By Andre Nataf, Senior Vice President of Heartland Point of Sale
When choosing a cloud-based point of sale, it’s important to know that not all are created equal.
Maybe you currently have an on-premise restaurant POS and want to make the move to cloud. Or maybe you’re already using a restaurant cloud POS, but it’s not delivering what you were promised. Don’t make the wrong purchasing decision because someone calls you nonstop to tell you “they know what you need because they come from the restaurant industry."
Here are six things to look for in a cloud-based POS that will help prevent buyer’s remorse.
1. Know the true cost of what you’re buying
With a cloud-based POS system, you pay a monthly subscription. This software as a service (SaaS) model lowers acquisition cost by not requiring you to make an expensive, upfront hardware purchase. Software should be automatically updated at no additional charge. However, the monthly fee isn’t the only thing to keep in mind. Know exactly which features are included in the package you’re signing up for. You might find that a feature you thought would come standard is a pricey add-on or only available on a premium plan. Also, be wary of companies offering lower rates if you commit to a year or more. If you are unhappy with the POS solution, breaking the contract can come with steep fees. For example, breaking a contract might still commit you to paying the full fees of every transaction you would have made if you were still using the POS.
2. A cloud POS should integrate with multiple processors
In addition to the monthly subscription, know how much you’re going to be spending on processing fees. Your cloud POS should support independent credit authorization. This gives you the option of choosing a payment processor that is competitively priced and transparent. Beware of POS systems that come with a mandatory payment processor. They often charge more for flat rate processing and hide fees in merchant statements. You can save money per transaction by choosing a processor that offers you interchange-plus pricing.
3. One size doesn’t fit all ― it only fits the seller’s business model
Every restaurant is different, and therefore has specific and unique needs. Do you need a solution that supports table service, quick service or bar? Do you want to boost revenue through online ordering? Do you want to improve guest interaction? Do you want to cut costs? Is the wait at your restaurant so long that guests leave to eat next door? It might seem like a no brainer, but make sure you know what business issues you want to solve and what business opportunities you want to pursue. Compare these to the features a cloud POS offers to ensure it checks all your boxes. Ask for an in person, physical demo. Additionally, inquire if the cloud POS uses open application programming interfaces (APIs) so you can seamlessly integrate with complementary third-party software apps. Do your due diligence on solutions claiming to be “one size fits all.” The diverse nature and demands of your restaurant will likely be better served by a tailored cloud POS solution that can both meet your every need and flexibly scale.
4. You can never have too much security
A cloud POS is more secure than an on-premise POS as long as it provides end-to-end data encryption, tokenization and EMV authentication. This significantly reduces your risk of fraud and chargebacks, and your customers won’t have to worry about stolen card information. Also consider using a processor that offers the added benefit of a breach warranty to further protect your business. Security is not an area you can afford to skimp on.
5. Don’t shut down because the Internet goes down
Choose a cloud POS that continues to work offline when the Internet goes down. This ensures you can still do essential functions such as taking orders and processing payments. Orders and credit card information is simply queued until your connection is restored, allowing your business to operate as normal during an outage. This requires a fully redundant solution that is built on apps running on local devices that back up data to one another regardless of Internet availability.
6. Customer service shouldn’t keep you waiting
Investing in a new cloud POS is a big undertaking. Remember you’re not just choosing a POS you are also choosing a POS provider. Practically every company boasts about its customer service. But while many companies claim 24/7 service, it often comes at an added price, or simply means you can email support and get put in a queue. Check and see if the company’s live chat service actually sets you up with a local representative. Partner with a local dealer that has a proven track record of providing POS solutions to the restaurant industry – one that is responsive, reliable and provides high touch training and support long after your purchase. A dealer living in your community is far more valuable than a remote help desk. A dealer will configure and install your cloud POS and be your support, consultant and advocate for life.
If you’ve investing in the right cloud POS system, all of these capabilities, and more, should be at your fingertips. Your POS should do everything from processing transactions and tracking customers’ purchasing habits to managing digital signage content. It should provide access to real-time analytics on a smartphone, and track sales performance, employee time and attendance and inventory so you to make smarter, data-driven decisions.
The fact that not all cloud-based POS systems offer these things is a reminder that it is your responsibility to thoroughly do your due diligence: talk with local dealers, get in person demonstrations, read reviews and look at cloud POS ratings.
The U.S. Department of Labor released the final version of its overtime exemption rule today (Sept. 24). It sets the annual salary threshold workers need to exceed to qualify for the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FSLA) "white collar" exemptions at $35,000. The rule will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020.
Scheduled to be published Sept. 25 in the Federal Register, the final rule updates the FLSA’s overtime exemptions for Executive, Administrative and Professional (EAP) workers and replaces a currently enjoined rules that was finalized by the Dept. of Labor in 2016.
Similarly to the version proposed in early 2019, the final rule raises the salary threshold to qualify for one of the EAP exemptions to $35,568 per year or $684 per week — up from the current $23,660 annual salary. The current threshold was last updated by the George W. Bush administration in 2004 and is nearly $12,000 lower than the Obama administration's proposed $47,476 cutoff.
The new thresholds account for growth in employee earnings since the currently enforced thresholds were set in 2004. In the final rule, the DOL is:
A 2016 final rule to change the overtime thresholds was enjoined by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on November 22, 2016, and was subsequently invalidated by that court. As of November 6, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has held the appeal in abeyance pending further rulemaking regarding a revised salary threshold. As the 2016 final rule was invalidated, the DOL has consistently enforced the 2004 level throughout the last 15 years.
More information about the final rule is available here. If you have questions and would like to confer with the LRA General Counsel for Labor & Employment Fisher Phillips, please contact the LRA Communications Dept. at 504-454-2277.
The Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) is pleased to name three new Restaurant Legends and one state National Restaurant Association Restaurant Neighbor Award winner in the Acadiana Chapter. Tom Yongue of Freshko Foodservice in Lake Charles and Terry and Carnel Harrison of Café Bella in Lafayette were recognized as LRA Restaurant Legends, and Leonard Louvierre of Zea’s Rotisserie and Grill was recognized as the LRA State Award winner of the Restaurant Neighbor Award. These recipients were honored at the LRA Acadiana Chapter Dinner and Awards Presentation at City Club at River Ranch on September 16, 2019.
The Restaurant Legends Award recognizes the long-term dedication of employees of the restaurant industry, with 20 or more years of service at an establishment. With over 76 years of combined service, these three Restaurant Legends exemplify what it means to have a rewarding career in our industry.
Tom Yongue has been employed with Freshko Outside Sales since 1995. He is described by his supervisors as a loyal and dedicated employee since day one.
Terry Harrison and Carnel Harrison have been with Café Bella since 1993. Both Terry and Carnel are described as stellar employees with fantastic worth ethics and attitudes. Terry is the Head Chef at Café Bella and Carnel is the Sous Chef.
“It’s individuals like Tom, Terry and Carnel that are the heart of this industry,” said Stan Harris, LRA President and CEO. “They don’t just do their jobs masterfully; they inspire those around them to be the best they can be. That’s what makes a true restaurant legend.”
Yongue, Terry and Carnel Harrison join more than 260 individuals in our state recognized by the LRA through its Restaurant Legends program. Collectively, these industry professionals have more than 5,000 years of service to Louisiana restaurants and suppliers.
The Restaurant Neighbor Award honors restaurateurs for outstanding community service and involvement and highlights the positive contributions restaurateurs make in their local communities. This year’s state winner is Leonard Louvierre, Partner and General Manage of Zea Rotisserie and Grill, Lafayette.
Louvierre is known by his peers as a kind, compassionate and charitable man that is committed to serving his community. As a cancer survivor himself, Louvierre has been a board member on the Dance to a Cure Cancer event, won the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man of the Year, and holds a Crawfish Boil for Hospice of Acadiana annually. He also serves as a Team Leader at KAIROS Prison Ministry at Angola, the largest maximum-security prison in the United States.
“I’ve known and worked with him for 17 years and I continue to be impressed with his commitment to serving his community,” said Greg Reggio of Taste Buds Management, which operates Zea and Semonlina Restaurants, as he presented the award to Louvierre. “Leonard’s faith is the centerpiece of his life and work. He’s willing to put himself in situations with people are at their most vulnerable and provide guidance and more importantly, hope.”
Hungry partygoers to decide who wears the Chowdown Crown: LRA Northshore Chapter hosts its “Northshore Chowdown: Taco Takeover”
The Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) Northshore Chapter is excited to present the second annual event, “Northshore Chowdown: Taco Takeover,” which will be held Thursday, September 19, 2019 at Benedict’s Plantation, 1144 N. Causeway Blvd. in Mandeville from 6-9 p.m.
Northshore Chowdown, which is featuring a taco battle between the participating chefs, will feature LRA member restaurants’ taco-inspired dishes, margaritas, raffles and more. The public is invited to taste their way through the evening and vote on their favorite to receive the Chowdown Crown.
“Last year’s event was such a success, we have decided to host the second-annual Taco Takeover event for the Northshore Chapter at the beautiful Benedict’s Plantation in Mandeville,” said LRA Northshore Chapter President Jake Palmer. “We hope you can join us on September 19 for an evening of delicious tacos, cold margaritas, and a little friendly competition!”
A few of the competing restaurants are: The Shack, Benedict’s Plantation, Acme Oyster House, Old Rail Brewing Company, Half Shell Oyster House, The Rusty Pelican and St. Ann Wine Bar.
A portion of the proceeds from Northshore Chowdown: Taco Takeover will benefit the Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation (LRAEF). The LRAEF, in turn, will use monies raised to further promote the restaurant industry as a career choice through its restaurant management and culinary arts program, ProStart®, offered at seven Northshore Louisiana schools.
Thank you to our sponsors for the event: Acme Oyster House, Community Coffee, LRA SIF, MMI Culinary, New Orleans Fish House, Piggly Wiggly/Mizer’s, PJ’s Coffee, Sauza Tequila, Tito’s Vodka, Toast Inc., and Trinchero Family Estates.
Tickets are available at $35 per person. To purchase tickets, visit www.LRA.org (Upcoming Events). Admission price includes food tastings, two margaritas and two voting tickets.
NOTE: This event is open to the public, for ages 21 and up.
For more information about the event or sponsorships, contact LRA Chapter Member Services Coordinator Ellyn Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or (504) 303-4660.
Help us celebrate National Food Safety Month in September by connecting your members to these great resources: In our ongoing commitment to food safety, ServSafe is proud to announce this year’s National Food Safety Month (NFSM) theme, “Controlling Risk: The Elements of a Food Safety Management System.” We hope your association will celebrate with us throughout September by passing these resources along to your members, as we explore how managers and employees can work together to develop and implement strong Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS) at their operation.
Having a solid FSMS in place can provide a framework for an operation’s entire team to know and implement practices that keep guests, employees, and the business safe. While management designs and implements the FSMS, employees must understand and carry out its policies and procedures. Their role is key to making sure the FSMS works the way it should.
We’ve provided weekly activity sheets, posters, and infographics on www.foodsafetyfocus.com for you to pass along to your members for them to share with their employees. They can also be found in the NFSM section of Brandfolder as well. These assets are designed to help managers and employees work together to ensure food safety throughout their operation. Weekly themes are:
• Week 1 (9/3): Understand the Process
• Week 2 (9/9): Provide Input
• Week 3 (9/16): Refine the Process
• Week 4 (9/23): Maintain Your Commitment
This year’s NFSM sponsor is Tork, an Essity brand. The Tork brand offers professional hygiene products and services to customers ranging from restaurants and healthcare facilities to offices, schools and industries.
We encourage your association and your members to join the conversation on Twitter (@ServSafe) and Facebook (@NationalRestaurantAssociationServSafe) using #NFSM2019 #FoodSafetyMonth #FoodSafetyFocus. Questions? Contact Robin Boyce at (312) 627-2432.