The POS built to simplify restaurant operations and delight your customers. The Revel iPad POS System is the feature-rich point of sale platform designed to transform the way people do business. See the Revel POS system in action.
The first installment in a three-part scheduling series, this article explores the pitfalls of incorrectly scheduling staff. Use the following tips to avoid scheduling slip-ups and keep your business thriving at maximum efficiency.
Owning a restaurant is an extremely difficult feat. Most of the time, the difference between success and failure is razor thin. From training and supervising employees to managing a budget, to ensuring your equipment and supplies are operating as needed, being the owner & operator of a restaurant forces you to wear many hats. When dealing with a small margin of error, any amount of inefficiency can be the downfall of your business. One of the most common mismanaged costs for a restaurant is labor—the number of employees you have staffed per shift is extremely vital. Here are a couple of tips to help guide you out of your scheduling woes:
Evaluate Staff Skills
Maintaining a staff ranking based on each employee’s particular set of skills will help you see clearly how many hands you have on deck, and where and when you can use them most effectively. Placing staff where they’ll perform optimally is crucial to your business performance. Also, if you’ve evaluated staff skills, it will allow you to allocate time and spend on training.
Scheduling Slip-up One: Over-scheduling
Ineffective scheduling will unnecessarily increase your spend, plain and simple. Over-scheduling (over-staffing for a certain shift) will result in inflated labor cost, not to mention a despondent staff. Understandably, staffing to increase your speed of service is appealing. If you staff too many people for the job, though, you’ll be hemorrhaging money and your staff’s tips will be minuscule at the end of the shift.
Scheduling Slip-up Two: Under-scheduling
What happens if you under-staff a shift?
Servers’ sections will continuously expand, making lone employees responsible for more guests than they can handle
Waiting times start to lengthen
Staff will rush through orders and customer service will go out the window
Each of these factors can ultimately cause guests to leave feeling underwhelmed with their experience, or just flat-out disappointed. Next thing you know, you’re losing tables to your competition across the street because wait times are increasing. When you under-staff, there aren’t enough hands to get food out of the kitchen, and patrons will start returning cold or incorrect orders. That brings your per-person average down and your food costs are up.
Embrace Your Inner Schedule Artist
Maintaining a proper schedule is fine art. Craft yours to avoid scheduling slip-ups. A well-managed schedule will cut your spending so you can continue to increase your profit margin, and right along with it, your business.
Extraordinary customer service is a pillar of any successful business. There are many great customer engagement integrations for your Revel point of sale (POS), but did you know Revel also has built-in, customer-focused features?
Here are four ways Revel will help you delight your customers:
1. Customer Notes
This is a simple setting that exists in the customer details on your management console. Any information you enter here will be visible to your employees on the POS when you pull up the customer’s entry.
Consider using this field to note table preferences for your loyal regulars (for example, “loves table 34” or “booth only”). You can also include information about allergies, dislikes, clothing size, favorite brands, or any other details that help your staff engage with customers on a deeper level.
The customer notes section is a great way to add personal information about your customers. Your employees will be able to view the notes any time they pull up the customer entry on the point of sale.
2. Customer Discounts
Use customer discounts in conjunction with customer groups to reward loyal customers, keep track of employees who receive employee discounts, and automatically remove tax for tax-exempt customers, like teachers and military personnel.
Create customer discounts that will automatically activate when an applicable customer is attached to an order on the POS. You can create basic discounts, like 10% or $10 off, or you can create more involved discounts, like buy 2 coffees, get a cookie for free.
Use customer discounts in conjunction with customer groups to show your loyal customers some love!
3. House Accounts
House accounts are the perfect way to make your customers feel like family.
A house account allows customers to keep a running tab with your business. This option lets individual customers or businesses enjoy the convenience of taking their goods now and paying for them later.
You can even bill house accounts directly from the management console with a single click.
House accounts are great way to make your customers feel like family. House accounts essentially allow customers to “put it on their tab”; they can take now and pay later. You can also easily send their bills from the management console with just one click.
4. Customers’ Orders Reports
Generate a customers’ orders report to see what your customers are buying, and when they are buying those items. This report is granular, and can offer insights specific to a single shopper.
You can use information from the customers’ orders report to create personalized email marketing campaigns, or send customers special offers for products you know they’ll love based on their order history.
The customers’ orders report is a great tool to see exactly what your customers are buying, and when. Use this data to create custom email marketing campaigns to truly delight your customers.
Can’t get enough of Revel’s customer-centric features? Visit our Help Site for detailed tutorials, feature overviews, and more.
Managing a business is a full-time job—and then some, and then some, and THEN some! We know there are many challenges competing for your time and attention, including staffing, menu curation, customer experience, marketing, inventory ordering and more.
Inventory management—ordering, counting, auditing, reordering, and returning—can quickly turn into a merciless endeavor, especially if you don’t have a streamlined system in place.
Fortunately, Revel’s point of sale (POS) solution can turn your inventory nightmare into an easy and automated process.
Here are three steps to streamline your inventory management:
1. Set Automatic Reorder Notifications
You’ll never find yourself with insufficient inventory again with Revel’s automatic reorder notifications.
Simply set your low-threshold counts, and whenever a product or ingredient falls below its threshold, you’ll receive an email notification that it’s time to reorder.
2. Configure Automatic Purchase Order Creation
Gone are the days of confusing and extensive purchase orders (POs). Revel does all the heavy lifting for you by automatically generating the PO and allowing you to send it to the vendor directly from your management console.
Here’s the really great part: when you mark a PO as received, your inventory numbers automatically increase!
3. Simplify Returns with Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA)
When the inevitable happens and you receive unsatisfactory inventory, you can send it back to the vendor in less than a minute through Revel’s RMA functionality.
As soon as you approve the RMA, your inventory numbers will automatically adjust.
The Revel cloud-based POS has helped hundreds of pizzeria owners successfully run their business and improve operational efficiency. We’ve used that experience to inform our product development and design capabilities that make it even easier to run a successful pizzeria.
Check out some of our favorite updates from Version 2.48 designed to make your pizza business run smoother!
Price Configuration for Split Modifiers—
You can now set split modifiers to divide the price of the whole modifier or to remain the same as the whole modifier. For example, if pepperoni costs $1 on a whole pizza, you can set it to cost .50 cents for just half the pizza or keep it set to the $1 price regardless if it’s split or not.
Item Specific Pricing for Modifiers—
You can now set prices per modifier, instead of just per modifier group. For instance, if pepperoni and green bell peppers were both in the pizza toppings modifier group, you can set the price for pepperoni at $1 and the price for green bell peppers as .30 cents.
Separate Default Amounts for Virtual Tills—
Virtual tills are designed so the delivery drivers can have an off-site “till” on them at all times. Now you can set the specific starting amount of the virtual till independently of what the starting amount for the actual till is. For instance, you can set the virtual till amount as $20 and the actual till amount as $200.
Delivery Tickets now include more customer information—
With the release of Revel Version 2.48 slated for the end of Q1, we wanted to take the time to let Revelers know what exactly they can look forward to with our latest version. We’ve added new features to our Kitchen Display System (KDS), revamped our online ordering feature, and made a lot of useful tweaks and improvements to the Management Console.
Kitchen Display Enhancements
The updates to our KDS allow you to further simplify your kitchen by reducing the use of paper giving you a more “green” kitchen and giving the expediter the ability to quickly make informed decisions.
The new color-coding options within the KDS will give your baristas the option to simply tap on the KDS to signify that they’re working on the selected item. This works by each KDS having a color-code assigned to it, so that when others are looking at an aggregated view, they can see who’s working on what, based on the color-coding.
Within the Revel 2.48 update, we’ve improved the reliability of the Online Ordering Hosted Checkout process. The new failover process for Online Ordering Payments forces cancellation of an order within a timely manner after the payment attempt if that payment is not captured. The customer who placed the online order will receive an email notifying them that the charge was not processed and that they should place another online order.
*This feature is currently only active for FreedomPay and Vantiv/Mercury in 2.48; additional improvements will be released in the future
Updates to our Management Console includes improvements made to our Time Management functionality, Tip Pooling, and Discounting.
Having the ability to decide if you want to merit your tips based on shift, then being able to appropriately calculate them based on either open or closed date so the tips are awarded to the proper employees, can be a very difficult task to manage. Revel 2.48 Tip Pooling refinement makes it easier to split tip amounts without the need to calculate on a separate spreadsheet, giving you better control for shift-based tip pooling, not just based on the cashier or server who opened the ticket.
In today’s competitive restaurant and retail landscape, spray and pray just won’t cut it. Modern consumers are looking for a personalized experience, and that means integrating a sophisticated customer engagement and marketing suite like Como Sense with your Revel point of sale system.
According to an Infosys study, 59% of consumers reported that personalization significantly influenced what they purchased. Meanwhile, Econsultancy found that 93% of companies saw an uptick in conversion rates due to personalized marketing efforts.
What does that mean for the world of POS? According to Hospitality Technology Magazine’s “POS of the Future Predictions & Insights” report, 61% of restaurant operators are prioritizing loyalty tools as a must-have component for future POS functionality. Not only do these savvy operators understand that loyalty tools keep customers—well, loyal—the tools also serve as a means for collecting valuable customer data, which brings us to our next point…
61%of operators say that being able to use data to understand guest preferences and behavior is the top driver influencing a POS upgrade. With customer data in hand, these operators are able to target marketing campaigns to the right audience at the right time to keep customers coming back for more.
Simply put, you’ll need to reward loyal customers and implement a sophisticated personalized marketing program in order to compete. Thankfully, Como Sense allows you to do just that from directly within your Revel POS. Here’s how:
As a premier partner of Revel Systems, Como is already fully integrated with the POS system you already use. This means that implementation is simple, as many Revel merchants have already discovered. Just contact your account manager to have Como Sense added to your POS, and you can start collecting and analyzing valuable customer data immediately, allowing you to better understand your guests and personalize their experiences accordingly.
Loyalty Program Management
Once you’ve integrated Como with Revel, you can add loyalty program members or identify existing ones from within your POS, making program management seamless. You can then view each member’s purchases, points, rewards, redemption history, and more.
Como Sense collects and analyzes your customer data for you and creates custom-made marketing campaigns based on this data. These campaigns target various audience segments with personalized, relevant offers so that vegans aren’t bombarded with emails about surf ‘n turf specials and college students aren’t getting texts about children’s menus. Customers only receive offers based on past user behavior, including items they may be interested in based on past purchases.
When you’re no longer wasting money on spray-and-pray mass marketing campaigns, you’ll soon see the cost-benefit of customer segmentation and personalization. A future-proof POS system like Revel Systems in combination with Como Sense will bring you measurable, sustainable growth in terms of both customer loyalty and ROI.
Ready to grow your business in 2019? Como Sense is already inside your Revel POS and waiting for you to make your move. Contact your Revel account manager to get started!
The Revel Assistant has been making waves! Whether you’re firing up your system for the first time, need a quick refresher on a feature, or want to train multiple employees at once, The Revel Assistant is your step-by-step solution for all things Management Console.
A member of the Revel Customer Success team was lucky enough to sit down with The Revel Assistant to learn more about what makes it tick.
[Customer Success]: Revel Assistant, thanks so much for sitting down with me today. We know your time is valuable. We’re all dying to know: what is a day in the life like for you?
[Revel Assistant]: Every morning I ask myself, “If my shirt isn’t tucked into my pants, are my pants tucked into my shirt?” Luckily, I don’t require pants, so that’s one question I don’t need to know how to answer.
But what I do know is basically everything about Revel. I live in the bottom right corner of the Management Console, where I’m always available to take any user on a guided tour.
Dive into the Getting Started Guides, New Release Feature Guides, and How-To Guides for on-demand assistance and instructions on how to get the most out of your Management Console!
Some of my favorite guides are the Building Your Product List, Adding Prevailing Taxes, and Matrix Inventory guides, but we have resources on a variety of other topics, too!
[CS]: What is your ultimate career goal?
[RA]: My ultimate goal is to create Revel masters around the world. By empowering Revelers with the information and tools they need to succeed, we can create thriving businesses, one Point of Sale at a time.
[CS]: What are two interesting facts about you that not everyone knows?
[RA]: Number one, I’m here to make your job easier! Use me to brush up on your own knowledge or enlist me to train your employees. I’ll show them only what’s relevant to the page they’re on. But be sure to check out the available tutorials on each page because the options change with each tab!
My second fact: I’m a movie star! You may have seen my theatrical debut in a little feature titled The Revel Assistant (aptly named after yours truly). Check it out, and see me in all my glory. But don’t worry: I haven’t let the fame get to my head. I’m still hard working, reliable, and here to help.
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday come and gone, the holidays are officially upon us. While the U.S. Small Business Administration recommends getting started on a holiday business plan as early as June or July (!), if December snuck up on you, don’t fret. Below, we’ve laid out some last-minute tips to make sure your business isn’t left out in the cold this year.
Spruce up your space
Recommendations to give your online presence and physical locations the ‘Santa’s Workshop’ treatment would be fine and well if it were still August. On December’s doorstep, however, business owners can be forgiven for taking the less-is-more route. Changes as subtle as a switch to holiday music, a small cash wrap display, or some outdoor lights can go a long way towards helping customers get into the holiday spirit. Visitors will appreciate the season’s acknowledgement—and any effort is better than none.
During the holidays, people reflect on the things for which they’re grateful; customers should be at the top of that list for every single business. If you’re using a loyalty program, CRM tools or email marketing software, reach out to your customers and let them know how much you appreciate them. If you don’t have those set up, consider offering an easy-to-implement seasonal discount or another logistically simple gesture of generosity as a token of your gratitude. Consumers will remember which businesses took the time to say thank you and which did not.
Start thinking about the next holiday
If you didn’t fully prepare for this holiday season, don’t beat yourself up. Think about what you might want to do or do differently next time. For example, what do you wish your business had been prepared to offer customers for the holidays? Would a gift card program have helped drive customers to your business? (Yes, it would have. More on that here.) Thorough planning with plenty of lead time will have your business sitting pretty when the next holiday rolls around and beyond.
On that topic, you don’t need to wait until next Thanksgiving to start seeing dividends from this effort. Valentine’s Day and President’s Day are fast approaching holidays ripe for promotions and discounts, but also consider celebrating more offbeat holidays like National Pizza Day (February 9) or National Dress Day (March 6). While the sales bump might not be as pronounced as Black Friday, these sorts of holidays are a great time to experiment and hone your holiday programs so that come next November, you have a field-tested game plan ready to go.
Black Friday is quickly approaching, bringing one of the busiest shopping days of the year. The National Retail Foundation (NRF) reported that last year 174 million Americans shopped in stores and online between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday. That number is expected to increase to 180 million in 2018.
Retailers are not the only ones who can capitalize on this consumer holiday; restaurants are getting in on the action, too. Everywhere, restaurants are offering special deals and incentives to convince customers to make a pit-stop during their holiday shopping spree.
Here are a few tips on how you can generate more revenue during this holiday spending extravaganza.
Gift Card Promotions
Nowadays, gift cards are on everyone’s holiday shopping list. Once considered impersonal, gift cards are still the best gift option for tricky to shop for family members, friends, or professional contacts.
Gift cards in all industries remain extremely popular, but restaurant gift cards capture the lion’s share of sales at 34.8 percent, according to Gift Card Granny.
An excellent way to boost your gift card sales is to offer additional monetary purchase cards for the sale of each gift card. For example, if a customer purchases a $50 gift card, give them an extra $10 gift card as a bonus. This will almost ensure that you’ll have two customers with the sale of one gift card. The $50 gift card will be given as a gift, while the $10 gift card will be kept by the purchaser, giving them an excuse to re-visit your restaurant.
Luckily, your Revel POS seamlessly integrates your gift card services and processing!
Partner with a Neighboring Retailer
If you’re located near retail stores, use your geographical location to your advantage by partnering with a neighboring retailer. Offer customers a special deal for visiting both businesses, giving you and your neighbor a boost.
A customer can show the receipt from your neighboring retailer and receive a special discount from your restaurant. On the flipside, that customer can also show their receipt from your restaurant to the retail store and receive a discount off their purchase from them.
Another good idea is to match hours with your partnering retailer. If you know they’re offering special Black Friday hours, you should match those hours as well. Open an hour before the retail store to feed hungry shoppers before they begin their shopping adventure.
Offer a Special Menu
You should consider creating a specialty holiday menu to entice patrons to stop in and take a break from the shopping chaos.
For example, you can create unique seasonal items that’ll build excitement for years to come, or you can also offer unique a-la-carte items, for guests who just want to grab a quick bite.
If your restaurant also offers a bar, have your bartenders create unique cocktails and offer them during a “Black Friday Holiday Shopping Happy Hour.” Also, keep in mind that shoppers will be out early in the day, so maybe start the happy hour earlier than usual.
A final approach to gain as much as you can from the shopping pandemonium is to extend your Black Friday promotions until Cyber Monday.
Keep any potential customers interested by extending your offers throughout the weekend. Whether consumers are shopping in stores or digitally, continue to lure them to your restaurant with bonuses and special offers for dine-in, takeout, or delivery.