Smartphone Technology Benefitting Restaurants

By TriMark R.W. Smith

Smartphone Technology Benefitting RestaurantsSmartphone technology is one of the hottest trends in restaurants and hospitality establishments today. While it may seem integrating mobile technology is only feasible for foodservice businesses with a national presence, smaller chains and independent restaurants can also benefit without breaking their budget. Check out three new options for preventing bad reviews, increasing efficiency, and generating loyal customers.

Talk To The Manager

Ever been Yelped? You’re not alone. More and more, restaurant customers are turning to online review sites to air their grievances, from facility cleanliness to poor guest service. Oftentimes, unhappy customers leave without alerting managers to the issue, and it’s these customers who are most likely to share their experiences via word of mouth.

But what if you could easily address complaints before guests leave and prevent those negative reviews from popping up? That’s the concept behind Talk To The Manager, a text message-based customer feedback service for cell phones.

Through private messages and hidden phone numbers, the service allows customers to anonymously report a bad experience to owners and managers while still in the restaurant. In turn, managers can act quickly to resolve complaints, particularly during busy periods, when issues are more likely to be missed. They can also respond to customers promptly, thanking them for taking the time to report an issue and assuring them it’ll be taken care of immediately.

At $29 per month for 500 messages, the affordable pricing package makes the service ideal for small businesses. Customers also receive free table signage and website widgets. Have more than one location? Add additional establishments to a single account, each with their own 500-message monthly allowance. Beware of overage charges, though, as there is a fee of 1.5 cents per message beyond the limit; however, TalkToTheManager assures that most small businesses will not reach the maximum monthly allowance.

Smartphone Technology Benefitting Restaurants

POSLavu

POS systems are a must for many restaurant. Yet they are traditionally expensive and consist of bulky, proprietary hardware.

Enter the next generation of POS systems, which utilize mobile technology and promote affordability. Take POSLavu, a cloud-based POS app that syncs iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone technology to create a single wireless solution for restaurant operations. Waiters can log and send tableside orders directly to the kitchen printers from their smartphones, eliminating the need for taking down orders by hand or committing them to memory. Tablets also receive this information, and combined with a credit card reader and secure servers, they allow for faster payment processing and guest checkout.

As an added bonus for Management, POSLavu provides backend accessibility via any browser, detailed activity reports, and the ability to upload financial data to existing accounting software.

With three pricing levels to choose from and free software updates, small restaurants can select an option that best fits their establishment’s needs. There are no contracts to sign, and POSLavu touts lower monthly fees than standard POS systems. There is a standard cost for each level based on terminal (iPad) support, ranging from $895 for a single terminal to $3,495 for up to 10 terminals. Tech-savvy restaurateurs can choose to self-install the software into their hardware. For those who would prefer to have the system installed professionally, restaurant owners can request assistance from a Certified Distributor to ensure a smooth set up.

LevelUp

A mobile POS system that doubles as a loyalty program? It’s as easy as link, pay, reward.

With LevelUp, smartphone users can download an app and receive a unique QR code, which is securely linked to a credit or debit card. When frequenting participating restaurants, customers check out by pulling up the app and scanning the code. Unlike cash or card payers, the app tracks customer data, and first-time visitors to any establishment will receive instant first-purchase savings.

And the perks continue from there. LevelUp currently offers two customer loyalty programs: the Customer Acquisition Campaign, which provides one-time incentives to new customers, and the Loyalty Campaign, which generates repeat business via the popular spend more, save more rewards model. As an added bonus, restaurateurs receive analytics data to determine the effectiveness of the service for their business.

LevelUp is currently limiting its network base to the foodservice industry. The service is ideal for small restaurants looking to grow their business through inexpensive easy-to-manage loyalty programs. The platform allows for a 0% payment processing rate; instead nominal fees are accrued for successful customer transactions resulting from either campaign.

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