process.

In addition to the ease of use and fluid transaction process, mPOS systems often offer features such as inventory management, loyalty, and customer data capture, that help you run your restaurant more efficiently.

If you’re looking for an mPOS solution to take your restaurant business to the next level, be sure to check out Star’s line of portable receipt printers for your mobile point of sale needs.

Star Spotlight with Appetize

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What does Appetize do?

Appetize is a modern enterprise point of sale platform that is specific for sports and entertainment, education, and professional industries. Designed from the bottom up with multi-site and multi-business units in mind, Appetize is deployed in over 15,000 business units with the most complex setups. Offered with a full site of features, Appetize offers a simple solution for mobile ordering and accepts payment methods of cash, credit, EMV, NFC, Apple Pay, RFID, Bluetooth, and many more.

How is Appetize working with Star Micronics?

Appetize works with Star Micronics’ printer peripherals including the TSP650IIBTi desktop receipt printer and the SM-S230i portable receipt printer. Appetize has Star printers in nearly all of their enterprise locations. To name a few, Appetize and Star provide POS solutions for the Golden 1 Center (home of the Sacramento Kings), U.S. Bank Stadium (home of the Minnesota Vikings), over 40 Live Nation properties, and many more.

How has Appetize teamed up with Star and Elo?

Appetize is also bundling their point of sale solution and Star peripherals with the Elo I-Series. This bundle appears mostly in bar, concession, and restaurant environments where hardwired functionality is needed.

The Appetize, Star, and Elo bundle provides a simple, fully integrated POS that includes a touch screen monitor for Android. This solution, with the I-Series flip-stand, can transform into a fully functional self-service kiosk, or used as a traditional point of sale system.

“We work with Star because it combines the best of modern and enterprise on the hardware side,” says Kevin Anderson, Chief Strategy Officer at Appetize. “When it comes to printers and the types of environments that Appetize is typically in, which is high pressure and high volume, we need a hardware that is reliable”

3 Critical Payment Trends to Watch This Year

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The past few years have brought rapid evolution and change to the payments industry, with the same growth expected in 2017. Retailers must remain aware of these developments to properly compete with other operations in their vertical market. Here is a close look at three critical payment trends that will prevail this year.

Mobile Wallet Growth

Statistics make a strong case for including increased momentum for mobile wallets on the list of significant payment trends to watch in 2017. This is especially true of mobile wallets that incorporate near field communication (NFC) technology.

  • According to a report by research firm Research and Markets, the global mobile wallet market will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 35.5% between 2017 and 2021.
  • Technavio, another research firm, has predicted a similar CAGR (more than 35%) for mobile wallets through 2021.
  • A Capital One Wallet Survey conducted by Capital One late last year shows that nearly one-quarter (24%) of U.S. consumers use mobile wallets in some capacity.
  • More proof that the use of mobile wallet technology among consumers is trending up: Of 24% of Capital One survey respondents who claimed to utilize mobile wallet technology, more than 63% have been doing so for less than a year. This demonstrates rapid adoption and use of the technology in 2016, according to Capital One, with a similar pattern expected throughout 2017.

Ongoing technological advanced in NFC devices and heightened security of payment portals rank among catalysts for the consistent growth of mobile payments and its high rank among key payment trends, according to Research and Markets and Technavio. Mobile wallet options such as integration with coupons and tickets are fueling the fire as well.

Payment Security Push

With perpetrators’ attempts as and methods for transaction fraud growing more sophisticated, increased and varied attempts to shore up payment security is one of the hottest payment trends. There is now a major move among U.S. merchants to migrate to point of sale (POS) equipment that accommodates microprocessor chip-enabled credit and debit cars (“chip cards”) under the umbrella of the Europay/Mastercard/Visa (EMV) liability shift that took effect in October of 2015.

  • The Payments Security Task Force, a consortium of payment networks, backs, credit unions, acquirers, retailers, POS device manufacturers, and industry trade groups, estimates that the shift to EMV will “reach 98%” by the end of this year.
  • According to Mastercard, 9 in 10 Americans now user chips cards, a 38 point year-over-year increase from 49% in 2015 to 87% in 2016. Payment trends cited in a recent Mastercard report includes additional increased in chip card usage in 2017.

More mPOS

Mobile point of sale (mPOS) and tablet POS devices are becoming a staple as merchants adopt mobile technology to assist with line-busting and speeding up transactions during peak traffic periods. What’s more, with innovations like Star Micronics’ new mPOP™ accessories, tablet POS devices can be used as a cost effective, fully functioning point of sale system. This versatility makes mPOS a hot ticket item in 2017.

  • According to a study conducted by Boston Retail Partners, almost half (49%) of retailers are using mobile solutions for sales staff. That’s up from less than a third (31%) from last year.

Payment trends other than those discussed here may also take hold in 2017. However, the rise of mobile wallets and mPOS, coupled with a greater emphasis on payment security, merit special attention in the coming months.

Learn more about the mPOP™, Mobile Point of Purchase, here.

Bren’s Traveling Bistro Serves Up Success with Star Micronics and iConnect POS

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Adventurous diners are common in many places and Chef Bren Jones wants to feed them! With this in mind, Jones established Bren’s Traveling Bistro, a unique food truck that moves from various locations introducing a variety of dishes from around the world to customers with a taste for new and exotic cuisine. With customers lining down the road whenever it made its temporary home, Bren’s Traveling Bistro needed a solution that would enable easy, rapid access to customer information from the counter to the kitchen while conducting business operations simultaneously.

After researching a variety of options, Jones chose a POS system bundle comprised of an Apple iPad®, iConnect POS software, and a TSP650IIBTi thermal receipt printerbrenstravelingbistropic from Star Micronics. Jones identified the software’s Blod-based platform and the printer’s Bluetooth communications capability as a perfect fit for Bren’s Traveling Bistro because it would support a POS system running entirely on mobile devices. Installation of the solution took just a few seconds and necessitated only that the app be downloaded on a single iPad®. A user-friendly interface between the iPad® and the app made training employees a painless process.

iConnect enables all transactions at Bren’s Traveling Bistro to be processed via the Cloud no matter where the food truck has traveled. Complementary positioning of buttons and icons on the screen ensures rapid service with minimal errors. Similarly, the Bluetooth connection between the iPad® and the TSP650IIBTi indicates that the printer can receive messages from a distance away, minimizing the duration between the moment orders are placed and the time of service.

The solution also yields access to the back office on-the-go, sales, inventory, and other critical business data that is instantly available via Internet or the iConnect app. Maintaining a secure handle on the operation, coupled with the ability to quickly serve more customers no matter the location, has helped Bren’s Traveling Bistro to establish a footprint and, in turn, boost profitability. Further upping the profitability ante, the low cost to acquire and use the solutions give Jones continued flexibility to invest in other aspects of the business at a local level.

“I truly value the products provided by iConnectPOS and Star Micronics,” Jones says. “They make running our food truck business simpler, organized, and less stressful. I will be using the POS system bundle to not only impress customers with fast paced service, but also provide exceptional food quality.

– Bren Jones, Owner and Chef, Bren’s Traveling Bistro

Read the full case study here: Star_Brens-Traveling-Bistro_Case-Study

The Rise of Experiential, Discount, and Specialty Retail

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In 2016, we have seen major shifts in the retail industry and consumer buying patterns. We’ve seen the largest Internet-based retailer in the world (Amazon) open brick-and-mortar stores, and we have seen “big-box” retailers closing stores. Clark has named just a few:

  • Macy’s plans to close about 15% of its locations amid challenging retail environment.
  • According to the Dallas Morning News, JCPenny CEO Marvin Ellison said the department store chain plans to close some of its roughly 1,000 stores soon.
  • CVS, America’s leading retail pharmacy, plans to close 70 stores early this year.
  • Mall-based retailer, The Limited, closed all of its nearly 250 stores across the country on January 8, but will continue to have an online presence.

Shift in Consumer Buying Patterns

With the closing of many department stores and “big-box” retail stores, we see that discount retailers such as T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and Ross are thriving. Consumers are now realizing that many of the products or goods that they typically shop for in department stores can be found for a cheaper price either online or in discount stores. This shift is being largely influenced by the millennial generation. For retailers who do not fall into the “discount retailer” category, the key to competing is improved store data. This means creating a way to better track customer data in order to provide unique and authentic shopping experiences for each customer.

The Millennial Consumerscan_shop_featured

According to Forbes, there are eighty million millennials in America alone, and they represent about a fourth of the entire population, with $200 billion in annual buying power. This means that the buying patterns of millennials are having a direct impact on the retail industry and brick and mortar stores.

While millennials are commonly targeted as the “self-entitled” and “lazy” generation, it has been found that they are extremely price sensitive. Meaning, millennials will take the time to search for more affordable options (usually online or by using their smartphone) before making a purchase. Based on a survey performed by Accenture, 41% of respondents said they have practiced “showrooming” – the act of examining merchandise at a nearby retail store and then shopping for it online to find the lowest price.

It’s no question that the millennial generation is very unique. Retailers have struggled to understand the buying patterns and the interests of this generation for quite some time now. Unlike the Baby Boomer or Gen X generations, millennials tend to be less influenced by advertising and promotional content, and care more about the authenticity of a brand. Millennials best connect with people over logos. The fact that millennials are less likely to go for the “brand name” over a cheaper option, is largely impacting the way retailers must market themselves and their brand. The recent closing of Macy’s and JCPenny stores speaks volumes when compared to the popularity these stores held with previous generations.

Specialty Retail Steps Up

Specialty retailers are businesses that focus on specific product categories. It isn’t the product they sell that determines if a company is a specialty store, but rather the breadth of their product offering.

As we see more and more large retail stores closing, we see specialty retail continue to thrive. Brick and mortar retail is becoming less about shopping and more about the customer experience. With the rise of retail technology such as IoT, virtual reality and augmented reality in retail, consumers are entering brick and mortar stores with the expectation that they will walk away with more than just their purchase, but with a valuable and unique shopping experience.

With the generation that values experiences over items now holding such high buying power, retailers have to make an adjustment to their previous selling strategy. Retailers are beginning to take advantage of IoT and artificial intelligence to create a more personalized shopping experience. Specialty retail is thriving because it has been much easier for SMB and specialty retailers to create these personalized experiences, because they are more likely to have repeat customers, making it possible to establish a certain level of customer loyalty. “Big-box” retail stores have a more difficult time creating a unique customer experience, simply because their audience is too large, and too diverse to maintain a valuable relationship with the customer.

For retailers to survive in this age of discount and digital shopping, it is essential that retailers do not just sell goods, but that they sell an experience.