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Leverage the most underutilized resources in your restaurant

Q: I often feel as though I’m the only person in my business who understands it. Where can I turn for advice and help?

It’s lonely at the top. Often the owner or CEO of a business has few people, if anyone, to speak with about his/her business. Family is wonderful but dragging your business into your family is a guaranteed way to invite unsolicited, often frustrating advice. Your family cares about you and unless they’re working in the same business, they’ll have a difficult time avoiding the anxiety and perplexity you’re experiencing when you simply wanted to vent or get some ideas.

So, where should you turn? There are three underutilized resources at your disposal:

Your vendors are ready to help. Understanding their businesses will yield unexpected benefits. They have a vested interest in your success and want you to succeed more than you expect; the more you succeed, the more they sell. Work closely with your vendors in the following ways:

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Choose the Right POS System for You

Q: My POS system needs to be replaced so I’m evaluating the different options. Things have changed since I first bought my POS, what do you think of the iPad-based systems?

The newer versions of iPad or tablet POS are widely considered ‘Cash Register Version 3.0.’ First was the clunky cash register, providing a cash drawer but little data; then came the bulky and expensive POS systems producing great tracking and plenty of paper reports to go along with them; and now the new tablet POS. The emergence of cloud computing spurred the possibility of these POS systems to be deployed as software’s a service, which can be accessed directly from the Internet. Cloud-based tablet POS systems give companies instant centralization of data, 24/7 access to data from anywhere with Internet access, ease of deployment and training, and lower costs.

A full-blown POS system will average $10,000-$20,000 depending on the provider and the number of terminals. A good chunk of that money goes to wiring, hardware and professional services. A new tablet-based POS system will cost around $1,000-$5,000, while professional services have been lower due to the ease of installation and training. You will pay a monthly fee on top of this, ranging from $49 to $275.

The question is not whether these tablets are the new POS, but rather, when to purchase one. The technology is evolving and is in the early adopter stage.

Tablet technology should mature within the next 10 years, with the majority of companies using the technology. This is a decision point as the technologies the technology is newer, and the newer the technology, the riskier it can be. Those who purchase now are early adopters and have challenges to overcome.

Most of the new systems are wireless and offer cloud-based storage. There are some things to keep in mind when purchasing one of these new wireless solutions:

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Four ways restaurants lose money but don’t have to

Q: I’m losing money and I’ve been trying as hard as I can but I know I need to stop what we’re doing and reinvest/rebrand, we’re just not going to make it as is. What mistakes can I avoid this time around?

Restaurants lose money for a variety of reasons. At the core are improper financial fundamentals. Here are four areas in which restaurants fail and that you must improve to be profitable this time around:

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