Why A Mesh Wifi Network Is A Good Solution For A Retail Store Or A Restaurant

Mesh wifi networks are new, but they have quickly become a fantastic option for a restaurant or small retail business. They make it incredibly easy for your staff to keep connected to your wifi, as they move around the sales floor.

If you’re not sure about the difference between a mesh wifi network and a non-mesh network solution, don’t worry. We’re going to highlight the benefits of mesh networks for a restaurant or retail business.

Easy access point transition

The biggest benefit a mesh wifi network can offer your business is that it prevents disconnecting between your multiple access points.

A common problem for a restaurant or bar without a mesh network is when you have an access point inside and outside, such as one inside your business and one on your patio. Without a mesh network, a waiter could carry a tablet outside to take an order, the device would either not disconnect from the one inside (causing it to lag), or it would not connect to the outside access point without the waiter manually logging into the access point outside.

This means your staff has to type in a password into the device to connect to the new network. If they forget the password, that adds more time for them to take an order or let your customers pay their bill. It also means they will have to reconnect manually to the inside network.

A mesh network eliminates this problem. You can have an access point between your kitchen, tables, or patio and have all your devices immediately connect to the access point with the strongest signal.

Load balancing

If you get packed on a Friday night and have all your customers using SnapChat and Instagram at your location that’s great for your brand, but bad for your network.

When you have hundreds of devices connecting to one access point, the speed gets bogged down, and your guests might be hogging all your bandwidth from your work devices, making the ordering process much slower and laggy.

Having a mesh wifi network means you simply have to plug in another access point across the room, and now half your guests will be connected to that access point instead of all being on one.
This prevents your business from suffering from an overload of everyone connected to one access point that’s connected to your point-of-sale system.

Buy or rent?

Having an enterprise mesh network can be a little expensive to pay for all at once. However, if you’re interested in renting a mesh wifi network, you can rent one or more access points from us and save yourself some money.

You can easily add another and simply turn it on whenever you need more access points either to manage some of your traffic or to extend your connection throughout your business.

If you’re interested in renting a mesh network from us, contact us and see how you can improve your internal network at a low monthly cost.

How Secure Is Your Restaurant From A Data Breach?

Chances are when you’re running your restaurant your first thought isn’t on security. You’re worried about countless other details that come with owning a business, but not taking the time to protect yourself and customers from a data breach is a real concern.

Criminals are beginning to target smaller businesses including bars and restaurants precisely because they have lax security when it comes to accepting payments.

We’re not talking about employees skimming credit card data. Instead, we’re referring to running your point-of-sale system and work computers through an unsecured network.

Your business processes hundreds of transactions daily and is legally responsible for protecting all the data that flows through your restaurant. Every card you swipe can be recovered by an ambitious criminal and leave you with thousands of dollars in fines to pay.

Since your business is at risk, here are some ways you should re-evaluate your network’s security.

Security isn’t a lock and key

You might assume that because your point-of-sale system requires an employee pin number to access, it’s safe from criminals, but that’s not the case.

If your point-of-sale system is running on wifi that is also available to your customers, you’re at risk of a data breach.

It’s easy for an expert to hack into a POS system through wifi or ethernet that gives anyone access.

Each IP address on a restaurant network can be used as an entry point for cybercriminals, and many basic network solutions cannot distinguish between “good” and “bad” traffic using your businesses internet.

What this means is if you’re not investing in segmenting your wifi for a secure internal network or a public external wifi, you’re putting every customer who swiped a credit or debit card at your establishment at risk.

PCI Compliance and Firewalls

One of the best ways to protect any information that passes through your business is to go beyond just running everything that touches sensitive data through a secure network.

Implementing a firewall can do a lot to protect your business. In fact, when it comes to PCI Compliance security standards, they strongly insist you have one in place to protect customer’s card information.

Having a strong firewall and using a virus protection software can prevent malicious criminals from gaining access to your point-of-sale system.

A lot of these things seem complex, but if you work with the right provider it’s easy. We provide enterprise-grade firewalls which allow for secure segmenting for multiple wifi networks as well as continual monitoring to make sure it’s updated and still secure.

Your business does need to focus on security, but you don’t have to do the groundwork all by yourself. Contact us if you're interested in protecting your businesses through your wifi.

How Your Business Can Maximize Summer Sales

Summer is well underway, and for many businesses, this is their peak time of year for sales.

That being said, a lot of businesses aren’t sure of the best way to maximize their summer sales, and end up doing a lot of guesswork.

Don’t worry, your point of sale system can help you capitalize on all the summer sales.

Find what your top selling items are

The best way you can learn what your top selling items are is to track the sales data from your point of sale system. Not only should it track what your highest selling items were from the previous year, but also how much of the product you sold. You can assume you’ll sell more this year, and can appropriately calculate the right amount of product to stock.

Not only can you gain extra money by selling more of your favorite items, but you can also look and see what items did not perform as well. Save yourself the money by not reordering items that didn’t sell as well.

If you have a robust POS system, you can also make sure it’s tracking all your sales correctly and notifying you via alerts when it’s running low and when to reorder more.

Watch your labor costs

It can be challenging to track your labor costs if you are not on site or own multiple locations. That’s why it’s important to have a point of sale system that monitors that data for you!

Foxy’s Bar & Grill wanted a robust point of sale company to work with that could send him notifications via email and text, since their owner Shawn and his wife live overseas 75% of the year.

Despite living abroad, he still has constant updates for when his labor costs are nearing 30%. His Restaurant Manager point of sale system also lets him review their busiest hours and slow times, and work with his General Manager to schedule accordingly.

No matter the size of your business, your point of sale system is the number one money maker your business can invest into to maximize profit.

No matter your size, Restaurant Manager integrates their real-time data with both their traditional POS system and Duet, their iPad system. Your business has the best chance of success when you can use your data to your advantage.

Not sure if your POS system is up to the challenge?

Contact us here, and our team can help you see if you’re using the best tools for your business.

How You Can Save Time Managing Your Bar or Restaurant

How much is your time worth?

The amount people devalue their time is astounding. I’ve met people who will waste hours to days on trying to save a few hundred dollars. But when you’re time is precious, do you want to waste it?

After a long day at work, do you want to spend a couple of hours trying to find your sales reports in your point-of-sale system? Do you want to come in early trying to track all of your inventory?

Of course not.

There’s an easy way to manage your business, one that will give you time back to reinvest in yourself and your business.

Cut down on managing inventory

Everyone hates wasting time. So simplify how you manage your food and drink inventory with your POS system.

Using your inventory control functions can shave off 2-5% from your food costs. Inventory control consists of a set of features that allow for close monitoring of the raw ingredients used in your restaurant.

With this report, you will be able to closely monitor the difference between estimated and actual consumption your restaurant or bar runs.

Automate inventory reports and ordering

The biggest time saver is your point-of-sale system automatically tracking when you need to reorder food based on your inventory. Ringing up items lets the system tell you when certain ingredients are running low, and saves you time from manually hunting down food and drink quantities.

Once you start creating a new purchase order, all products, having reached their reorder point, can be auto-populated into a document. These forecasts predict volumes while allowing you to make final modifications.

Your point-of-sale system should generate a Consumption Report, which should be able to list the inventory item quantities used for a given period. For this report to provide the most meaningful information, you must first define accurate recipes for all the items in your menu.

Having these reports auto send to your phone or email every day saves you time from coming in early or leaving late. From your desk or smartphone, you can review sales and profits from the previous day, and know what to forecast for your future sales.

Final thoughts

Any system that can automate your day is going to save you time.

Not sure if your POS is up to snuff? Contact us here, and our team can help you see if you’re using the best tools for your business.

The Benefit of Real-Time Data and How It Affects Your Business

Running a cafe or restaurant is all about reacting to situations.

A lack of awareness when your labor is 30% over what's been sold can leave you losing precious profits and hurt your bottom line.

Your ability to react quickly to real-time data will help you prevent losses, so how can you make real-time decisions?

Restaurant Manager has rolled out some new features

A handy little app created by Restaurant Manager called RM Monitor gives you 5-minute real time updates. It gives you access to keep in touch with your business by tapping into your point-of-sale systems reports on the go.

Even further, the app goes into detail showing you how much you’re making at all of your locations. The tracking built into RM Monitor allows you to see labor costs, and the profit you’re turning over for that hour.

Some of the other key features include:

 

What can the data do for your business?

Well, you can lower your costs by tracking when employees are nearing overtime, and you can look for theft via free comps.

You can even set the alerts to go to multiple people or individuals. These notifications can be adjusted to come through several different ways, including:

No matter your size, Restaurant Manager integrates their real-time data with both their traditional POS system and Duet, their iPad system. Your business has the best chance of success when you can use your data to your advantage.

Not sure if your POS is up to snuff?

Contact us here, and our team can help you see if you’re using the best tools for your business.

What Percent of Your Profits Are You Losing to Theft?

It’s no surprise; theft is a massive problem in the bar and restaurant industry. Sadly, most often it’s because of your staff.

Theft accounts for about 7% of loss in annual revenue for small businesses, and that’s eating into your narrow profit margins.

Most companies cannot afford to lose profit, so for the success and health of your business, it’s best to know where loss and theft can most likely happen and where you can prevent it.

The likely culprits

While it’s not impossible for theft to occur from simply skimming money out of the cash drawer, that type of theft is incredibly easy to track. More often than that, we would consider a lot of theft to be a sort of “friendly theft.” Friendly theft could be employees giving out free drinks or meals or even taking food home.

We call it “friendly fraud” because it’s usually not malicious. Your staff could view giving away food as treating a friend or rewarding themselves for a hard day's work.

But, it still takes money out of your pocket.

The best way to track this is to use your point-of-sale system. Set up the standard of properly having your staff ring things up, and ring up items through your inventory.
Implementing these methods will allow you to track when things go missing.

Tracking food and drink orders from your point of sale system can cut down on some free meals and comps your staff might be giving out.

Once an order is placed and sent to the kitchen or bar, the ticket should not have the option to be deleted, unless you have a general manager or the owner logging in to approve the deletion.

Of course, a POS systm used for security purposes only works if the kitchen staff and bartender know not to give out orders without a ticket. But even if they don’t, you can still track the number of items sold vs. the amount left in your inventory.

You can prevent a lot of that 7% loss to your profit with the right tools in place, and train your staff to use your point-of-sale system properly.

Looking for a point-of-sale solution that does all that and more?

Have a question? Need more information? Please complete the form below, and we will be in contact with you as soon as possible.

Two Reporting Features In Your Point-of-Sale System You Should Be Using

How familiar are you with your point-of-sale systems multiple features?

One of the biggest reasons restaurants and retail stores find their profits slipping through their fingers is because they can’t keep track of all their data. It’s a hassle to try to organize all those reports.

Luckily, the right POS system can help eliminate a lot of that manual work and tracks the most important data your business needs to be monitoring.

Here are the top features in your point-of-sale system to make your life easier.

Sales and reporting

Let’s admit it, your sales are what sustains your business and keeps your doors open. A good point-of-sale system should have the ability to generate detailed reports for you to review.

Your POS sales report tells you the basics, such as profits for the day, and sales by the department or by individual employees.

The sales report help you determine which items bring you the most profits and which ones don’t bring in money. Additionally, they show you which hours are your busiest, helping you know what hours you don’t need as many staff.

Inventory tracking

Every standard POS system is designed to track all of your inventory and stock, but a great POS system will let you access all of your inventory with detail and ease.

Whether it be setting alerts for when you need to reorder, adding in new products, or tracking delivery of orders from vendors, the POS system should keep you in the loop.

Keeping a tab between your inventory and your sales reports helps you see where items are slipping through the cracks. Checking to see if your sales match the stock listed will help you see if things are missing and if transactions are rung up as "no sale."

To give you an example, one of our clients never tracked any of their “comp” items. The owner owned three different bars, and each had their own General Manager. The managers were allowed to give out comps as they saw fit. After installing a Restaurant Manager POS system, they discovered over $4000 were given out every month between the three establishments.

That’s $48,000 by the end of the year they were losing in profit.

Your point-of-sale system can do more for your business than you can imagine, and using its tools can be the difference between $48,000 a year in profit or losses.

Not sure if your POS is up to snuff? Contact us here, and our team can help you see if you’re using the best tools for your business.

 

How to Reduce The Cost of Employee Turnover at Your Restaurant

It’s official, restaurant industry turnover rose to 72.1% in 2015.

While the turnover rate running high in the hospitality industry is not surprising, it has increased drastically over the last few years, at least 10% since 2013.

Turnover is also expensive on your profits, according to Investopedia, it costs $3,500 for the entire process. “Training turns out to be one of the costliest investments a company can make ” (Investopedia.com).

While it’s impossible to be free from employees leaving altogether, you can take preventative steps to help you keep your investment in your people.

Get it right the first time.

Sometimes the best way to avoid losing staff is to take extra time in the beginning and hire the best fit for your business. If you create some standards you need this employee to meet, you’ll find they are a better fit for your business and stick around for the long haul.

Increase their pay.

This one can be tricky, but it’s the largest reason staff will leave a business. Retain your talented team by continuing to offer them competitive wages and ladder opportunities.

Even by giving small raises over time and keeping track of their performances can do wonders.

Give flexible hours.

Some crazy, unpopular hours go along with keeping a restaurant. But understand that your team does not want to work every single undesirable time.

Give your staff some breathing room, and let them have some flexibility with their schedules.

The flexibility can be worth a lot more in the long run. If you’re accommodating to their schedule, they are more likely to stick around as happier and harder working employees.

Day off pass.

You would be amazed what good a day off can do for your staff. Every quarter or so, give each employee a free vacation day to pick. This "day off pass" acts as a sort of freebie where they aren’t calling in “sick” or take the day off without you planning for it, all the better if they're paid!

Give benefits to your Part-Timers.

Not all employees are full-time workers but treat them like they are. Acknowledge their contributions. If they’re temps, write notes to their representative about their great work.

Give out free drinks!

You can have a certain number of free meals or drinks that employees get every month. Track it and count it as your business. Your staff is often hungry and sometimes tempted by the food. Give them allotted free meals, and give them control of when they can use them.

Conduct exit interviews.

Even if employees eventually leave. Doing these interviews can help you find what future changes you need to keep other employees around.

Remember, your staff is an investment.

Don’t let the relationship with your staff fall apart. All the tips above can help with the dreaded turnover rate, and build a stronger team.

If you want to learn more helpful tips about managing your restaurant, download our free e-book, and learn about money saving solutions your business.

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How to Prevent Theft With Your Point-of-Sale System

Theft is one the biggest reasons a restaurant or bar can go under, but a lot of merchants miss out on the best methods to prevent profit loss from internal theft and voided out transactions.

While it’s not always easy, if you have the right tools in place, you can save hundreds of dollars per month.

The key is your point-of-sale system.

Setting up the proper clearance.

When you run a small bar or restaurant, it can be easy just to allow everyone and anyone to void out sales, or delete menu items. But you run the risk of giving too much access to everyone which can lead to greater losses.

If you only allow managers to void out sales or delete items, you’re helping close the gap. When only your leaders have the ability to void sales, you’ll be able to understand better where your profits are lost and track it to those individuals.

Implement detailed cash tracking.

Cash is the easiest way for your staff to steal, and it can be incredibly difficult to track. The best way to hunt for missing money is to set your point-of-sale system always to require a button and dollar amount for whenever the cash drawer is opened.

Even if someone enters a “void,”“no sale,” “cash paid out,” you have it documented and dig in to find why that sale was canceled.

Set up security clearance.

Every user in your point-of-sale system should have some clearance level of security.

Your servers and bartenders might have a different security level from one another, especially when compared to your general manager.
Individual settings like voiding an item and price changes should only be given to a manager.

If a staff member doesn’t have permission to use a function, an administrator can override the security setting to allow use in that instance.

Use employee cards or pins.

You want every staff member to be signing into your point-of-sale system using a pin or a secured ID card. Whenever they are ringing up an order, or closing out a tab, they need to be logged in.

You want to do this for two reasons.

1). It locks your POS system from non-authorized individuals and helps protect your business.
2). It helps you track transactions and gives you the ability to see if a specific employee was working when something was voided.

Having staff sign in keeps everyone accountable.

Keep audit trails.

A good point-of-sale system is designed to help you keep an audit trail of everything that happens in your business.

The essential items you should keep an eye one is the following:

Reviewing all the following will keep you in the loop and let you know how many items are being voided, and by who.

Looking for a point-of-sale solution that does all that and more?

Have a question? Need more information? Contact us today!

Is Your Point-of-Sale System EMV Ready, and Does It Matter?

We’re now well into 2017 and EMV terminals have been around over a year.

As of the deadline of October 2015, merchants not able to process EMV transactions now own the liability for fraudulent charges.

In the world of point-of-sale providers, they were a bit slow on making EMV readily available to merchants. Delays caused by POS software providers struggling to implement the right certifications required by EMV is the reason it took so long to become available to restaurant and bars.

Since every single type of credit card was tested, it meant a lot of time and energy to make the switch in the software.

But now it’s much more widely available for point-of-sale systems, and your restaurant or bar should be able to find an EMV terminal, and software upgrade to make the switch and protect yourself from fraud.

But is it worth it?

We will stand by our original statement when EMV first came out, and that was that it’s highly unlikely that you are going to experience counterfeit credit cards. Remember, counterfeit cards are the only time EMV protects merchants.

Counterfeit cards are a higher risk for big retailers and electronic stores. While it’s highly unlikely that a restaurant would experience a case of fraud from a fake card, it’s still a wise decision to look at how many chargebacks you get as a merchant.

If you do not have many instances of counterfeit fraud, you may not need to update to EMV.

While the U.S expects to fully switch to EMV processing over the next 10 years, if you’re not experiencing high volumes of chargebacks of counterfeit cards, you may just hold off on EMV.

The National Restaurant Association has the following recommendation for merchants who are weighing the cost of upgrading to EMV. “Even if you experience fraud, the cost of the chargeback may be far less than the cost of installing a new EMV reader, or fleet of readers. As you look at the expense of buying and installing EMV readers, consider whether you’re better offer investing in new technology that offers stronger protections, such as encryption and tokenization” (National Restaurant Association).

Find the best solution for your business.

If you’re not sure about the cost, talk to your point-of-sale provider and see the cost to upgrade. And, if you can, look to see if your POS provider provides additional software protections, such as tokenization and encryption. Encryption is probably the strongest way to protect your customers' information, as point-to-point encryption is hard to compromise, and useless to hackers if a data breach happens.

Contact us here and see what point-of-sale protections your point-of-sale system could acquire.