Delivery and Vegan Food are the fastest growing restaurant trends
According to Grubhub and Yelp vegan and vegetarian options are trending like never before. The fastest growing item overall was cauliflower crust pizza. According to the “Year in Food” report cauliflower popularity grew by 650%. After several years of growth in meat alternatives can this really be called trendy any longer? I would suggest this is far from a trend. Americans are looking for comfort food without the animal protein.
Dine in, Delivery or in home Meal replacement that is the question
Whether you are catering to the meat alternative crowd or still serving meat and potatoes how and where are the next frontier. Diners are voting with their wallets and they are choosing in home meal replacement and delivery. Several restaurant publications have recently featured restaurants that have closed their dining rooms to expand delivery and take out ops. What this tells me is people want fresh not frozen and quality made meals. If it were just wanting to eat at home we would just nuke a frozen dinner right? Well, that ain’t happening.
Do you have to respond to trends in order to make it today?
Well that answer to that is above my pay grade. I do think if you are just starting in business and catering to younger diners you probably do. There is still room for the classic steak house and hopefully there always will be but the young guest are growing up in an alternative protein reality. The next generation will have never lived in a world where fast food did not offer a plant based alternative. At what point is it no longer an alternative? These same consumers will also grow up with every restaurant having online ordering and delivery options. So regardless of the concept you operate it may be time to dip your toe into the technology pool and see what happens. No need to do a cannon ball into the deep end, start slow with an iPad POS system and go with the flow. Let your guest tell you how they want to order and respond! While we can’t help you with plant based alternatives we can assist with the modern technology for your restaurant. Call us at 800-863-2274 or online at Restaurant POS including online ordering.
Promote your gift cards
Americans go to present is the gift card. Start stocking up now before it’s too late. Don’t rely on only hard plastic gift cards, get geared up with e-gift cards also known as a virtual gift card. Industry experts agree that e-gift cards are the next big thing for POS and gift giving. You should be ordering your gift card stock before Thanksgiving in order to be prepared.
Start working your email list
Around daylight savings or sooner you should be sending out holiday themed emails. It’s about this time of year businesses start planning their holiday parties. Send your customer list updates on catering and private dining options. Many businesses cater events in the office, however in this strong economy parties have made strong come back. While your emailing about holiday parties don’t forget to mention gift cards especially if you offer a virtual gift card that can be ordered from you website.
Make sure your equipment and technology is ready for the rush
Whether you have a point of sale system like Digital Dining, Dinerware or a cloud based tablet system ensure you are compliant with payment requirements. Double check your other mission critical equipment as well. If something has a nagging issue get it repaired or you are just inviting trouble. Find out if your POS provider offers surge licensing in case you need to stand up an extra POS terminal for a few days during the rush.
Take care of staffing issues now
Head off staffing issues by thinking ahead. Get your vacancies filled now. After filling in your roster hire some seasonal help as well. Don’t forget to get floaters lined up in case a regular or seasonal hire call in sick or get stuck in bad weather. Don’t leave anything to chance because we all know what Murphy says “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. If POS is one of those items you need to address call us at 800-863-2274 or on the web at Restaurant POS.
E-Gift Cards are replacing the traditional plastic cards quickly
Have you ever lost a valuable gift card? Have you ever wanted to buy a last minute gift and deliver it in a matter of seconds? E-Gift Cards also known as virtual gift cards are quickly becoming best practice for businesses all over the world. As the cultural shift to electronic payments continues gift cards are following the trend. The advantages of selling and using e-gift cards are numerous. Its difficult to believe there are still merchants using hand written gift certificates but they exist.
The plugged in customers today are expecting you to offer virtual offerings too
Today’s customers are using technology like never before. This is nothing new about generations becoming more tech savvy then those ahead of them. However today’s tech is light years ahead of what we have seen before. If your business is not up to speed you risk being left out. Offering e-gift cards is one way to keep you in the loop. In this case if offers you a lot of other benefits and a business owner too. First thing to consider is selling e-gift cards on your online ordering site. If you are selling hard printed cards online you have orders fulfilled which can be costly and takes time. A virtual gift card takes no time from your staff to fill the order. It is in the recipients hands in just seconds from the purchase.
Virtual gift cards expands your businesses reach
Just imagine that now Grandma in New York can simply go to her grandson’s favorite Seattle restaurant’s website and buy an e-gift card. Think about the fact your website is open and available twenty-four hours a day for last minute shoppers! There are far more reasons to start offering an e-gift system. In the Seattle Tacoma area reach out to your Heartland Dealer National Business Systems, Inc. at 800-863-2274 or online at Heartland Restaurant POS System.
Should you should be using an EMV Chip Reader?
The simple answer is yes, you should be using EMV chip readers for several different reasons. before addressing the reasons why let’s look at a couple of the myths. The first myth is that you must use be reading EMV chips as part of your POS system. That is false, there is no rule or law stating you must read chips. Second myth is that it is cheaper to read chips opposed to magnetic strips. For the most part that is also a false claim. The truth is if you are still reading cards by swiping them in your POS you have accepted 100% of the charge back liability. The failure to use a chip reader for all intent purposes is n acceptable reason for the card holder to file a charge back it seems. While that is not an official reason the net result of the rules would indicate that it is.
You should be planning on implementing EMV readers at minimum
Standalone credit card terminals have been able to accept EMV chips now for several years. POS systems have been playing catch up for years now and making up ground. Swiping credit cards today can result in charge backs for the full amount without reason. Yes, you heard that right. The issuing bank does not allow for any due process regarding the validity of the charge like the old charge back rules. If the card has a chip and you swiped it there is no process to prove it is a valid charge. If the customer charges back you lose. You need to get EMV chip readers
Upgrade your legacy POS to EMV readers or replace it
If you have an older POS system you may not be able to upgrade it to read EMV chips. If that is the case you should look into a system that accepts EMV chips right at the table. Heartland has several POS devices that accept EMV payments at the table. An investment is technology that allows for best practice of EMV chips limits your liability in several areas. In the Seattle Tacoma area contact your Heartland POS dealer National Business Systems at 253-839-9636