Restaurant Industry

Ransomware Attacks Targeting Hospitality Industry

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The recent upsurge in ransomware attacks – 6,000% increase since 2016 – could be a wakeup call for all businesses, especially the hospitality industry that is increasingly becoming a target for malicious attacks. Cybercriminals have devised numerous deceptive methods to infiltrate computer systems, encrypt data and demand ransom to release the files.

Ransomware attacks cause major disruption to the operation of a business and result in over 70% of victims paying the ransom. For those who have chosen to pay, 50% paid more than $10K and 20% paid more than $40K to avoid losing significant down-time for their business. These costly payoffs can be particularly burdensome for a small business.

In a cybersecurity study of small and medium-sized businesses with less than 1,000 employees, nearly half of these businesses have been the victim of cyberattacks. Fortunately, there are preventive measures you can take to help avoid falling prey to attacks like the recent WannaCry ransomware.

You and your employees are the first line of defense! Help protect your business from intrusion by cyber criminals by following the steps outlined below in the A.I.M. (Assess, Implement, and Maintain) approach.

A.I.M. to Safeguard Your Business from Ransomware Attacks

Assess – Examine your system end-to-end to understand where your business may be vulnerable to cyberattacks

  • Perform an assessment of your security protocols to look for potential vulnerabilities in your entire existing network, which extends beyond just securing payment transactions
  • Determine if you need to add a supplemental security solution to help ensure you are always covered with the most current protection against malware
  • Identify who has access to your systems and data, and apply the appropriate restrictions

Implement – Create a plan to improve security that includes staff accountability for safeguarding your company’s systems

  • Leverage a trusted managed service provider to install a commercial grade security solution that provides maximum protection of your systems
  • Establish policies that clearly define security protocols for your staff to follow, such as securing unattended computers and regularly updating passwords
  • Train employees on protecting company data as well as your customers’ Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

Maintain – Ensure your business remains focused on security as an integral part of your operation with regular review and updating as needed

  • Build a cybersecurity culture and maintain focus by reviewing security protection on an ongoing basis
  • Ensure systems are up-to-date with the latest security patches
  • Control what applications can be installed on your systems
  • Continue educating employees on potential intrusion points where malware can be installed e.g., links in email, social media posts and online sites

NCR Aloha can help you mitigate security risks for your business. To get started on a plan for boosting security for your enterprise and preventing cyberattacks, please contact your NCR representative or contact us by clicking HERE!

Original Article written by: Dustin McCreight for


Food on demand: How app marketplaces are ushering in a new era of convenience for customer

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Aloha Dave Kasinetz General

Dear Aloha Dave, Tableside Ordering Explained

By | Dear Aloha Dave, Restaurant Industry | No Comments

Is Mobile Device Ordering for me?

DEAR ALOHA DAVE: I’m starting to see mobile devices for tableside ordering at a few restaurants in my neighborhood. It’s a big change from how we currently operate and I’m wondering if this will work for my restaurant? —– Pondering in Pennsport.

DEAR Pondering: Mobile Ordering is a reality at many restaurants in the region. My team at Advanced Hospitality Systems has installed several sites with mobile ordering solutions. In addition to Tableside ordering at full service restaurants, we have also deployed self-order kiosk stations and line busting tablets for Quick Service restaurants. Mobile ordering devices can improve table turn, raise transactions per hour and increase the average check.

Keep in mind that mobile ordering is only as good as your server. The server must have the ability to make eye contact with the customer when entering the order to ensure the high degree of personalized service your customers expect. Smaller menus are more conducive to tablet ordering than larger menus with many modifiers and choices.

Mobile Ordering is also dependent on the stability and band-with of your Wi-Fi. In my travels around the city I’ve come across “other” POS Systems that are all Tablet Based and when the Wi-Fi goes down, it brings the entire operation down with it. Many have a temporary offline mode but it’s still very ugly. We have replaced many of these POS systems. At NCR Aloha and AHS we feel the best solution for Mobile Ordering is a combination of traditional hard-wired terminals mixed in with tablets. With this configuration, your traditional POS terminals will continue to function so your restaurant can function normally if the Wi-Fi goes down.

For more information checkout our mobile options at – or reach out directly to me.

Have your Industry related issue answered by Aloha Dave, send an email to

Read More About Aloha Dave HERE

When a Cloud based POS system goes offline.

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Cloud based POS vs Traditional?

Both types of systems have their advantages. Cloud based systems are less expensive and sometimes are a good solution for restaurants with small menus with little complexity. Cloud based tablet systems generally are new to the market with limited feature sets and can only function for a short period of time when your Wi-Fi goes down.  Running the system in offline mode, without Wi-Fi can hinder your ability to accept credit cards.

Traditional, Store Based POS Systems like NCR Aloha host the data at the restaurant rather than in the cloud. Store based POS costs a bit more, but they are much more reliable than cloud based systems and have a deeper feature set. Most store based systems like NCR Aloha can operate seamlessly without Wi-Fi or Internet and to reduce costs they are available in a monthly software as service model.

Read below for a great example of what happens when a cloud based POS system goes offline.

Square Outage Forces Restaurants to Turn Customers Away

A lesson in why tech-savvy restaurants need old-fashioned backup plans

Square contacted Eater to confirm that the company first posted an official response 19 minutes after the outage began, not an hour, as previously reported.

Nate Snell, owner of Pip’s Original Doughnuts and Chai in Portland, was inventory shopping Thursday morning when he got a strange text from one of his employees. The system on which the store’s entire checkout process was based had logged the workers out of the backend and would not reconnect. Staff could not process any payments. On a typical day, the line at Pip’s — which sells miniature doughnuts, fried to order, and a variety of chai teas — is out the door. But the ordering and checkout flow was interrupted by the system at the center of the entire process — Square, the mobile credit card scanner and point of sale software, which functions as a business’s de facto cash register.

A Square service outage yesterday lasting roughly two hours forced restaurants, coffee shops, and food carts around the country to turn away customers and lose sales, bringing into question whether relying solely on new technology and software to make business transactions is a good idea.

At Pip’s, where Square handles everything from credit card transactions to printing receipts, Snell and employees had to quickly re-think their checkout strategy, writing and processing all orders by hand. “It was a challenge, for sure,” Snell says. “Some of the customers were pretty frustrated obviously.” Patrons who didn’t have cash were turned away with Pip’s apologies and a voucher for a free order of a dozen doughnuts. In the end, the shop lost about $900 in revenue, not including the 60-70 free vouchers, which were worth $6 a piece.

As complaints started to roll in about Square yesterday, with many business owners venting their frustrations on Twitter and Facebook. Square later posted an official response, confirming they were aware of the problem and were investigating. Fifteen minutes later, Square identified a cause — a system update.

“Today’s outage was due to a change we made to one of our back-end systems that resulted in capacity issues,” a representative told Eater in an email. But the company would not respond to requests for more details, such as how widespread the outage was or how many users were affected, only to say they were working on an analysis, which they plan to make public at an undisclosed time.

In the meantime, some users want compensation for their losses. Snell says he reached out to Square, but hadn’t gotten a response. Square did not confirm with Eater if or how patrons would be compensated.

Any benefits Square doles out to hurt patrons could potentially be costly for the business. Square boasts millions in meals sold from restaurants that use its suite of services (though it declined to disclose the exact number of its customers). That service suite includes, most notably, devices that restaurant owners can insert into smart phones, tablets, and scanners that allow them to accept credit card payments. Last year, Pip’s processed $1.3 million in payments using Square technology, Snell says. Like Pip’s, many restaurants, bars, and cafes structure their entire systems around Square products, sometimes without backups.

Matt Gingles, the owner of the Burrito Shack, a small Mexican restaurant with two locations in Kentucky, pulled out a calculator and a menu and added the afternoon’s sales and taxes for each order by hand. The outage, for him, occurred during the busiest time of the day, the lunch rush. Without Square, he was unable to track any of the transactions he lost, but estimates a $600 hit. He says customers were “irked.”

“They either paid with cash if they had it or turned around and left,” Gingles says. He added that after three and half years of using the service, this is the first incident of this caliber he’s had, and was shocked that something like this could happen at a company like Square. “You should have safeguards against things like that,” Gingles says. “Because when that happens, we lose money. We had no way to track sales and my business just kind of collapses.”

The company does offer an “offline mode,” and during the outage, Square Support suggested businesses use it. But that option was useless to people already logged out of the system.

For users who couldn’t use the offline mode to at least track sales, they had figure out another way to collect payment, or turn customers away. That was the biggest lesson learned, Snell says. He has emergency plans for greasy spills and fires, but was caught off guard by the technical glitch. “I don’t think we realized that the entire Square system nationwide would go down,” Snell says. “I immediately got on Amazon and ordered an old-fashioned [credit card] swiper.”

“It just teaches you technology doesn’t guarantee reliability. It guarantees convenience,” Snell adds. If this incident has taught restaurant owners anything about technology, it’s that they can’t depend on it too much, especially in an age where even large companies are victims of cyber attacks and hacking. “Call me a pessimist, but I think it’s realistic to assume that these kinds of issues will become more prevalent and not less,” he says.

As for how much this incident will impact his future relationship with the service, Snell says that while he is disappointed with what happened and Square’s response, he thinks the system is still the best one for his business. “But I’m going to be prepared for this next time,” he says. It will become a part of our reality and our training.”

Click here for the original Article from…

Grubhub Announces Partnership with NCR Aloha

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The days of 5 tablets behind your service area are quickly coming to a close as Grubhub announces a partnership with NCR Aloha. Restaurants that use Grubhub as an ordering channel will now be able to manage orders directly from their POS system, removing the iPad from the equation. Additionally, this solution will help restaurants make more efficient use of staff, save time on menu updates, consolidate financials, free up space on the crowded counter, and perhaps more importantly, generate more orders in their locations.
While Grubhub is the clear industry leader in online ordering, NCR will soon be partnering with other online ordering platforms. We’re happy that two industry leaders, NCR Aloha and Grubhub are blazing the trail.
To Schedule a Demo Please Contact Us Here or Call 800-950-0414
Full Press Release Below:

Industry Leaders NCR and Grubhub Streamline the Management of Delivery and Online Ordering

The integration of industry-leading NCR Aloha POS and Grubhub’s online ordering and delivery marketplace will make restaurant management easier, more efficient

DULUTH, Ga.—July 24, 2017— NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR), a global leader in omni-channel solutions, today announced an agreement with Grubhub (NYSE: GRUB), the nation’s leading takeout marketplace, for the integration of Grubhub with the NCR Aloha Platform-of-Sale (POS). Restaurants that use Grubhub as an ordering channel will be able to manage orders from the core POS platform. Additionally, this solution will help restaurants make more efficient use of staff, save time on menu updates, consolidate financials, free up space on the crowded counter, and perhaps more importantly, generate more orders in their locations.

One of the challenges restaurants have when using online food delivery services is managing the flow of orders from multiple channels. Grubhub’s integration with the Aloha POS eliminates the need to use multiple devices to take orders, significantly reducing delays or mistakes in ordering and fulfilment. This means more time for staff to focus on what matters most: creating memorable moments and serving up delicious food.

“Our collaboration with NCR is an important step forward, as we continue innovating with technology to enhance the experience of our restaurant partners,” said Stan Chia, chief operating officer at Grubhub. “We frequently hear that restaurateurs are looking to create more efficiencies in their operations. By integrating with the Aloha POS, we will help our restaurant owners who use the platform spend less time on logistics and more time pleasing their diners with great food.”

“On the Border is constantly driving innovation in the ways in which we leverage technology to improve the guest experience,” said Jeff Dinard, chief information officer, On the Border.  “This integration will not only allow us to streamline operations for our restaurant team members, but will allow us to provide our Grubhub guests a faster and simpler way to enjoy On the Border at home.”

“The growth of order aggregation and delivery has exploded over the past 18 months as the evolution of omni-channel ordering continues in the restaurant industry,” said Don Zimmerman, vice president of hospitality solutions at NCR. “Direct integration into the POS is crucial for restaurants to manage multiple ordering channels, and we’re thrilled to collaborate with industry leader Grubhub to help operators across its comprehensive restaurant network capitalize on the potential from delivery.”

Point-of-sale integration is a top request from Grubhub’s restaurant partners and by partnering with NCR, the integration will make order management easier than ever for restaurants of all sizes. For more information about Grubhub’s POS solutions go to

To find takeout restaurants available in your area, check out If you are interested in becoming part of the Grubhub Delivery team, please visit To find out how your restaurant can join Grubhub, check out  To learn more about Grubhub and its portfolio of brands, please visit

About Grubhub
Grubhub (NYSE: GRUB) is the nation’s leading online and mobile takeout food-ordering marketplace with the most comprehensive network of restaurant partners and largest active diner base. Dedicated to moving eating forward and connecting diners with the food they love from their favorite local restaurants, the company’s platforms and services strive to elevate food ordering through innovative restaurant technology, easy-to-use platforms and an improved delivery experience. Grubhub is proud to work with more than 55,000 restaurant partners in over 1,100 U.S. cities and London. The Grubhub portfolio of brands includes Grubhub, Seamless, AllMenus, and MenuPages.

About NCR Corporation
NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a leader in omni-channel solutions, turning everyday interactions with businesses into exceptional experiences. With its software, hardware and portfolio of services, NCR enables nearly 700 million transactions daily across retail, financial, travel, hospitality, telecom and technology, and small business. NCR solutions run the everyday transactions that make your life easier.

NCR is headquartered in Duluth, Ga., with over 30,000 employees and does business in 180 countries. NCR is a trademark of NCR Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.

NCR encourages investors to visit its website, which is updated regularly with financial and other important information about NCR.

Web site:
Twitter: @NCRCorporation

News Media Contacts
NCR Corporation
Tim Henschel

Katie Norris

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

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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.



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.

[read more]

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: Your Operations Have Never Looked Better

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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)

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.


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

City Winery increases speed of service using NCR Mobile Pay

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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.