EMV and Chip Card Technology

August 5, 2014 by

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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.

164158760Why the global move to EMV? Safer transactions. It’s more difficult to replicate a chip card than a magnetic-stripe card, as the chip creates a unique impression every time it is used.

  • 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!

Are Comps Costing Restaurants Money?

August 5, 2014 by

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:

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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.

Precision Printing Now Available on Breadcrumb

August 1, 2014 by

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.

Print Center

Print Settings

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.

Print Categories

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.

Don't Print

Don't Print 2

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!

We’re So Trendy: A Look at 2014 Point Of Sale Buyers

July 31, 2014 by

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

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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

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“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

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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

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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.”

To see Breadcrumb’s latest update and grow with us, visit www.breadcrumb.com and request a demo today!

Best iPad Point of Sale User Interface

July 30, 2014 by

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.”

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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.

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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

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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.

Interested in learning more about Breadcrumb and how these features can help you run your restaurant more efficiently? Sign up for a free demo today!

Customer Loyalty Strategies for Restaurants

July 23, 2014 by

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Bringing new customers in is always top of mind for restaurant owners, however, building a loyal customer base can be more profitable and cheaper in the long run. There are many tools out there to help grow customer loyalty but, often times, being present and a familiar face can be the most effective. How great does it make you feel when you walk into a restaurant or bar where everyone knows you and your tastes?

There are many ways to ensure you’re making an impact on your customers, including becoming the face of the restaurant and taking action on customer feedback. Read more for tips on customer retention strategies >>

 

 

Reducing Costs for Your Restaurant

July 21, 2014 by

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The costs associated with running a restaurant can be exceedingly high – from labor to equipment maintenance and food waste. In order to be successful, it’s important to take a close look at your business and see where you can save money. Below are some tips to get you started!

Hire Smart
With labor costs accounting for the majority of expenses at restaurants, it’s important to hire wisely and retain top talent. It can be daunting, but there are a lot of free resources out there, such as Culintro, to help you. Once you have candidates to choose from, be sure to ask them questions geared toward your needs and consider creating scenarios they may find themselves in and see how they react. Interviewing is always tough and it’s not always a guarantee, but it’s important to do what you can to ensure you’ve covered everything before making a decision. Read more for tips on how to hire.

Inventory Management
After labor, food costs are typically the largest expense for restaurants, so having tight inventory-control policies is important. Track numbers of each item sold each day and you will have a good idea of which ingredients are used and how that should be reflected in your inventory. Have a bottle of wine that’s not selling? Stop purchasing it and keep only what you need in stock. Don’t spend money or waste space on items you don’t need.

Loss Prevention
Sometimes an employee accidentally ruins a large batch of food, or spoilage occurs due to a banquet cancellation or another expected demand that does not materialize. Sometimes employees have to “comp” many dishes in a given week because of a new cook learning the ropes. Take a look at where food is being wasted and determine how to prevent it. This may mean improving employee training, managing reservations and implementing a fee for last-minute group cancellations, and closely monitoring employee meals. If significant losses are being reported, this could represent theft and should be investigated.

Streamline Your Menu
Large menus with varying items mean more ingredients you have to purchase that can also go bad. Unless you have a high-volume restaurant with frequent turnover, keep it simple. A concise menu reduces distractions and indecision, allowing servers to provide better customer service.

Free Advertising
Not long ago, restaurant owners and managers had to rely on paid advertising to get the message out about their restaurants. With social media, advertising can be free! Choose a few key outlets and be sure to post regularly and include relevant content that pulls customers in. Read more for tips on using social media for your restaurant.

Invest in Technology
Look for new technology that’s geared toward helping businesses run more efficiently, cheaply, and from anywhere, such as mobile payment tools and cloud-based point-of-sale systems such as Breadcrumb. These tools can provide insights into your operations and give you information that you can leverage, helping you to determine what is and isn’t selling, which employees perform better than others, which days are slower than others, and more. Do your research and make the investment. It’s worth it!

Interested in learning more about Breadcrumb’s powerful point of sale solution? Sign up for a free demo now!

Breadcrumb Reviews: Butter Lane Cupcakes

July 17, 2014 by

Pam Nelson, Owner of Butter Lane Cupcakes, switched to Breadcrumb because she “needed something that was much less clunky and could give us the kind of transparency in all of our metrics and allowed me to be more connected to the business.”

Interested in learning more about Breadcrumb and how it can help your business? Sign up for a demo now!

Credit Card Processing Fees Demystified

July 17, 2014 by

Who gets the money you pay when a credit card transaction occurs? Understanding credit card processing fees can be confusing and overwhelming. Let’s make it easy!

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  • Visa & Mastercard–these fees are called assessments
  • The bank that issued the credit card being used (for example Chase or Citibank) these fees are called interchange
  • The credit card processor / merchant account provider–the processor mark up

Usually the merchant account provider will not explicitly tell you how much money is going to each party. It is important for you to know where your money is going and what parts are negotiable, since it will help you negotiate effectively.

Interchange

Set of fees, established by Visa & MasterCard, that is passed on to the banks that issue the credit cards to your customers.

Important facts about Interchange

  • Set by Visa/MasterCard and non-negotiable.
  • Composed of a flat rate for each transaction plus a percentage of the transaction amount example: $0.10/per transaction +1.75% of     transaction volume.
  • Interchange is the largest chunk of processing costs at an average of 1.77% (higher for ecommerce).
  • The pricing rules for Interchange are very complex. There is a 200+ page book published by Visa & MasterCard with all of the pricing   rules! For example:
    1. Each type of card (rewards, business, debit, etc) gets a different rate
    2. Many different types of businesses get special rates (gas stations, convenience stores, taxi cabs, movie theaters, etc)
    3. Different size businesses can get different rates (Companies like Wal-Mart get special rates because of their size)
    4. How the transaction is processed can determine the rate (if the card was swiped vs. keyed-in, or if it was charged via an online gateway)

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Important Facts about Assessments

  • A tiny portion of the cost—almost 20 times less than Interchange (Visa & Mastercard: 0.11%).
  • Mastercard has an additional assessment called Network and Brand Usage Fee (NABU) which is 0.0185% per transaction.
  • Visa has an additional assessment fee which is called Acquirer Processing Fee (APF) which is 0.0195% per transaction.
  • Set by Visa/MasterCard and non-negotiable.

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Important Facts about Processor Markup

  • It is based on a number of factors, including your business’ assessed risk, size, and negotiating power.
  • It is the only negotiable portion of your credit card processing fees.
  • Comprised of different fees depending on the processor:
    1. Base fees: Processors offer different types of pricing contracts, each with different rules for charging the merchant. These fees almost always involve a per-transaction & volume-based fee.
    2. AVS fee (address verification): Per-transaction fees charged for performing address-verification checks.
    3. Monthly fee / Statement fee: A flat monthly fee for maintaining the processing account.
    4. Cancellation Fees: You may be surprised to find a cancellation fee in your contract. Talk to your rep if this is the case.
    5. And more… ?! Many processors try to sneak in extra fees (and give them creative & complex-sounding names). The above list are the only typical fees you should agree to in a processing contract.

Learn more about other tools Breadcrumb offers to help build and grow your business at Breadcrumb.com.

Breadcrumb Reviews: Lillie’s Q BBQ

July 17, 2014 by

Charlie McKenna, Chef and Owner of Lillie’s Q in Chicago talks about his experience with Breadcrumb and why it works for his restaurant: “It’s small, functional, the help is for free, it’s an iPad system, it’s easy to learn.”

Interested in learning more about Breadcrumb and how it can help your business? Sign up for a demo now!


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