We took a look at the most popular adult beverages sold across Breadcrumb’s biggest cities (San Francisco, New York and Chicago). What do your customers want and how does your bar compare?
It’s not enough to have great food and a great venue—you need stellar staff to complete your customers’ experience. But keeping morale high with servers and bartenders can be tough. Here’s how to build the right foundation to keep your staff motivated and your customers happy:
Hire the Right People in the First Place
In the high-turnover world of restaurant work, it can be easy to hire the first stack of resumes that hit your desk. Instead, focus on hiring employees who match your values, bring positive energy to the job and share your vision. If you own a taproom, make sure your employees are well versed in beer. Lots of vegetarian options? Get servers passionate about vegetarian cuisine. Here are more great tips for hiring the right talent for your restaurant.
It’s the Little Things
In your shift-change meeting, share positive feedback from customers or comment cards. Call out employees who are stepping up and going the extra mile. Run contests to promote specials and offer prizes that cost you little to nothing but mean a lot to your staff, such as “no side work” or “picking your section.
Set up a standard process for requesting time off and then stick to it. Get your schedule out in advance and give your staff the opportunity to switch and adjust with plenty of notice. Use sales data to stagger your shifts so that no one sits around waiting and everyone feels that their time is valued.
Take Performance Reviews Seriously
Treat serving like any other job. Schedule performance reviews every quarter or twice a year. Discuss successes and areas of improvement. Offer opportunities for growth (such as training new servers or shadowing the manager for an evening). Give employees an opportunity to share feedback with their managers as well. Cultivate a respectful workplace and you’ll get the best work out of your staff.
Breadcrumb Pro’s latest feature, Precision Printing, allows managers to now customize where tickets print from each iPad. This new feature is easy to use and will help you run your restaurant more efficiently. Watch this video to help get you started!
Wine foils as art? Why not! This month we caught up with artist Amelia Sherritt who began creating art out of wine foils back in 2007 during a slow day at work behind the bar. Based in Seattle, she draws her inspiration from her surroundings in the city of Seattle and Washington state. Read on for more about Amelia, her art and her ideas that could inspire a commissioned piece for your restaurant!
How did you get involved in turning wine foils into art?
I was a restaurant kid for many years and spent quite a bit of time behind the bar. I always look for ways to be creative and find art in different forms. On a fairly slow day at work, I started playing around with several foils cut from bottles, smashed them flat and discovered they might be a fun material to work with. I made my first piece for a friend, titled “Pescatore.” I really enjoyed doing that piece and kept going!
Do you see this as a good industry to be in to support your art? Meaning, does it allow you the necessary freedom, time and money?
It’s true! I started at the age of 18 (I’m 31 now) and worked my way from hosting to serving and bartending and eventually to managing and working as an event coordinator. The restaurant business is great for those who attend school—I was able to go to school full time while working—or have another side project, especially when serving or tending bar, since hours are flexible and money can be made easily.
What inspires your work?
I find inspiration in all forms. Just walking around the city inspires me since there is so much to take in. I also love studying other artists (art history was my major in college) and seeing how another idea would fit into my medium. I am very close with my grandmother, who worked in the antique business for many years, and I have always been fascinated by old art and objects, which I love to integrate into my work as well.
What is your favorite piece? Why?
Since I don’t paint any of my work, I love to see how the color of the different foils relate when placed together on a canvas. I will often start a piece and change direction halfway because I don’t have enough of the right color to complete. “Otto” was an example of a happy accident for me. I originally wanted to make the background one solid color, but realized it was impossible and had to start a different pattern. The depth created by the different blue and green tones worked out to be much better than one solid color!
On average, how long does it take to create a piece?
Depending on the size and availability of foils, each piece takes anywhere from 1 week to several months to complete. I often work on several pieces at once while collecting the appropriate colors to finish them.
How many bottles of wine, on average, go into one piece?
Each piece takes hundreds—if not thousands—of wine foils to complete. It more than 1,500 to create a piece sized at 24”x30”.
What was the most difficult piece to produce?
Any work that requires a lot of detail can be a challenge but I always enjoy seeing the final product of a laborious piece. I just finished a commission piece titled, “Welcome to P-Town” which challenged me a bit.
Where do you see yourself and your art in five years? In 10 years?
I have always dreamed of being a professional artist, so to be able to work full time on art is my dream realized. I just hope to continue to make great art that makes me happy and that people want to hang on their walls. I would also like to get some more permanent pieces in restaurants since I attribute my start to the business.
Which artists are most influential to you?
Gosh, where do I begin? My all-time favorite artist is the French painter Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, mainly due to his use of bold colors and influence from Japanese woodblocks in his poster work. I also love glasswork, so Seattle artist Dale Chihuly is someone I look up to with his unbelievably decadent work. I have a close friend named Amber Frederick who has done an art swap with me in the past. She paints some amazingly whimsical, colorful pieces and writes a story about each one. The depth of her creativity is fascinating to me and I am inspired by her vision.
You’re essentially recycling material that would otherwise be deemed as trash. Is there anything else you see going to waste that has the potential of becoming a work of art?
I like to say I’m turning trash into treasure. I see the potential to turn pretty much anything into art. We are such a single-use society these days, and it’s frustrating to see how much packaging is unnecessarily used. I collect the tags from bread products to use for a side project. I’ve already created one abstract piece with them and am collecting to do a larger version soon.
If you knew then what you know now, what would you do differently?
I honestly don’t think anything besides starting this project sooner! When I started creating wine foil art, I was giving away quite a few pieces to friends and family. Some people have told me I should have sold right away but I am glad to have given pieces to those who support me and love my work. It’s so rewarding go to someone’s house and see your art on their wall.
Bottle of wine you’re most likely to bring to a dinner?
Any Vinho Verde. I can’t get enough, especially during summertime.
Bottle of wine you’re most likely to save for yourself?
Facelli Pescaia Red Blend. Each vintage seems to get better and better!
Has working in the hospitality industry inspired your own creative outlets? Share your thoughts or experiences in the comments!
Are you ready for some football? Football season can be a sales boost to a variety of businesses. If the season snuck up on you, it’s not too late. Here are tips to help your business take advantage.
1. Become a watching spot If you’re a bar or restaurant with a TV or screen that people can watch the game on, consider becoming a watching spot for a specific team. Maybe it’s the local NFL or college team, or a college team with a lot of alumni in the area. Maybe the team you should choose is your own alma mater, that way you can network and increase sales. Offer specials and deals during the game and reach out to large groups to hold watching parties. Once people get used to coming to you during the game, they’ll be more likely to come back.
2. Create deals tied to the game If you live in a town with a popular football team you can create deals tied to the outcome of the game. The trick is to make sure the deals are only valid for that day. The more people who come in on any given day, the better the atmosphere.
3. Help people watching at home If your business involves carry-out or delivery, or anything home-related think about how you can tie it to people having game-watching parties. Offer specials for deliveries before a certain time on game day, or create advertising using the idea of people gathering to watch the game.
4. Change your staff’s dress code If you don’t want to be a hub for a specific team, allow your staff to swap out their normal uniform for a team shirt of their choosing. Letting your staff show their true colors can spark conversations with patrons and increase their tips.
5. Attract people not interested in the game It’s true, not everyone cares about football. If your business is totally unrelated to football consider running specials or sales designed to attract customers looking for something to do during the game. One caveat, make sure you don’t make your marketing for these specials and sales sexist. Women are one of the fastest growing audiences for football, so don’t alienate your audience by implying that no women want to watch the game.
6. Get a fantasy Fantasy football (where people create make believe teams based on real life teams) has become almost as popular as the NFL. You could consider joining a league with other local businesses. Doing so can create a great local interest story and generally generate buzz about your businesses. You might also consider encouraging your staff to create a league as a bonding and team building experience.
Does your business benefit from football season? Do you make an effort to do so? Share your thoughts in the comments.
In October 2015, chip cards, that use a standard called EMV, will soon become part of processing standards in the United States. Developed by Europay, MasterCard and Visa, EMV was designed to be a more secure way of paying. Magnetic-stripe cards without the chip will continue to work but soon most customer’s credit or debit card will have it’s own highly-recognizable embedded microchip.
- Card Authentication, protecting against counterfeit cards.
- Cardholder Verification, authenticating the cardholder and protecting against lost and stolen cards.
- Transaction Authorization, using issuer-defined rules to authorize transactions.
In sum, it all adds up to making sales more secure and fraud less likely to occur. For more detailed information, visit this EMV FAQ guide on what this technology is and what it can offer.
So what is Breadcrumb doing to prepare for the switch to EMV? Our payments team is actively working to update our payments gateway to support EMV and are evaluating the necessary hardware and software solutions before October 2015. We will continue to keep all of our customers updated as we move forward, stay tuned!
Comps can be costing your restaurant money. Do you know what your average comp percentage is on any given night? Here’s a snapshot in each of Breadcrumb’s three biggest cities to give you an idea:
Interested in seeing more data like this? Breadcrumb PRO isn’t just another point-of-sale system, we’re also offering more insights about the restaurant industry and your business. Learn more about other tools we can offer to help build and grow your business at breadcrumb.groupon.com.
Breadcrumb Pro’s latest feature, Precision Printing, allows managers to now customize where tickets print from each iPad. This new feature is easy to use and will help you run your restaurant more efficiently. Below are steps to get you started.
1. Confirm where categories print in your restaurant by tapping the Printer Center on the Home screen and viewing the Print Settings for the iPad.
In this example, we have a back server station that needs to print its drinks to the service bar.
2. Tap on a category whose print settings you want to change. A new print menu will appear for that category. Select the new print group to confirm.
3. Repeat for all categories that need to be rerouted until the Print Settings page reflects the correct print setup for that specific iPad.
Have an area in your restaurant or bar that doesn’t need to receive printed tickets?
4. Select “Don’t Print” for all categories that apply to that area.
Thanks to Precision Printing, you can now quickly set your main server stations to default drink printing to the bar, the back server station to print to the service bar, and the bar to not print tickets at all. Download the latest version of Breadcrumb with Precision Printing today!
As food and beverage trends constantly influence customers to frequent particular establishments, point of sale purchasing trends have great effect on the evolution of restaurant management technology. Restaurant owners look to their customers for feedback by hiring capable managers who will connect personally with patrons onsite, or by reading and responding to Yelp reviews in a constant effort to improve their business.
RESTAURANT INDUSTRY GROWTH: 2000-2013
Similarly, every time a Breadcrumb merchant reaches out with feedback on functionality or usability, we turn it into an action item on a prioritized list of features to build and updates to release. We also pay close attention to industry reports, like the 2014 Restaurant POS Software BuyerView just released by Software Advice, to better understand our target market and what is most important to growing restaurants. Software Advice sites three key findings:
- Nearly half of buyers surveyed were not replacing existing software, but purchasing POS software for the first time.
- The size of a restaurant is directly related to the integrations they require.
- New industry trends, such as tablet integration, have piqued the interest of many buyers.
PROSPECTIVE BUYERS CURRENT METHODS
“One of the most interesting trends we see in this analysis is the growing interest in tablets. Tablets have been in use in the industry for many years, but mainly by restaurants which we’d categorize as early adopters,” said Craig Borowski, POS Software Researcher at Software Advice. “Things started to change last year, in September, when Chili’s announced they’d have tablets at every table by early 2014. I think a lot of restaurateurs took note of that and started paying attention. The interest in tablets has definitely gained momentum since then and it’s still growing strong.”
Also worth noting, inventory management, sales reporting & tracking, and employee clocking topped the list of features most requested by prospective buyers. Traditionally, some of these features have been costly add-ons to basic POS software, but tablet solutions like Breadcrumb are building them into software costs and making it more efficient and affordable for small business owners to operate.
TOP REASONS FOR FIRST TIME SOFTWARE PURCHASES
While varying amounts of research go into a point of sale decision, Software Advice found that 65% of buyers they spoke with planned to make their purchase within 90 days of being surveyed, 31% of which would purchase within the month. These numbers align with the trends of Breadcrumb merchants, and our activations team easily has restaurants up and running in less than 30 days on average. With pre-configured hardware and an easy-to-use interface, though, we’ve activated businesses in a week.
DEMOGRAPHICS: PROSPECTIVE CUSTOMERS BY NUMBER OF LOCATIONS
While the tablet is sleek, easy to use, affordable, and can arguably boost sales when used table-side, it hasn’t reach high demand just yet. “This tells us that there’s interest in tablets as a technology, but that perhaps the actual use cases haven’t been clearly articulated or communicated to the industry,” Borowski said. “From what we’ve seen of the software, there’s huge potential to use tablets to streamline restaurant operations and directly improve customer experience. I think we can expect the demand for tablet-compatible restaurant software to continue to grow.”
There are many reasons to choose an iPad point of sale (POS) vs. a tradition POS. The top three include mobility, low price points and intuitive user interfaces (UIs). Breadcrumb has all three, most importantly an easy-to-use design that was recently chosen by Software Advice as one of their favorite iPad POS user interfaces. As stated in their review, “Created for restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs, Groupon’s Breadcrumb Pro organizes products into categories using tabs, allowing users to easily select from different menu items.”
Talya Strader, Retail Director at Bow Truss Coffee Roasters in Chicago, agrees: “I love Breadcrumb because it’s super easy, it’s just user-friendly. I don’t even train my staff.” Good UI can drastically cut down on costs associated with training and user error, helping restaurants to save more money in the long run.
What do our customers love most about the design? Top 5 features include:
- Search Bar – search for any item on the menu
- Table Mapping – move tables around, see which are open & which are sat
- Shift Notes – note specials, 86’d items and other updates for the team
- Order Countdown – see what items are low and close to being 86’d
- Splitting Checks – multiple diners can have checks split in seconds
Our focus has always been to provide the best hospitality point of sale experience our customers have ever had. We deliver an intuitive system in a subscription model that obliterates traditional POS cost. We know what our customers want not only because we’ve been on both sides of the bar, but also because we ask them. Every single time anyone from our team is out eating a meal or having a drink.