Nitehawk Cinema Makes Movie-Going Simple with Filmbot and Star Micronics Ticketing System

Nitehawk Cinema is a three-screen independent movie theater in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY that is currently renovating a historic theater from the 1920s for their upcoming second location. Nitehawk is unique in that they are not only a movie theater, but they operate as a full-service restaurant as well, including pairing specialty dining and cocktails with different screenings.

Nitehawk Cinema was working with a very outdated ticketing and point of sale system, and needed something that fit their operation of being a full-service dine-in theater. Their goal was to create a more seamless experience for movie-goers and find a solution to keep the aesthetic of the theater consistent. That’s when Nitehawk partnered with Filmbot who worked to build a brand new, customized ticketing system from the group up that fit all the needs of Nitehawk Cinema.

Filmbot is a software development company that specializes in building systems to help modernize the movie-going experience. Through their new ticketing system and website, Nitehawk Cinema could allow customers to order their movie tickets either online or at the theater, and pick up those tickets from one of their two self-service kiosks or from the bar point of sale. Filmbot and Nitehawk Cinema decided that Star Micronics’ TUP500 kiosk printer and TSP700II WebPRNT receipt printer were the best hardware solutions for the new system. Nitehawk needed a solution that would allow them to print tickets and receipts from a Web-based application in real-time. “Without Star Micronics’ WebPRNT technology, they wouldn’t have been able to install the new system,” says Jessica Yazbek, Senior Engineer at Filmbot.

The new kiosk and point of sale system provides an overall more efficient way for customers to get their movie tickets. Nitehawk Cinema customers have had great feedback on the ticketing systems and the process of ordering and picking up movie tickets.

Additionally, the install was very easy and basically provided a plug and play solution. Nitehawk Cinema used one day to prep the new solution, and has it up and running the next morning. By the time the theater opened that day at 4:00 pm, the bartenders were fully trained on the new system and were ready to go.

“We launched about a week ago, and since then, the whole systems has been flawless,” says Matthew Viragh, Owner of Nitehawk Cinema. “It’s actually a Web-based POS system, so the reason we selected Star printers was because of their Web-based capabilities. We’ve been really happy with the performance so far.”

Star Spotlight with Erply

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What does Erply do?

Erply is a point of sale and inventory management software that will track sales and inventory for retailers. Erply POS is a cloud-based solution that allows retail store owners and operators to manage their point of sale, and check-in on sales remotely from their tablet, computer, or smartphone. They offer fully integrated point of sale solutions for iPad®, Windows, and Android™, with dedicated POS hardware. Users can utilize Erply software to ring up sales, track customers, and manage inventory and employees from anywhere, anytime.

How is Erply working with Star Micronics?

Erply has integrated a number of Star Micronics’ printer peripherals including the all-in-one mPOP™, TSP100ECO thermal printer, SM-S230i, SM-T300i, SM-S220i portable printers, and more. Erply chose to work with Star’s mobile solutions that offer Bluetooth connectivity because they found it to be a great pair with Apple iPads. In addition to iOS, Erply has also found that Star Bluetooth printers to offer a simple set-up with Windows tablets. Erply partners with Star Micronics to provide a complete mPOS solution to retailers for any operating system.

What key benefits are Star mobile printers bringing to Erply customers?

One of the biggest benefits of the Star mobile printers is the ability for retail employees to carry their printer and iPad around larger stores to answer customer questions and complete a sale in-aisle. In many cases, Erply sees their retail customer utilizing the belt clip included with all Star portable printers and using MSR readers to process the credit card payment on the spot. This solution helps reduce lines in larger and busier retail environments and creates a better experience for both retail employees and the shopper.

“We found that Star Micronics’ Bluetooth printers offer one of the easiest set-ups that we have. We’re most confident in setting up Star printers with iPads and other mobile devices. Because of Star’s cross-platform availability, Star mobile printers are the easiest solution for us to recommend to customers.”

– Cameron Neelis, Technical Support Specialist, Erply

Star Micronics’ ETA TRANSACT 2017 Recap

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Star Micronics recently exhibited new mPOS technology at the ETA TRANSACT show in Las Vegas from May 10th through the 12th, and would like to thank all of those who visited our booth. For those who couldn’t make it to the show this year, we want to provide a brief recap of what you missed and where to find more information on Star Micronics’ peripherals.

New mPOP™ peripheral options!

Star Micronics showcased our popular all-in-one mPOP™ peripheral for mobile point of sale that combines a cash drawer and 2-inch receipt printer. This year, Star has decided to make our mPOP even better with more functionality for mobile point of sale. We’ve added optional peripheral support for a customer-facing line display, 2D bar code reader, three scale options, and an extra cash drawer to our mPOP. This allows users to transform their mPOP into a complete point of sale hub, making it a more versatile option for mobile POS.

Faster, Easier, Better!

Throughout 2016, Star Micronics began rolling out our TSP100III series of thermal printers – the faster, easier, and better solution for POS receipt printing. At this year’s TRANSACT show, Star Micronics debuted our TSP100IIIU! The TSP100IIIU is Star’s intuitive “plug and play” USB printer for iOS, Android, and Windows. With faster print speed, easier connectivity, and better features, the TSP100IIIU is guaranteed to make a splash in the point of sale world. Learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y40VyDkFPLc

SM-L300: Receipt, Label, & MAXStick® Portable Printer

Star’s new SM-L300 Bluetooth low energy (BLE) portable printer offers ultimate versatility for any mPOS application! The SM-L300 portable printer allows users to connect to any Apple iPad®, iPhone®, or iPod touch® BLE compatible device without having to pair to it, making it the perfect solution for any BYOD (bring your own device) environment. Learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJdLcSYOgGE

Booth Partners

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Star Micronics is always happy to feature a number of our software partners in our tradeshow booths. At this year’s TRANSACT show, Star hosted Biztracker, who demoed their solution with a Star TSP650II receipt printer. Doublebeam showcased their solution on Elo’s I-Series and Wallaby flip-stand along with a Star TSP700II receipt and label printer. We also provided demos of Star Cloud Services’ free digital receipt and customer engagement solution through Vend’s retail software and a Star TSP100IIIBi receipt printer.

Star Cloud Services is offered for free with any Star Micronics receipt printer and allows users to offer digital receipts to their shoppers through the AllReceipts™ app. Learn more: https://www.starcloudservices.com

Star Sightings

Star Micronics spotted several of our printers around the show floor! Thank you to Paradise POS, Pioneer Solutions, MS-Cash Drawer, USAePay, and POS Portal who showcased Star technology in their ETA TRANSACT 2017 booth!

Star thanks everyone again for taking the time to visit us and learn more about our point of sale peripherals at ETA TRANSACT 2017. We look forward to seeing you all next year!

Why Bluetooth Low Energy is the Best Option for Mobile Printing

People most commonly think of Bluetooth as the wireless technology that allows them to connect a mobile device to a car or an earpiece. Bluetooth has given rise, however, to a newer generation of wireless technology – Bluetooth low energy (BLE) – which was first introduced in 2011. Today, BLE is the best option for mobile printing and other devices that require short bursts of connectivity.

In order to understand why BLE is perfect for all mobile printing needs, it’s important to know the difference between Bluetooth and BLE. Bluetooth connectivity is designed for devices like wireless headsets and speakers, mobile phones, and is ideal for streaming applications such as Pandora or Netflix. In comparison, Bluetooth low energy (also known as Bluetooth 4.0) is exactly what its name says: low power consumption wireless technology.

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How does BLE work?

Bluetooth and BLE both operate on the same 2.4 GHz ISM band. Unlike regular Bluetooth that uses a lot of power, BLE stays in sleep mode until a connection is initiated with a mobile device. The connections are short bursts because the data is traded quickly. Bluetooth low energy devices’ energy consumption levels are so low; one device can run on the same battery for years. Obviously, Bluetooth low energy isn’t going to work for Netflix, but its’ perfect for devices that only need to exchange data quickly and intermittently, like a mobile printer.

Who can use BLE devices?

BLE is perfect for devices that don’t need to stream large amounts of data continuously. This universal-low power wireless standard makes it easy to connect any product to a smartphone or tablet. BLE is the wireless technology used for personal fitness devices (like Fit Bits), as well as for monitoring sensors and mobile printers in taxi, rideshare, and delivery applications.

Where can you use them?

Bluetooth low energy mobile printers are small and light, and can easily be carried by servers in restaurants, delivery drivers, and workers in intermodal facilities and warehouses. They can be used to print invoices, labels, receipts, and other documents.

Star Micronics has several BLE-enabled printers ranging from compact models that measure only a few inches and fit into a pocket or apron, to more robust options all at affordable price points. Star’s mobile printers are perfect for indoor/outdoor use, field service and restaurant environments where they could get wet or dropped. These devices also come with an external power cable so they can be charged anytime, anywhere, even on the road.

Easy to use, even for BYOD workplaces

BLE printers are compatible with a large installed base of mobile phones, tablets, and computers. Star’s line of mobile printers is easy to use with any Apple iPad® or iPhone® BLE device and doesn’t require pairing. There’s no limit on the number of devices that can be connected to the mobile printers, making it the ideal solution for a BYOD (bring your own device) workplace. Employees don’t need to hunt for “their” tablet or mobile device; they can grab any equipment to complete the task at hand. Star’s mobile printers are also compatible with other operating systems, including Windows and Android.

BLE connectivity is the perfect option for mobile printing. These compact mobile printers are energy efficient and cost-effective for restaurants, rail yards, airports, and delivery services that need to print on-the-go receipts, labels, and invoice. Learn more about Star Micronics’ SM-L200 and SM-L300 BLE portable printers.

Vittorio Menswear and Tuxedo Increases Customer Satisfaction with Star Micronics and AllReceipts™

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Vittorio Menswear and Tuxedo, located in Rochester, NY, provides ready to wear full custom options, to personalized looks that helps to express individuality. For over 45 years, Vittorio Menswear and Tuxedo has been helping Rochester look good, one tuxedo at a time. The formerly family-owned business was passed along to Matthew McDermott who has been working to grow the business by increasing customer loyalty and creating a more seamless sale.

After acquiring Vittorio Menswear and Tuxedo about five years ago, Matthew decided that it was time for a technology upgrade in the point of sale system. Vittorio was in need of a better system to track customer data and analytics, and customer-facing technology that allowed them to engage with and provide value-added services to their shoppers. Lightspeed POS solution with Thirdshelf and Star Cloud Services loyalty, along with Star Micronics peripherals provided the perfect system for Vittorio Menswear and Tuxedo.

Star Micronics’ TSP100 receipt printer with Lightspeed POS allowed Vittorio to improve the daily workflow of their business and keep their customers more satisfied with their service than  ever. These technologies provided detailed analytics and customer data that allowed them to compete with large retailers. Vittorio was now able to give every one of their customers a personalized experience, and offer suggestions and promotions based on the customer’s previous purchases and rentals. With Lightspeed’s inventory management, Vittorio could easily see what sizes were readily available versus what needed to be special ordered for customers.

As a result, Vittorio Menswear and Tuxedo improved their overall customer engagement strategy with Thirdshelf and Lightspeed POS. They are now able to access customer data and purchase histories almost instantly, which helps to tailor special promotions and increase customer satisfaction.

Star Cloud Services’ Receipt Flip feature allows Vittorio to easily summarize their return policy and add marketing touches right on the back of the digital receipt without any additional promotional costs to print. The Instant Customer Survey allowed Vittorio to better understand what their customers enjoyed about their experience versus where they needed to improve.

“Star MiSCS certifiedcronics and Lightspeed’s point of sale solution was well worth our initial investment. Since we installed the system, we’ve continued to add layers such as Thirdshelf loyalty features and Star Cloud Services digital receipts to improve our store functionality and to keep our customers satisfied. By having customer data and feedback readily available through Star Cloud Services, we can make adjustments to ensure that our customers are getting the most out of their experience with us.”

– Matthew McDermott, Owner, Vittorio Menswear and Tuxedo

Download the full success story here: Vittorio Case Study

Star Spotlight with Auto-Star

What does Auto-Star do?

Auto-Star began developing point of sale and retail management technology in 1982 and has worked to provide a top-of-the-line solution for grocery, pharmacy, and natural health markets. Auto-Star’s POS solution is designed to help increase operational efficiency along with customer service levels. They strive to put the customer at the forefront of every transaction, while making an intuitive solution for end-users. They currently have thousands of happy customers all over North America and the Caribbean.

How is Auto-Star working with Star Micronics?

Auto-Star has been working with Star Micronics for a number of years with both their end-user customers and their reseller partners. They chose to add support for Star Micronics printers because they are fast and reliable for end-users and are easy to operate. In addition, Auto-Star has added support for Star Cloud Services’ free digital receipt solution using the AllReceipts™ app. Auto-Star customers already using Star Micronics’ TSP100ECO printers can now experience the added benefit of providing a digital receipt solution to their shoppers.

What key benefits is Star Cloud Services bringing to Auto-Star customers?

Auto-Star customers were looking for a digital receipt solution for a number of years. With Star Cloud Services and AllReceipts, Auto-Star found a solution that was quick and easy to integrate with no need to update or change hardware. Star Cloud Services’ digital receipt and customer engagement tools are available to use on any Star receipt printer for free. This gave users the ability to add the digital receipts functionality to their current solution for no additional cost.

“The Star Cloud Services’ digital receipt solution with AllReceipts offered a very simple set up for both Auto-Star and our end-user customers. Our customers were able to see the benefit of it right away.” – Josh Wintoniak, Sales Manager, Auto-Star

Solutions for Printing from Web Browser-Based Applications: WebPRNT

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Receipt technology has advanced dramatically in the last several years. Previously, in every transaction, a customer would pay for their purchases at the POS terminal and accept a printed sales receipt as a proof of purchase in case they needed to make a return or exchange. Mobility, however, has revolutionized POS and changed the process of providing a customer with a receipt.

Star Micronics has developed a variety of printing solutions for mPOS, including two that facilitate receipt printing from Web-based applications via HTTP(s) and from a project on an Android device or iOS hardware such as iPad®, iPhone®, or iPod touch®. These solutions, WebPRNT and PassPRNT solve common problems merchant often encounter with mobile printing.

Print from a Web Browser-Based Application with WebPRNT

WebPRNT, which enables device-agnostic receipt printing technology, supports HTTP(s) requests used in Wed-based applications. It facilitates printing on any Star Micronics WebPRNT-enabled printer – including receipt, label, and kitchen printers – from any local device running a Web-based application.

This low cost, versatile solution to printing from Web browser-based applications allows users to print high-quality POS receipts with professional, crisp graphics on Star’s line of WebPRNT – compatible printers.

How it works:

You can use any device you want when you download WebPRNT, so businesses can eliminate the need to spend money on upgrading their current hardware. This solution enables local printing from a device with a browser to a compatible WebPRNT printer (desktop or mobile) on the same network.

WebPRNT is easy to read, maintain, and modify for developers. It works with XML tags or a JavaScript software development kit (SDK) that is integrated into the Web application’s code. This functionality can be extended to Bluetooth printers by using the WebPRNT Browser with no changes to the Web code. In addition to Web-based applications, Star’s WebPRNT also supports HTTP(s) requests from native applications.

One advantage of integrating WebPRNT is that the application the engineer or developer creates can give a retailer more complete control of printing, such as the ability to adjust the formatting, operate the cash drawer, or check the status of the printer. It also enables additional, innovative features to be added to the print application including digital receipts and other cloud services.

WebPRNT technology is available with several of Star Micronics’ printers including the TSP650II WebPRNT, SP700 WebPRNT, TSP700II WebPRNT, TSP800II WebPRNT, as well as any of Star’s Bluetooth printers using WebPRNT Browser.

Why choose WebPRNT: 

  • Easy to use. WebPRNT eliminates time spent downloading software and installing drivers. The app enables printing from any local device hosting a Web-based application (e.g., Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari) to a Star WebPRNT-enabled receipt printer.
  • Affordable. WebPRNT enables printing from any application or operating platform without the need for expensive, multi-platform development costs.
  • Compatible. WebPRNT allows users to print from their application to a WebPRNT-enabled receipt printer from any device, regardless of its operating platform.

To learn more about WebPRNT and find out if your Star Micronics receipt printer supports WebPRNT, please visit http://starmicronics.com/pages/WebPRNT.

Download our eBook: Solutions for Printing from Web Browser-Based Applications on iOS, Android, and Windows

What’s Next for Cannabis Retail?

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Cannabis legalization is not just creating more business opportunities for recreational dispensaries, but for the point of sale industry as well. Star Micronics has found ourselves rapidly gaining popularity among the cannabis point of sale market and are looking forward to what lies ahead.

First, it’s important to consider the fact that the legal cannabis market is growing quickly with no intention to slow down. The legal cannabis market was worth an estimated $7.2 billion in 2016 and is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 17%. This is more than 8 times the growth rate of the beer and liquor store market in the U.S.

While the cannabis market is growing, there are still issues with marijuana businesses and traditional banking, which means it has mostly been a cash-only industry. While this can serve as an inconvenience for those who frequent recreational cannabis dispensaries, it helps us point of sale folk to keep in the market by providing receipts printers and cash drawers for these businesses. With more states beginning to legalize recreational marijuana use, we can predict that more people will begin to heavily invest in this market, and smaller dispensary businesses will soon be able to fold into larger companies.

In addition to the issues that cannabis businesses face with banking and financial services, recreational marijuana dispensaries are required to practice “seed to sale” tracking compliance. For those unfamiliar with this term, the “seed to sale law” requires every marijuana producing plant to be tracked through each stage of its life, from cultivation to the point of sale.

With this in mind, software developers are working to create point of sale systems that help dispensaries to easily manage their seed to sale tracking, as well as perform other daily functions that your average retailer would need. For this detailed and complicated task, there is simply too much risk of human error for dispensaries to not use a retail management solution. This is where we begin to see the cannabis market booming in the point of sale industry.

So, what can we predict for the future of cannabis retail?

In the recent U.S. election, California, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada all passed measures legalizing recreational marijuana. While there are still tax and licensing provisions that will not take effect until January 2018, we can expect a major growth in legal marijuana sales, with California forecast to dominate the market. California, being the oldest medical cannabis state and the largest cannabis consumer population, is predicted to reach $7.6 billion in annual marijuana sales by 2020.

Similar to the online ordering trend among restaurant take-out and delivery services, we may be looking at the future of remote ordering for cannabis sales. California delivery startup, Eaze, has procured more than $25 million in multiple rounds of funding in the hopes of being the largest provider of on-demand cannabis delivery.

With the advances of technology and innovation in legal cannabis sales, Star Micronics is very excited to continue to provide support for this emerging market and see our partners grow along the way.

5 Reasons Retailers are Moving to Web-Based Applications for POS

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Web-based applications have changed the IT landscape because they require little upfront investment, update frequently, and businesses typically can use the hardware they already own. This affordable alternative to traditional, on-premises POS software keeps databases and information secure, with around-the-clock access from any location or mobile device with an Internet connection.

Although their applications apply to virtually all markets and industries, Web-based applications have had a particularly large impact on retail point of sale (POS). Consider these five reasons: Can your POS system do this?

1. Effortless Scheduling. A Web-based application means you can access back office functions from anywhere, anytime. This empowers managers to update schedules and view time off or vacation requests quickly and easily from any mobile device. Employees can view their work schedules and request time off through an easy-to-use interface, even when they aren’t in the store.

2. Easy Inventory Access. According to retail advisory firm IHL Group, inventory errors cost retailers $1.75 million every year. The number one reason these errors occur is because of internal process failures, which can be prevented by a Web-based application. Inventory is tracked in real time, instead of updating hourly or daily. Employees can easily see which items are on-hand, in-transit or on-order. This is especially important if you’re managing stock at multiple stores because it allows managers to place an order for all the stores from one location.

3. Order Online, Pick Up in Store. People are seeking out an omnichannel shopping experience so it’s no surprise that the “buy online, pick up in store” is becoming even more popular. It’s the perfect solution for people who want the instant gratification of getting their item the same day, while saving on shipping costs. Web-based application inventory management is updated in real time, so customers can see what’s in stock while they are shopping. It also allows them to select a different location if their item is out of stock, and have it shopped to the closest store for pickup.

4. Offsite Access. Traditional POS systems may require you to be on-site to work on back office functions or review reports, but a Web-based application lets business owners and managers access the system from anywhere with Internet access. Web-based applications store data in the cloud, so it’s open 24/7 for managers to run reports, schedule staff, and manage inventory from home while on a businesses trip, or late at night.

5. Save a Webpage (Like an App) to a Mobile Device Home Screen. Business owners and managers can save a shortcut to their Web portal – like an app – right to their smartphone or tablet so they can log in with just a few clicks. This technology, which brings their entire operation right to their fingertips, is compatible with iPhone® and Android™ OS platforms. Customers can also take advantage of your store’s Web-based application for easy, one-click ordering (if available). Having your store’s webpage available on a customer’s home screen will help ensure your store will always be their first stop.

Increasingly, retailers are opting for Web-based applications due to their ease of use, the expanded capabilities they offer, and the enhanced customer experiences they can help provide. Web-based applications are an affordable alternative to legacy POS systems that can help move your business toward greater efficiency and competitiveness.

4 Reasons to Use Bluetooth Technology in Restaurants

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In the restaurant business, one of the most important things to do is to keep your customers satisfied. One can do this by making sure their customers are receiving the correct order and in a timely fashion, but by also making sure that their staff is equipped with the technology to provide customers with a unique and satisfying experience. By enabling Bluetooth point of sale technology, restaurant owners can take their customer experience to the next level by creating a smoother workflow for employees, and a convenient way for customers to order and pay. Here are the top four benefits of using Bluetooth POS technology in your restaurant.

1. Simple Set-up

One of the biggest benefits of using Bluetooth point of sale technology in your restaurant is the simple set up. With Bluetooth enabled receipt printers, users can eliminate the need for messy cables, and simply pair their tablet or mobile device with the Bluetooth printer to easily print kitchen orders or receipts. Another benefit of wireless Bluetooth over WiFi connectivity for your point of sale is that you no longer have to worry about outages due to network connection issues.

2. Table-side Service

By pairing a tablet or mobile device with your receipt or kitchen printer, this allows for servers to take customer orders right there at the table and send the orders directly to the printer. Restaurant owners and managers no longer need to worry about the server forgetting to enter the order after taking it, because it is all being done in real-time. Additionally, Bluetooth POS technology allows restaurants to equip each table with their own tablet device, so customers can sit down and order as they please without needed to wait for their server in a busy restaurant.

3. Improve Order Accuracy

By enabling table-side service in your restaurant, you are ensuring improved order accuracy. As the server is taking the customer’s order, they can simultaneously send the order through the point of sale system to the kitchen for preparation. This means that there will be less miscommunication between the customer and the server, and between the server and the kitchen staff. There is less chance of there being missing item from the order or having an order placed incorrectly. The server can also remember to upsell add-ons or suggest a new item, because the full menu is right there in front of them as they enter the customer’s order. This not only improves customer satisfaction, but can result in an increase in revenue for the restaurant owner.

4. Pay at the Table Capability

When providing the convenience of table-side ordering to your restaurant guests, it is important to compliment that with table-side payment capability. Ordering and paying for food either online or through a mobile application is quickly gaining popularity, and consumers are now looking for this same convenience when dining out. With pay at the table capability, customers can simply swipe their card and receive their receipt right at the table, or pay through a mobile app offered through the restaurant without having to wait for the server to bring the check, return to collect the payment, and then print the receipt. Again, allowing customers to pay at their own convenience will help to increase customer satisfaction and allow restaurants to get more tables in and out more quickly, resulting in a reduced wait time and increase in revenue.

Sabor POS and Star Micronics provide a point of sale solution for restaurants that utilizes Bluetooth technology in order to guarantee total workflow efficiency and an increase in customer satisfaction. Learn more about Sabor POS and their support for Star’s TSP100IIIBi, TSP650II BTi, and SP700 BTi printers, and the all-in-one mPOP™ peripheral for restaurants.

Download our success story here: Star_Castrillo_Case-Study