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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

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

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

NCR Mobile Pay: Increasing Efficiency and Transactional Security at Your Restaurant

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Restaurant customers increasingly turn directly to apps such as Yelp, MenuPages, TripAdvisor, and others to learn about and report on dining experiences, or to reserve tables and order in. Yet many, if not most, restaurants still rely on time-consuming, server-reliant, traditional methods of payment that greatly increase the risk of fraud through person-to-person exchange of information such as credit or debit card numbers. We ask: why shouldn’t an app designed to limit these risks and increase guest satisfaction make an appearance right at the table?

National Cash Register (NCR) has recently released Mobile Pay, an app offered by Advanced Hospitality Systems to clients who are seeking a secure, efficient alternative to traditional payment and ordering methods.

How it Works

With NCR Mobile Pay, customers at your restaurant can download the Mobile Pay app, which seamlessly integrates with your NCR Aloha point-of-sale (POS) system as well as loyalty, gift card, and customer feedback programs. Right at their table, guests can perform many of the actions that traditionally require flagging down their server – meaning much of the stress of dining-in during busy shifts can be alleviated for both staff and clientele.

Features

NCR Mobile Pay includes a variety of features designed to maximize customer satisfaction both during and after their dining experience. These include:

  • “Order Another” – the ability to select and order an item that has already been purchased during a meal; the Mobile Pay system automatically sends the request to a POS system for server confirmation.
  • Alert Server – By simply hitting a button on the app, a message will be sent to the POS system in order to elicit a quick response without bothersome, manual flagging-down of a server.
  • Email receipt – Regardless of payment form, Mobile Pay customers will automatically receive an electronic copy of their receipt upon check processing and payment.
  • Specials options – Restaurants can add up to five menu items that can be ordered directly from a phone equipped with this app.
  • Item Feedback – Each individual item can be marked with a thumbs-up or thumbs-down, in order to help a restaurant keep track of customer what items guests routinely like or dislike.
  • Mobile Payment – At the end of a meal, customers can opt to pay using stored debit or credit cards, gift cards, or PayPal – all securely, from their own device.
  • Social sharing – A popular activity amongst restaurant-goers can spell out free advertisements for restaurants; Mobile Pay makes it easy for customers to share positive feedback after their transaction is complete.

Benefits

Mobile Pay is far from a completely automated system; rather, guests are able to enjoy all the benefits of interacting with a server – asking for item recommendations or ingredient clarifications, and providing necessary feedback – while avoiding the hassle of tracking down their server during a busy shift. Servers can also enjoy the benefits of faster table turnovers and overall increased satisfaction of their clients.

The Mobile Pay system also allows for completely secure payment with a lessened chance of fraud; transactions that avoid the transferal of credit or debit card across multiple parties carries a much greater chance of incurring fraud or identity theft than a secure payment on a customer’s own phone.

Is NCR’s Mobile Pay the point-of-sale system your New Jersey restaurant has been searching for? Call Advanced Hospitality to learn more about this and other solutions designed specifically for the hospitality industry.

Why Choose NCR Aloha?

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At Advanced Hospitality Systems, we’re proud to partner with NCR Aloha to help supply area restaurants with some of the most innovative, cutting-edge POS software and hardware available on the market. But what separates NCR from its competitors?

Total Unified Solution. NCR products are designed to cover a wide array of restaurant needs, from safeguarding assets through video security and employee theft monitoring, to providing fast, convenient check-outs with mobile, tableside ordering solutions. Software from each application can be fully integrated with other aspects of a restaurant’s management system, making NCR Aloha a one-stop-shop for all operating tools.

Versatility. As your business grows, NCR will grow with you. All of our products, including our popular Aloha POS software, are customizable to suit the unique needs of the vastly different restaurants and stores we service. Whether a small fast-casual restaurant or a large fine dining establishment, NCR Aloha can be used on fixed terminals, handheld devices and mobile devices alike – whatever best suits a space or situation.

Ease of Use. Aloha POS software has the highest market share in the industry, meaning more bartenders, servers and cashiers know Aloha than any other POS platform out there. This increases business’ chances of hiring servers who are already familiar with the POS technology they’ll be using throughout their day, cutting down on training time and slowed operations that result from learning-curve mistakes.

Protection. NCR products can protect your business, operations and assets on multiple levels. To start, NCR Aloha POS software operates both on-premises and in the cloud, meaning that patchy internet service need not lead to service interruptions or delays in order processing – your POS can use its stored memory to keep operations running smoothly while connectivity issues are resolved. NCR Aloha’s advanced Employee Theft Detection technology also helps managers and owners easily detect employee theft through careful tracking of employee transactions that alert managers to issues in real time. Fraud can be identified and mitigated before it can become a larger problem.

Want to learn more about the many benefits to using NCR Aloha point-of-sale software for your Lehigh Valley, PA business? View our featured products page to learn more about the variety of ways NCR can improve your bottom line through increased efficiency, safety and ease of operations.

 

Leverage Your Customer Base and Manage Your Online Reputation with Customer Voice™ by NCR

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As much as Yelp, Facebook, Google+ and other sites that provide open forums for customers to rate their restaurant experience can have negative effects on a business’s reputation, these social media platforms are also a hugely important form of marketing – and one that can be both cost-effective and immensely successful.

Restaurants often struggle with managing their online reputation on these websites, in large part because they have no way to connect with vocally negative customers until the damage has already been done, or any plan to ensure positive experiences are broadcast across social media. But what if there were a way to reach out to both happy and dissatisfied customers alike, in order to mitigate any harm done through negative online reviews and leverage the voices of those who thoroughly enjoyed their experience?

With the new Customer Voice software by NCR, restaurants can make use of existing loyalty programs to reach out to customers in a variety of ways, ensuring that unhappy regular customers feel their concerns were properly addressed, while loyal, satisfied guests receive a gesture of gratitude and an opportunity to share their experience.

Elicit Confidential Customer Opinions to Gauge Profit Impact on Bottom Lines

Through the Aloha Loyalty, Online Ordering or Aloha POS receipt functionalities, business owners can use the Customer Voice system to reach out to frequent customers with surveys gauging their satisfaction with the service they’ve received. By providing a survey based on the Net Promoter Score (“On a scale of 1-10, how likely would you be to recommend this product to a friend?”), this system allows customers to confidentially provide feedback about their experience, whether positive or negative.

This information can in turn be used to target areas of improvement based on issues specifically outlined by clientele. With the Operating Unit Task pad, businesses can view exactly how much profit may be at risk from negative reviews by previously loyal customers, as well as suggestions on how to follow-up to mitigate damage.

Leverage Social Media Channels with Referrals from Satisfied Customers

With Customer Voice, recipients of surveys choose a number between 1 and 10 to best describe their experience at the restaurant they’ve visited, along with optional “additional comments” sections that can reflect their sentiments. Customer Voice auto-selects responses rating a restaurant either 9 or 10 on this scale, and provides these happy guests with the ability to share their survey on a social media platform, such as Facebook. Restaurants also have the ability to incentivize the social media “share” with a free or discounted item, or promo attached to the posting.

Mitigate Damage to your Online Reputation

Responses of less than 9 on the survey will red-flag a loyal customer as dissatisfied, which can serve two purposes for a restaurant. First, reaching out to address serious issues – whether through email, a personal phone call or another method of contact – can help stave off negative reviews visible on popular publically-visible websites, such as Yelp. Second, the ability to save frequent customers that may otherwise been lost can greatly improve profits, in the aggregate.

 

With Customer Voice software, small independent businesses and large corporations alike will find a comprehensive, integrated technological solution to the problem of negative customer experiences, as well as an excellent way to use happy clients as a free means by which to grow business through online social media marketing. Visit the Customer Voice product page today to learn more about the many ways this innovative product can help your restaurant succeed!

 

Advanced Hospitality Systems Introduces the Orderman7 from NCR

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Do your servers frequently express that they wish POS terminals, dining areas and kitchens were closer together? Do you suspect that the amount of time your employees spend running from point to point may be decreasing efficiency and lowering sales? If so, the Orderman7, a brand-new handheld POS system from Advanced Hospitality Systems, may be the solution to your restaurant’s spatial issues. Designed with mobility in mind, these hand held POS systems are no bigger than a smartphone, yet fit the processing power and capabilities of a full-sized POS system into a space no larger than a pants or apron pocket.

NCR Orderman7 Features

The Orderman7 comes complete with myriad features designed to streamline operations and, in turn, increase customer satisfaction and sales. These unique features include:

  • 5” glare-free screen for easy visibility in all conditions, including sunlight.
  • A rugged, dust-proof, shock-proof and waterproof exterior designed specifically to withstand restaurant conditions.
  • Status and notification LED lights.
  • Fully programmable side buttons.
  • Bluetooth capabilities, for pairing with belt printers.
  • Safety cord.
  • Up to 18 hours of battery life.
  • Optional magnetic strip reader and scanner, for tableside payment and coupon acceptance.
  • Secure processing of customer credit cards through the use of PCI-DSS validated technology.
  • Completely private operations through the use of a secure, 902-mz network used uniquely by NCR Orderman technologies

The Orderman7 operates through an Orderman-brand radio system, which provides extensive coverage to meet the needs of any restaurant. Servers are able to instantly communicate with the central system in order to provide rapid, efficient care without waiting to use an occupied POS system or making time-consuming detours.

Don’t wait – find out more about this revolutionary, mobile POS system designed by NCR and distributed locally by Advanced Hospitality Systems. Put your restaurant on the road to better sales and higher employee efficiency.

Introducing the NCR Aloha Restaurant Guard: Protect Your Business from Employee Theft

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Introducing the NCR Aloha Restaurant Guard: Protect Your Business from Employee Theft

One of the most challenging situations that managers and owners of restaurants will find themselves dealing with is confronting employee theft. Aside from being an embarrassing and demoralizing issue when an otherwise well-behaved employee acts suspiciously, incidents of suspected theft can be unclear and the evidence hazy, especially when the theft in question has been reported from hearsay or based on a potentially justifiable error on a POS system.  National Cash Register (NCR) developed the NCR Aloha Restaurant Guard to take the guesswork out of determining issues of employee theft, in order to increase your restaurant’s profitability and allow managers to confidently confront suspected fraud.

A study by academics from Washington University in St. Louis, Brigham Young University and M.I.T. has found significant evidence showing that the use of technology-based employee monitoring systems both reduce theft and improve productivity, by changing worker behavior rather than causing a higher turnover rate and greater instances of punitive action. What does this mean for restaurants? Simply put: greater powers of theft detection and productivity monitoring head off issues of fraud at the pass by providing a powerful deterrent to employees aware of their existence, and also provide an effective means of confirming fraudulent behavior when it does happen.

NCR Aloha Restaurant Guard Features

With these and other studies regarding employee theft in mind, NCR has designed its Restaurant Guard to both deter and detect fraudulent activity at Aloha POS stations. So how can our Aloha Restaurant Guard help aid your loss prevention efforts?

Detect Patterns of Potentially Fraudulent Behavior.
Employees will rarely outright rob a store of cash, as a light till is unlikely to be overlooked. The scams most commonly perpetrated by employees involve fraudulent voids and comps, such as voids performed after closing a check or comps performed after check close or check print. What’s more, “trends” in means of perpetrating theft change frequently, which is why the Aloha Restaurant Guard is frequently updated in order to stay current with the latest theft patterns. Historic trends and statistical variances can also be monitored and recorded in order to provide further evidence for or against an employee’s involvement in fraud.

Quickly Alert Managers. Thefts happen quickly, and once any hard evidence is gone, the likelihood of proving an incident has occurred diminishes rapidly. The Aloha Restaurant Guard quickly sends an alert in real-time to managers on or off duty, via mobile, once a suspicious transaction is observed.

Deter Theft Before it occurs. As found by the authors of the article mentioned above, technology-based employee monitoring has been shown to have more of an impact preventatively than correctively; employees who are aware that their transaction history is clearly visible to management, and that certain types of transactions are cause for alert, are far less likely to attempt acts of fraud and deception.

Improve Overall Restaurant Performance. An added benefit of the Aloha Restaurant Guard is that, in addition to detecting patterns of theft, it can also be used to identify operational practices that cause errors or unnecessary lag times, and provides employee performance reports that use several key metrics to measure  efficiency and overall success.

 

For more information on our Aloha Restaurant Guard, please visit the Employee Theft Detection page or call an Advanced Hospitality representative.

Welcome to NCR Aloha POS Software, Version 12.3!

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Advanced Hospitality Systems is very excited to announce the newest iteration of our popular Aloha POS software, version 12.3, which we have tailored to even better respond to you, our clients’, needs and feedback. Below, we’ve laid out a few of the biggest changes we’ve made to the Operating, Managing and Engaging functions of the program, along with explanations of how these new and improved features can be beneficial to you. For a complete list of the upgrades and changes made to your Aloha software, please contact your NCR Aloha provider.

Operating

  • A brand-new look and feel, with new skins and button styles.
  • New support and options for Family Style dining, including family style menus, portions and plating, as well as two new price tiers, no limit on the number of Family Style orders per check, the ability to split Family Style items by guest type, and consolidation of Family Style reorders onto the same chit instead of single chits.
  • Ability to scan a bar code from FOH to apply a comp to a guest check; this feature complements the current ability to scan items, recalled checks and promotions.
  • Capacity to modify an item after it is sent to the kitchen – rather than needing to manually inform kitchen staff in the event of a customer changing an order after it has already been placed, FOH can now eliminate voids and re-rings by simply modifying the order after sending it.
  • Display of real-time FOH alerts for overtime and breaks – after much demand, we have added this feature to provide advance notice to managers and employees about approaching overtime hours as well as employee break status; alerts appear on order entry screens, log-in screens and floating logo screens until a manager dismisses the pop-up.
  • Customize alerts – in order to better keep to schedules, Aloha software users can create customized alerts to remind employees to perform tasks, such as cleaning or placing an order.
  • Overall improved ability to customize orders and checks, so as to better accommodate a variety of guest needs.

Managing

  • NEW! The Aloha Communication Layer (ACL) – in order to provide a more secure communication method, we have eliminated the NetBIOIS protocol requirement; our new communication layer streamlines the network communication protocol to a single communication method. Network diagnostic tools can now be launched on the POS terminal to troubleshoot connectivity and network issues on-site.
  • Various features designed to better calculate and configure tippable sales, auto gratuities and service charge percentages.
  • Response to the most recent Credit Card Mandates, including:
    • An enhancement that allows real-time credit reversal transactions to the processor, at any point after a manager has manually voided out a successful authorization.
    • Support of partial authorization for prepaid cards and PIN debit cards, so that cardholders are able to use all of the funds available to them without being declined due to insufficient funds.
    • Support for CVV or CID Validation codes – users now can enable an enhancement that requires sending the three- or four-digit number on the back or front of credit cards, in order to provide an additional layer of security.
  • Increased break support, including the ability to split a break into two break types, conform to state-based break rules, exclude an unpaid break when calculating the “worked hours” that will qualify an employee for their next break, and other changes leading to increased ability to monitor and assign break times.

Engage

  • Several changes designed to drive sales, including enhanced Paymentech gift card functionality, the ability to more quickly free funds from a customer’s credit card when performing a pre-authorization, and several upgrades that allow for greater support of Valutec Card Solutions gift cards and Loyalty Dynamic Comps.

EMV: The Facts and Myths

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Disruption is occurring in the consumer payments space, and with the EMV liability shift on the horizon, payment security is top of mind for many operators. There is a lot of misinformation around EMV, like that it is a mandate, it is a part of PCI compliance, or that it improves the security of card transactions processed through payment systems.

As you continue to plan your payment and security strategies, we wanted to make you aware of the following resources that can help you separate the fact from the fiction.

EMV is important, but it is one component of a holistic approach to security. Contact us for more information and stay tuned for additional resources in the coming months.