POS System Buyers Guide

POS System Buyers Guide | The Things to know and Questions to Ask

By | Restaurant Industry | No Comments

Hi There!

It’s Aloha Dave, I know that shopping for a new restaurant POS system can be challenging. There’s a million competitors with a million different options (yet all generally do the same thing.) To help you out with your decision making I’ve put together a 9.5 item list that will help guide you through the process. This list is based on the questions that I’ve been getting from prospective customers over the last 20 years of selling POS systems.

If you have any questions about restaurant POS systems or just want to have a casual conversation please contact me anytime HERE or go ahead and download my POS System Buyers Guide at the Link below.

DOWNLOAD BUYERS GUIDE

 

More Info about the Aloha POS System

Customers experience a difference in their approach because support is local. Aloha has teams on the ground throughout all of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Their office, helpdesk, and field service teams are based in Voorhees, New Jersey.

They’re here to stay. While competitors are opening and closing their doors every day, and some being acquired by larger corporations NCR has been in business for over 130 years. Customers have peace of mind knowing NCR Aloha is here to stay. The local NCR Aloha team is the regional POS leader that has served restaurants throughout the area since 1990.

With a new focus on mobile engagement, NCR Aloha allows you to connect with your customers like never before.

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NFL Draft 2017 in Philly…Eat, Drink, Football!

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The NFL Draft 2017 is here!

Here’s a guide to road closures, Food you’ll be eating at the draft, Draft Deals & more courtesy of Philly.com, PhillyMag/FooBooz & our friends over at Wooderice!

Click here for Road Closures & Parking from Philly.com

If you want to avoid the Draft but still want to do something cool…Click here for suggestions from Philly.com

Click here for Draft Deals from Philly.com!  Shout-out to AHS Clients….McGillin’s Olde Ale House  & Taproom on 19th 

Wanna know what else you should be doing & what else to see while your here in Philly? Click here to see what Philly.com suggests! 

Here’s what you can expect to be eating while on the parkway at the Draft…Vendor list from PhillyMag/FooBooz! Check out AHS Clients Nick’s Roast Beef & Village Whiskey!

And finally….CLICK HERE for the Ultimate guide to all the FREE Activities to try out while your hanging out at the Draft on the Parkway from our friends at Wooderice!

Want to become part of the AHS family? Click Here for a Free Consultation

Loyalty Program through POS System

Loyalty and Gift Cards: A Sweet Package Deal

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Loyalty and Gift Cards

New customers and a steady stream of regulars…you want them both. With customizable reward and gift card programs, our solution helps you quickly design, rollout and manage marketing services that attract new customers and keep your regulars coming back. With NCR’s loyalty and stored value, you can

  • Easily manage distribution and redemption of gift and loyalty cards across multiple locations
  • Enable your customers to manage their loyalty programs and reload gift cards online
  • Apply real-time promotions on the POS automatically when a reward is earned
  • Leverage our customer feedback functionality with your loyalty program to easily gain feedback from your regulars
  • Track your guests’ purchase history, preferences and number of visits
Insight NCR Aloha

Insight: Your Operations Have Never Looked Better

By | Restaurant Industry, Technology | No Comments

Increase the visibility and control of your operations – anywhere, anytime

Restaurant operators need centralised hosted applications to efficiently analyse operational data and automatically alert management to issues that require attention. Aloha Insight is a web-based application that collects sales and employee data at the restaurant and makes it available via the Intranet and through distributed reports. This powerful tool provides critical capabilities to your business such as drilldown viewer options for fast, high-level to granular examination of data, real-time reporting and data replication for local data warehousing and exports to accounting, payroll and HR systems.

• Grow revenue

Measure operational performance accurately to make smart business decisions quickly.

• Increase visibility and control

Manage real-time critical data across all sites and implement new database changes in a single site or multiple sites.

• Reduce operational costs

Measure, control and reduce food costs by highlighting variances and forecast labour scheduling to maximise employee productivity.

• Improve customer service

Spend less time on administration and more time serving customers and improving employee satisfaction.

• Customise your data

Consolidate and customise multi-store reporting with extensive drill-down analysis by site, region or concept.

Key Features

• Off-site data backup and storage services with annual updates

• Robust alerts that highlight unexpected issues and provide guidance for a resolution

• Audit exception reporting capabilities – find potential issues by comparing in-store employee activity to their peers

• Easy-to-use wizard-based Reports Builder to create and customise your own reports

• Use standard built-in calculations to create custom data elements for reports and alerts

• Schedule reports and alerts to be emailed on a periodic basis

• Integrates to many well known accounting packages such as QuickBooks, Great Plains, Lawson, MAS 90/200, Solomon, ACCPAC and others

• Integrates to many payroll packages including Automatic Data Processing (ADP, Millennium and others)

NCR Aloha Command Center

Aloha NCR Command Center: An IT Operations Tool

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Manage multi-site IT operations from a single screen

NCR Aloha Command Center is a remote monitoring and diagnostic tool that provides you with unprecedented control over IT operations. Use Aloha Command Center to acquire real-time updates on the status of hardware and software at all of your restaurant locations. This powerful hosted application enables you to troubleshoot and solve issues rapidly, before they impact site operations and the customer experience.
Benefits include:

Instant visibility into system performance

Use Aloha Command Center to monitor all site systems in real-time. Receive automated alerts when issues do occur, enabling you to take immediate action.

Rapid resolution of technology issues

Aloha Command Center provides powerful support features, allowing remote technology teams to diagnose and solve problems without taking over site servers and terminals. As a result, your restaurant staff can continue providing exceptional, uninterrupted service to your customers.

Protection of confidential data

Guest and system data are protected with leading security protocols.Maintain your brand reputation by safeguarding confidential datafrom unauthorized access and exposure.

System design strengthens security

Aloha Command Center protects your technology operations with multi-factor user authentication, security alerts and audits,and encrypted, outbound-only communications. In addition,automatic security updates ensure that your systems are always protected against the latest threats.

Strengthened user accountability

Aloha Command Center provides leading identity and access management, with RSA SecurID devices that identify users and provide a one-time logon code; individual accounts, which tailor system and data access to user roles; and audit reports, which
identify any actions taken by individual users.

Ongoing updates enhance functionality

Aloha Command Center updates security and functionality automatically, synchronizing changes at each site. Ongoing updates give you access to the latest features and reduce the strain on technology staff.

Rapid ROI from hosted support

You’ll reap a high ROI from Aloha Command Center by minimizing technology issues, preventing operational disruptions, and thwarting security breaches, which can result in costly reputational damage and high fines.

Key Features

  • Hosted application with real-time monitoring of remote, multi-site server and terminal operations
  • Security protocols include multi-factor user authentication (using RSA SecurID devices), centralized user management, security alerts
    and audits, and outbound, encrypted communications
  • Audit reports detail all actions taken at a site
    and which user initiated them
  • Grant users only the access they require to perform their jobs and remove former users instantly to maintain system security
  • Automatic security and feature updates keep system functioning at an optimum level
  • Can be configured for firewall-friendly ports

Mobile guest engagement isn’t coming. It’s here.

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Mobile guest engagement is now expected by your customers, especially where convenience and unified brand experiences are paramount. Previously we discussed how mobile guest engagement drives interactions, convenience, sales and repeat business to your restaurant. Now, let’s turn our attention to how enabling consumer mobile engagement capabilities – whether they be loyalty, ordering, payment or some combination of the three – empowers you to be more competitive, and thus more successful, in an increasingly changing world.

So what’s changed? What’s different today, and how does it impact you and your restaurant operations? First, it’s important to recognize that three trends are shifting consumer expectations and the ways restaurants serve their guests (you’ve probably experienced at least one of the following as a consumer yourself):

  • Digital commerce is rising: People are becoming more and more accustomed to ordering and paying for goods and services online – especially from their mobile device. Why? Because it’s easy. Consumers have learned that the old ways of commerce aren’t always the best ways; instead of facing the long lines or limited options found in brick and mortar locations, digital has literally put the power of the transaction in the hands of the consumer.
  • Mobile engagement is growing: As discussed in our previous blog post, consumers today are increasingly drawn to brands that interact with them, offer a personalized experience (i.e., “know them”), and reward them for their loyalty “automatically” as part of their experience in visiting the restaurant. Leading brands have recognized this and are finding creative ways to engage with their customers in even more personal ways – through their mobile devices.
  • Consumer behaviors are changing: You see it every day in your restaurant; consumers can’t keep from interacting with their phones. Why? Because we live in a connected society, bringing higher expectations of near-instant gratification. These higher expectations and desires for connectivity are extending to your customers’ relationships with your brand. Your guests don’t want to wait in line, they expect more for their business, and they want to be rewarded for their loyalty.

As the above trends are converging, the expectations by consumers for restaurants to address these trends are growing. In short, guests expect to be able to interact whenever and wherever they want with the brands that they love. As stated on Forbes.com, “Customers are in the driver’s seat now and many businesses that don’t have the technology and systems in place to support an omni-channel customer experience will be forced to take the backseat.” So know that mobile guest engagement is fast changing from a “nice-to-have” to a “must have” for your business.

But also know that investing in mobile capabilities will have a positive impact on your bottom line – as long as the experience you offer is seamless. According to a study by Rosetta, engaged customers buy 90% more frequently, spend 60% more per transaction and deliver three times the value to the brand over the course of a year. You can find this in the implementation of specific capabilities in your restaurant as well. For example, a report released by NRA/LevelUp last year stated that consumers who have placed an order online visit the restaurant 67% more frequently than customers who haven’t. The experience you provide is key, however; according to Performance Improvement Partners, 89% of consumers will go elsewhere if their first e-commerce purchasing experience with a brand isn’t up to standard.

So what is the takeaway for you? Know that the lines between online and offline experiences are becoming blurred. Get ready now to meet the expectations of the omni-channel consumer. Remember though, these are not expectations about a specific product or app. The expectation of the omni-channel consumer might best be described as expectations around the experience. Experiences are personal and therefore your approach in meeting expectations needs to take that into consideration. Implementing a mobile strategy to address these expectations is key to keeping your restaurant competitive in the future.

Next up: So why aren’t more restaurants embracing mobile technology? Next time we’ll explore the reasons why brands may not be going mobile, and debunk some “mobile myths” along the way.

Click Here to inquire about one of out products

Originally posted by the NCR blog

3 Restaurant Tech Trends for 2016

By | Restaurant Industry, Technology | No Comments

A lot happened in the restaurant industry in 2015: an increased use of mobile apps for consumer ordering and loyalty programs, the EMV liability shift, and more! Perhaps most of all, we saw a continued shift in how restaurants view and use technology to power every aspect of their businesses.

This next year will surely not be without its own set of challenges. So what can you expect in 2016? More excitement about secure payment processing, mobile commerce, labor optimization, and omnichannel engagement. For now we’ll take a look at just a few things that are on the table from a technology standpoint in 2016.

Payments

Now that the October 1, 2015 EMV liability shift has passed, much of the media hype has calmed down. But the responsibility of preventing counterfeit or stolen card use is here to stay. It may take a few years, but eventually your customers will expect you to process EMV-enabled payment cards. Be sure to consider your customer’s experience in any payment process change.

A closer and more present danger is data security. Despite the EMV liability shift, payment-related breaches will continue in 2016. While large-chain cyber attacks will continue to dominate the headlines, breaches to small businesses will cause the most damage, according to an industry forecast by Experian. Every business should have security measures in place to protect their own payment networks as well as to protect their customers’ card data.

With these disruptions occurring in consumer credit cards, mobile wallets are emerging as a viable, and secure, alternative for payments. One challenge with mobile wallets, however, is consumer and merchant adoption. Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay have had a difficult time changing customer behavior and driving demand. In 2016, payment platforms will continue to battle to gain customers and usage – so what should you do?

Get to know your customers. Find out which mobile offering will reduce hassles and add value to them. Invest in a payment platform that allows you to respond to customer demand now, and in the next three years.

In upcoming blog posts we will discuss more payments and security issues. In the meantime please read our 2015 Blog series on debunking EMV myths.

Mobile Consumer Engagement

Mobile commerce transactions are expected to top $142 billion in 2016, according to a report from Forrester Research. In fact, recent data suggests that those consumers who place orders online are also more loyal to the brand. According to a NRA/LevelUp whitepaper, consumers who have placed an order online visit the restaurant 67% more frequently than those who haven’t. Mobile ordering also has a direct impact to the restaurant’s bottom line. Taco Bell’s app orders are 20% higher on average compared to in-store because consumers are more likely to add toppings to their orders or send in group orders via the app.

But don’t think that just creating an app is the automatic answer to higher customer engagement. The goal is a familiar and frictionless experience on any device. You still need to provide value for your customer by making it easy to sign in, place orders, and add or redeem loyalty points. If you don’t make the experience an easy and memorable one for your consumers, they may not use the app again.

While a mobile engagement strategy offers a substantial opportunity to drive sales, it also comes with risks. If not thoroughly planned for in advance, a successful online ordering program could have a substantial impact on the dynamics of a brick-and-mortar restaurant’s operations. For example, order flows that are not properly managed could create an unpleasant in-store experience and actually hurt sales. System integration is the key to delivering a seamless experience that doesn’t impact your employees’ productivity. Also, if you are considering developing a mobile app for your brand, it’s critical to make sure that you develop and execute staff training as part of your strategy. Your guests shouldn’t be the ones to train your staff on new technology.

Employee productivity

The challenge of any operator continues to be managing their cost of labor. Fortunately, consumer-focused technology advances also have a direct and positive impact on employee productivity. For example, one of the benefits of consumer self-ordering, whether by kiosk or by mobile device, is the ability to optimize labor costs; by streamlining the ordering process, more focus can be given to kitchen production or serving guests. Giving your customers the power to choose how they interact with you also gives your team more flexibility to increase their face time with guests.

Evaluating employee productivity is easier with access to real-time data. It is certainly more effective to review speed of service and table turns after each shift, rather than the next day. You can also let employees know how close they are to reaching an incentive goal. Servers will work harder to increase the number of desserts sold on Saturday night if they know they are close to achieving success.

At NCR we nerd-out ordering our favorite food on the latest mobile apps that we’ve helped our customers build. If you don’t have a dedicated IT department (or even if you do), we can help you build a customer engagement strategy. Most importantly, we can help you future-proof your operations so that your technology investment will continue to grow with you.

So what other technology trends could impact operators in 2016, and beyond? In future posts we will look at: more integrated payments and security options, delivering an omnichannel experience, getting more personal with your guests through technology, and how the Internet of things will affect your business.

Click Here to inquire about one of out products

Originally posted by the NCR blog

Consumer Mobile Apps: Too Many Customers in the Kitchen

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The heart and soul of any restaurant starts in the kitchen. That is why it’s important to have a robust omnichannel strategy that can enable customers to place orders at any time, from a device they choose. As more consumers adopt these newer, mobile commerce channels, there are operational considerations – including an impact to kitchen operations. In a world before mobile ‘order ahead’ options, the flow of consumer orders to the kitchen at any point in time was in many ways throttled by the number of cashiers and/or drive-thru lanes. When guests can act as their own cashier, future orders queue up ahead of the customer arrival.

As more business shifts to ‘order ahead’, your kitchen production system becomes an integral part of your overall operations strategy. If you are thinking about implementing multi-channel ordering, or already have, you have to ask yourself what kitchen system(s) are you using today? Does it have the capabilities you need to manage orders that come from anywhere at any time? Do you have a good, seamless technology foundation that can connect your kitchen production to your guest, setting their expectations based on the volume of orders in your kitchen? Do you know when the peak hours are for multi-channel orders?

The explosion in the industry across new channels and devices will only continue. Smart, savvy operators will continuously improve and seek technology to meet the needs of the digital consumer and the digital employee.

In what ways is your business leveraging mobile technology? How do you think this will change operations?

CLICK HERE TO INQUIRE about adding this service to your business

Originally posted by the NCR Blog

City Winery increases speed of service using NCR Mobile Pay

By | Featured Product, Restaurant Industry | No Comments

winejpg

With smartphone use on the rise, restaurant patrons are using their phones more and more to search for locations, find menus and pay their bills. The sheer volume of new online devices and digital consumer channels is pushing restaurants to rethink how they connect with and engage their customers. And that’s just what City Winery did. City Winery is a unique facility that combines a fully functioning winery and concert space into one distinct concept, catering to wine and music enthusiasts. The concept presents some unique challenges centered on efficiency within their operations. Concert goers are served in a small window of time before a show and a high volume of credit cards are processed at the close of a concert. City Winery was looking for an easy way to enable customers to purchase and pay much faster.

As a result, City Winery implemented NCR Mobile Pay with PayPal integration. NCR Mobile Pay transforms the guest experience, allowing guests to pay on demand via their mobile device. NCR Mobile Pay also gives guests the choice to use their existing PayPal account to complete the payment, in addition to a credit or debit card. In an environment where guests want to avoid interrupting their experience during a concert, NCR Mobile Pay offers an alternative to reach staff instantly without leaving the concert floor. Before the show starts, guests can use the Order Another option to get another glass of wine. When the show is coming to an end, guests can pay and tip at any time without having to wait for a server to bring the check. They can also immediately give feedback on their experience at City Winery.

After implementing NCR Mobile Pay, City Winery has seen an increase in its speed of service during the restaurant’s busiest times. In addition, check averages have increased and average tips have increased from 18.6 percent to 19.4 percent.

Management, staff and the guests all benefit from the Mobile Pay solution. Scott Dannenbring, who manages City Winery New York, says he appreciates the customer feedback he can receive from the solution and his servers appreciate the freedom to deliver a great guest experience. His customers are happy with its ease of use and the ability to browse their bill and pay directly from their smartphone.

Watch this video to hear more from Scott on how Mobile Pay has helped make the City Winery guest experience exceptional.

Embrace Mobile Engagement to show you care!

By | Featured Product, Restaurant Industry, Technology | No Comments

Aloha Mobile 2 Blog Post

 

The way to someone’s heart is no longer through their stomach; it is through their smartphone. Mobile engagement provides a huge opportunity to inspire devotion from your guests, but you must do it on their terms. How do you show thousands of people that you care? You do it by providing benefits to them in mobile moments.

Focus on your customer’s experience to turn a mobile moment into a mobile opportunity with content that is personal and immediate. How personal and immediate?

Here are three examples that I experienced myself over the past few days:

  • This morning on my way to work I stopped to get my daily large coffee. Instead of paying for it, however, I opened up the restaurant’s app on my phone, the cashier scanned a barcode I presented and I was able to redeem an award that I had earned for a free coffee. Having that free cup of joe was an awesome way to start the day.
  • For lunch yesterday, I placed an order on my favorite fast food brand’s mobile app before I left the office. Why? Well, for starters, it let me bypass the really long drive thru line entirely when I got there. Even better, once I arrived, I “checked in” to let the restaurant know I was there; my food was delivered right to my car in just a few short minutes. It was quick and easy – and allowed me to be able to enjoy some great food in the spare minutes I had before my next meeting.
  • A few evenings ago after I left work, my local doughnut shop sent a push notification through its mobile app letting me know that a fresh batch of doughnuts was coming out of the oven at that very moment – hot and fresh like I like them. Needless to say, I took a detour for a dozen and wasn’t quite hungry for dinner when I got home. (I was nice enough to share the box of doughnuts with my wife and kids, however!)

Examining the above in its proper context, you can see that that these experiences were not novelty one-offs; rather, these experiences were created as a result of a comprehensive strategy by each restaurant brand to incorporate a mobile experience to engage their guests.

The explosive growth of smartphone and mobile technology has helped fuel interest in complete solutions for restaurants in order to drive greater guest engagement – and thus greater recurring business. How does mobile guest engagement accomplish this?

  • Mobile guest engagement drives interactions: Mobile applications allow you to create interactions that couldn’t even exist before. With messaging capabilities such as push notifications or even SMS messaging, brands can reach guests in a manner that’s both personal and timely.
  • Mobile guest engagement drives convenience: Mobile technology affords the ability for guests to order and pick-up their food at a time that is the most convenient for them. We all appreciate being able to confirm that the order is placed correctly, but also bypassing any waits or lines is a definite win.
  • Mobile guest engagement drives sales: Want to run a quick promotion to drive some additional business? Brands can now reach customers directly on the device that is most personal to them, and can influence sales on a much quicker basis than had been able previously.
  • Mobile guest engagement drives repeat business: A loyalty program that gives guests an easy way to earn, view, and redeem rewards will work wonders for both the brand and its customers. The more easily that guests can interact, the more easily they’ll want to continue to earn their way towards a free desert or drink.

So what all does this mean? It’s amazing how far technology has allowed us to come in just the past few years. Many restaurant brands are noticing this trend too. In the future, as the experiences I shared become less of a novelty and more of an expectation in an increasingly-mobile omni-channel world, restaurants will need to embrace mobile technology – not only in order to keep their own guests engaged, but also to effectively compete against other concepts and brands.

CLICK HERE TO INQUIRE ABOUT MOBILE GUEST ENGAGEMENT! 

Original Blog written by Andy Sirmon for NCR.com