A Look at Breadcrumb’s Product Process

December 16, 2014 by

We love getting feature requests from merchants. They help us make sound decisions and spark creativity among our product and engineering teams. We thank merchants for their suggestions and then… what?

Whenever I talk to merchants, they ask, “Why are you guys so secretive about your roadmap?”

Well, it’s complicated. But I’m a product development person, so I’ve created a diagram to try to explain why we tend to shy away from talking about our roadmap.

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We know that getting something wrong in our app means that a server takes longer to deliver food to a table or a GM can’t reconcile the night’s receipts; when we hit any snafus, we take it seriously; this means that our product development process can be hard to predict.

For these reasons, we tend to not talk about what’s coming in Breadcrumb. And that makes us seem secretive. I get that.

So here goes. I’m going to share what’s coming up in the next few releases in Breadcrumb. I can’t give you exact dates, because, well, see the diagram above.

Payment Batching will allow you to send payment batches to your bank at any time throughout the day. This will get your money into your accounts faster.

Get a Daily Email Summary of the previous day’s business.

Hold Items lets you create a check all at once, but hold back items or courses from the kitchen. This feature is ideal for tapas restaurants and venues that serve large groups.

Split Items lets you create related checks and more easily split items across them.

We know that your bartender sometimes works as a server. The Multiple Job Roles feature supports situations such as this..

We’ll also get some smaller features and improvements into each release.

Have some suggestions? email us: support@breadcrumb.com.

For more on Breadcrumb and how it can help your restaurant, stop by and say hi!

How Do YOU Prepare for the Holidays?

December 8, 2014 by

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For more on Breadcrumb and how it can also help you prepare for the holidays, visit our site or call 888-514-4644!

Breadcrumb’s New Features for the New Year

December 4, 2014 by

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We have a few new features, big and small, just for you and just in time for the holidays! Breadcrumb 2.4.3 is live in the app store and designed to help you, your restaurant, and your staff during this busy season. Read on and enjoy!

Some big gifts…

Gift Cards

Great news for restaurants (and their guests) this holiday season—you can now sell and redeem gift cards on Breadcrumb 2.0! Breadcrumb 2.4.3 now has the functionality to sell and redeem gift cards effortlessly with transactions included in Breadcrumb’s powerful reports. This new feature enables restaurants to take full advantage of Gift Cards in the following ways and more:

(1) Reward their best customers with incentives

(2) Create reasons for customers to return to their restaurant for repeat dining experiences

(3) Help bring in new customers

Our gift card support does require a TCC processing account.  To  learn more about Breadcrumb with Gift Cards click here.

Overtime Reports

Are your employees clocking in overtime during this busy holiday season? The labor reports in Breadcrumb 2.4.3 now include overtime information, allowing you to track employee hours based on local regulations. Learn more about how this new feature works for you and your team.

Customer Look Up

Delivery and take-out orders are now a breeze! With the latest Breadcrumb release, you can collect and maintain a customer database that includes names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails. Have returning customers? Access their information by typing in their phone numbers. More information about this new feature and how it works is available on our support site here.

And a couple of stocking stuffers…

Tax Exempt

Diplomats and non-profits rejoice! Breadcrumb now supports tax-exempt transactions. Dining out in Washington, D.C. just got a little busier. Visit our support site and learn how to set up tax-exempt transactions in Breadcrumb.

Categories on Checkout Reports

Want to tip out your bartenders based on the beverage sales of your servers? No problem! All checkout reports now break down individual employees’ gross and net sales by top-level category, giving them better insight into how much to tip out and to whom.

For more on Breadcrumb’s point of sale features and how they can help your restaurant, visit us at breadcrumb.groupon.com!

What’s Up with the iPad 2 and iOS 8?

December 4, 2014 by

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Are you still using an iPad 2 that’s running on iOS 8 in your restaurant? Frustrated by slow loading times? You’re not alone. Back in March, Apple announced it would no longer be selling the iPad 2, marking the beginning of the end of its  lifecycle. For now, Apple’s support of the iPad 2 continues. Thankfully, the release of its latest software, iOS 8.1.1, boosts performance on older devices, so sit down and take the plunge to upgrade now!

Getting Started

First, back up your iPad. If it’s been awhile, this will likely take some time, but better to be safe than sorry! Choose a backup method—iCloud or iTunes—then follow these steps.

Next, check your available storage capacity. Apple requires the device to have at least 5.6 GB free  or it can’t be updated. If you don’t have enough storage space available, here are tips on how you can create more by manually removing content you no longer need.

Downloading and Installing

With sufficient space available, you’re ready to go! Go to Settings > General > Software Update.

Start downloading iOS 8.1.1. This could take some time, so be patient!

What to Expect

The animation may appear slow and jerky at first but it should become smoother. If the problem persists, go to Settings > General > Accessibility and click on the Reduce Motion slider.

Overall, iOS 8.1.1 will bring new life to your iPad 2 and allow Breadcrumb to perform at optimal speeds. You’ll still be able to use updated designs for the Safari and Mail apps, along with new features including iCloud Drive and other enhancements.

In the end, taking a few moments to upgrade will improve efficiency for you and your staff.

For more on Breadcrumb’s iPad, cloud-based app and new hardware devices compatible with iOS 8, visit: breadcrumb.groupon.com.

 

Prepare Your Restaurant for the Holidays

November 21, 2014 by

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The holiday season is now in full swing which means a busy time for businesses and customers alike! There are many things you can do to prepare but what should you focus on? We did some research, asked some of our own customers, and came up with this list.

Hire More Staff In a recent poll, two-thirds of Breadcrumb customers said the most important thing they do in preparation for the holidays is to hire more staff. Little surprise there given that this busy time of year means more customers and more time-off requests from employees. There are many people out there, including college students, who are looking for temporary employment while home for the holidays. Take advantage and staff up!

Seasonal Menu As the seasons change, so do the options for produce and ingredients. This is a great time to have some fun with your menu, surprise your regular customers and delight new guests with your grasp on the local food market. We’re not suggesting you pumpkin-pie everything but including fresh, winter ingredients such as squash and persimmon, can go a long way.

Giftcards With Gift Cards, you can help your customers while helping yourself out at the same time. You can receive cash now and expect business later during the slower season. Marketing for the holiday season provides an opportunity for your restaurant to establish itself well into the New Year. Breadcrumb can help you out, offering the ability to sell and redeem gift cards within the app. You’ll also find gift card transactions in your sales and product mix reports so you can track how they have ultimately helped your business.

Decorate Get in the spirit of the season by setting the mood for your staff and customers! No need to go overboard (highly recommended you don’t) but adding some seasonal flair can help your guests get into the spirit. Be sure to also communicate all of your holiday themes on your menus, website, social media and other marketing outlets.

Make Life Easy Most of all, make it an enjoyable experience for your guests during what can be a stressful time for all. They’ll appreciate the seamless service!

Don’t let all of these efforts go to waste! Track sales and other metrics such as social shares and time spent engaging with your campaigns and content. Go into 2015 with a boost to end-of-year sales and stronger relationships with new and current customers.

Learn more about how Breadcrumb can help you during the busy holiday season at Breadcrumb.com.

 

 

Offline Mode for Breadcrumb Point of Sale

November 4, 2014 by

 

For more information on Breadcrumb point-of sale and how offline mode, watch this video or call our dedicated support line: 312.548.1388.

Oktoberfest: Drinking Beers with Breadcrumb

October 29, 2014 by

 

Oktoberfest has come and gone and, based on Breadcrumb’s sales, it was a big month for beers!

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Check back for more industry insights and information on Breadcrumb’s point of sale system.

 

Sittin’ on The Dock at Linden Street

October 28, 2014 by

 

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Brian Brotherston, General Manager, The Dock at Linden St.

Running a restaurant is a big job. Running a restaurant for a Michelin-starred chef? Even bigger. With plenty of experience behind him and opportunity in front, Brian Brotherston, general manager at The Dock at Linden Street in Oakland, California, sat down with us to talk about what it’s like working for chef James Syhabout and why running a restaurant is similar to acting in the theater.

How long have you been the general manager at The Dock?

Since May 19th of this year and we opened the Dock on June 5th. Before the Dock I was at two other places: Zero Zero and Martuni’s in San Francisco.

What brought you over to The Dock?

A friend of mine is the sommelier and maitre’d for chef and owner James Syhabout. When an opportunity came up at The Dock he contacted me and got me an interview.

What’s the most common mistake you’ve seen owners and/or general managers make over the years?

When you are in a position to be in charge, you should lead; you shouldn’t boss. That’s my method but I’ve seen many others make the mistake of managing using the latter method. I feel people work better as a team when you are next to them working through a problem together.

What’s the most rewarding part?

I was an actor for a long time and this is very much like the theater. Like a good play, everything looks and seems flawless but you don’t know how much really went into making just that one dish. So it’s part theater and also something in your blood that makes you want people to have a good time. I want our guests to have a place to go where I would want to go.

Why is The Dock successful?

There isn’t another place like it. It has a great atmosphere, great food paired perfectly with the area’s best beers and it’s all done in a very professional, yet casual, way. There is also the reputation of the owners. James Syhabout is a Michelin-starred chef and has four restaurants in Oakland and Adam Lameroux is the founder of the Linden St. Brewery. They really believe in Oakland and giving back to the community. We recently hosted a Sunday Supper [restauranteur Charlie Hallowell’s newest project] that raised money for disadvantaged youth—and it sold out!

What’s the toughest thing about working for a Michelin-starred chef?

Guest expectations, I suppose. We have to be good, really good at what we do. Although James has a Michelin-starred restaurant, not all of his restaurants are designed that way. They are all superb in what each restaurant has to offer, no doubt. So it can be a double-edged sword because his notoriety brings a lot of guests in and sometimes their expectations are different than what we offer. That being said, I enjoy it when our guests rave about what we are doing at the Dock. Our guests drive to a warehouse in West Oakland and we’re an oasis in the middle of nowhere. They made the trek out and they expect to be wowed. Our team is very professional and our staff is continually studying food and beer.

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Bar at The Dock

How important is the design of the space as it relates to the success?

It depends tremendously on what your design is and your goal. James wanted a casual spot to pair his food with beer. Its a handsome warehouse space next to the Linden St. Brewery. He hit the nail right on the head, again.

What’s your favorite piece of design?

The big patio with seating that wraps around into the beer shed. It’s very rustic and not pretentious.

What’s your favorite/most popular beer on the menu:

Moonlight Death & Taxes is my personal favorite but the biggest seller is Linden St.’s New Oakland Glow.

What’s your favorite dish on your menu and recipe:

Currently the Charcroute Garni. Its an ode to meat with pork belly, duck confit and Weisswurst on a bed of house made sauerkraut and cabbage. It is perfect for the autumn and winter season.

What are the top three traits you hire for?

I look for  the intangibles. The things that cannot be taught:

1. Personality—sometimes I hire people without experience as long as it’s a good interview and they have that spark.

2. Drive—I need people who are driven to do the best without constant supervision.

3. Passion for food and hospitality—We are ultimately in sales; if you are passionate about what you are selling and you have the knowledge to inform the guest, then consumer confidence grows.

 

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Shameless Plug—Breadcrumb Posing at The Dock

For more industry news and updates, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or visit us at Breadcrumbpos.com!

Indonesian Makes it in Chicago

October 24, 2014 by
Oscar Setiwan, Gastro Guide

Oscar Setiwan, Gastro Guide

Sticking to classic Indonesian street-food recipes and keeping the business in the family is how Rickshaw Republic has maintained success—and a loyal customer following. One of the first Indonesian restaurants to stake its claim in Chicago, you’ll not only leave satisfied but you’re likely to have learned something about the region where the recipes are from—Palembang in South Sumatra.

In honor of Taste of Groupon we thought we’d spotlight some of the awesome restaurants using Breadcrumb who have found success with their unique ideas and perspectives on how to make it in this industry. We took some time to chat with Oscar Setiwan, co-owner and the son of chef Elice Setiwan (mother), to talk about Rickshaw, what makes it successful and why mom is always right.

When did you know you wanted to be in the restaurant industry?

My mom has been a chef for awhile but we hadn’t owned a restaurant until two years ago. I knew I wanted to do this in order to help my mom’s dream come alive. Prior to Rickshaw Republic, she  worked at a high school kitchen, opened a catering business, and worked at a small fast-food counter place in Boston, so we’ve always been involved in the food business.

How did the idea for Rickshaw Republic come about?

We sat down with the family and it was the right timing—our finances were good and we found a place for the restaurant. There are also no Indonesian restaurants in Chicago so we felt it was the perfect opportunity.

What does it take to be a chef?

  1. Passion about food and working hard to perfect your craft
  2. Ability to learn as you go
  3. Perseverance—never give up
  4. Flexibility

What’s your favorite dish and recipe?

Beef Rendang: A beef curry that’s very popular in Indonesia with over 27 spices and braised overnight. We Only use the freshest ingredients so  it’s very prep-heavy. If you have the time, check out our recipe and give it a shot at home!

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Beef Rendang

What’s the most common kitchen mistake you’ve seen over the years?

Trying to put too many items on the menu at the sacrifice of quality. We started with the most authentic, select dishes. You want to start small and go from there, train staff, etc. Newer restaurants should open with a smaller menu and go from there. You have to master select items. Specializing in a few items is really good—that’s what people are looking for and what you become known for.

Is it complicated to run a business with your family?

The good part is that we have known each other for a long time—we know each other’s likes and dislikes, avoiding a lot of common problems that new partners encounter. Our arguments are how to serve the customers the right way—my mom is more traditional, I’m more modern—but we end up coming up with great solutions. We also get a lot of feedback from customers and try to incorporate it within reason. It’s ultimately up to us how we want to serve it even if it’s a 100-year-old recipe. Most fights I lose to my mom. She knows the food.

What are your thoughts on the recent responses to picky customers from restaurant owners, such as Mission Chinese Food’s use of MSG and SO Restaurant’s infamous “We don’t give a sh*% about gluten free” rant?

The customer needs to understand what caused that to happen. For example, we do have several options for gluten-free or peanut-free; we can accommodate but I do understand. Some restaurants draw from a recipe that’s 100 years old and they want to execute that item. Some food can be accommodated but it won’t be good. It’s important to stay authentic, because it’s served this way. If you’re allergic, we recommend different items that could work. We want to represent the authenticity of the food we serve. It’s very different than a diner where food is made -to -order.

What does the future hold for Rickshaw?

We were talking about opening a second location but it would probably be a different concept. Probably a different name but still revolving around our roots.

Why do you choose Breadcrumb?

It’s a revolutionary POS system. Breadcrumb takes all of the extra hassle out. It’s in a tablet we can carry around and I love it because we can show customers how tech-savvy we are. Waitresses can walk around with it and put the order in the tablet and it looks really cool in the front of house.

On the backend, Breadcrumb saves us hours and hours of work reconciling. It’s all in one in Breadcrumb HQ. It also helps me in planning for the future. I can see what the most popular items are, what aren’t, and why…how many mistakes we’ve made on any given night and we have the numbers to back it up.

Interested in learning more about why Oscar uses Breadcrumb? Visit us for more information on Breadcrumb’s iPad cloud-based point of sale system at Breadcrumbpos.com.

 

Whisky Meets Jerky at Third Rail

October 24, 2014 by

 

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Jeff Lyon, Co-Owner at Third Rail

Third Rail is the latest from the team behind one of San Francisco’s favorites, Range: former bar manager Jeff Lyon and chef-owner Phil West. The concept was inspired by the location’s railyard past, with local beer and wine on tap, craft cocktails and plenty of jerky to pair with your drinks. That’s right—not cheese, jerky. And it is delicious.

For the next in our series of interviews spotlighting some of our favorite restaurants and bars in honor of Taste of Groupon, we had the chance to sit down, grab a drink and chat with bar manager and co-owner, Jeff.

How did Third Rail come to be?

I had been the bar manager at Range for some time and had decided that I eventually wanted to open up my own place. Lacking the ownership experience or capital made the first steps pretty daunting. I started having conversations with Phil and Cameron (the owners of Range) about my long-term goals and eventually Phil approached me about partnering up. We began the process by going out to every bar we could think of to drink, eat, and discuss what we wanted and what we didn’t. Pretty soon we had a clear picture of what we wanted.

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Why the Dogpatch?

We really liked the idea of being in a neighborhood that was on the verge of blowing up. The area is definitely growing but to many people it’s still the frontier over here. The area seems hip without being hipster, which is pretty refreshing! Actually, when Phil and Cameron were looking for a spot to create Range, they considered the Dogpatch but that was over 10 years ago and it was even more industrial and isolated. So they went with Valencia and 19th, which was pretty undeveloped at the time. Things have certainly changed! We expect the same kind of growth from the Dogpatch.

What was the most challenging aspect to opening the bar?

That depends on the hour you ask me. The design and build process was slow, long, and frustrating. I didn’t take a day off until the bar was six months old and most of those days were 14 hour days, so that was tough. Not being able to spend more time with my wife was very difficult! Now that we’ve been open for a little over nine months, the main challenge is to get more and more people excited about Third Rail. We have a great group of regulars but it would be great to keep expanding our fan base.

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How do you stay ahead of, and prepare for, consumer trends?

We don’t really focus on trends but instead try to do what we do really well. Sure, if everyone wants bourbon drinks, we’ll deliver. We’re not going to fill our cocktail list with aquavit, grappa, and brandy just because we like those spirits, but we’re not trying to pander either. We concentrate on making tasty, balanced cocktails and jerky, and we trust that our bartenders can guide our guests through the menu and beyond.

What is the most popular drink?

The namesake Third Rail is the most popular. It’s easy drinking and is fairly simple: bourbon, Lillet, lemon, honey, and orange bitters. We have regulars who only drink this one.

What’s the secret to turning a one-time visitor into a regular?

It’s about making a connection. Every bar has a lot of booze to offer and so many places have a great cocktail list but I really feel that it’s about sharing a laugh or just having a decent conversation with someone. Bring a little humanity to the situation. It’s just a bar, after all. I’ve even had people come in who practically broadcast that they don’t like cocktail bars, often for pretty legitimate reasons. But we try to take it beyond just exchanging some money for a fancy drink. We don’t always succeed but we try.

Are there any mixologists out there changing the game?

I have a ton of respect for the bartenders who are bringing hospitality back to the bar world. There are hundreds of men and women out there who can make a killer drink, but the ones who can make people feel welcome—those are the good ones!

Bars tend to come and go—one minute they’re hot and the next they’re not. How do you stay relevant?

I’d love to know the answer to that one! My guess is that to stay relevant, you have to be sort of timeless. Warmth in your personality and coldness in your drinks is timeless. Obscure tinctures, housemade bitters, and esoteric, 15-ingredient cocktails are not essential.

What’s the hottest ingredient for fall?

Not sure yet! We’ll see how this drought affects us.

What’s the best way to get a bartender’s attention?

Patience, eye contact, a smile, and a distinct lack of desperation.

What is your favorite Breadcrumb point of sale feature?

I like how easy it is to add and edit items and menus. I can do it on the bar terminals, in the office, or at home. I also like many of the report features. It’s fairly easy to track items or revenue trends. The whole staff also loves the search feature.


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