Picking A Pizza POS System

If you are a restaurant or business owner, then you are most likely familiar with POS (Point of Sale) systems.

“Did you just ASSUME I would know??”

Okay, sorry! Well, we all know that the ‘Point of Sale’ is where a retail transaction is completed. And in an age where seamless digital convenience takes the cake (or pie in this case), having the proper POS System can make a world of difference. A checkout center at any retail space typically including a cash register, scanner, or other device used for recording a transaction, accompanied with a credit/debit card reader. This is the basic setup at 99% of establishments you will visit. POS systems are also multi-functional depending on the software you are using,allowing for inventory, warehousing, etc. But, we’ll save that for another conversation.

So you probably read the title and asked yourself, “Well, why would Pizza POS Systems be any different? Can’t I just use this guide for ANY restaurant?”

Surely! But as simple and beautiful as pizza is, the ordering cycle can prove to be a bit more involved than one might initially anticipate. Here are some tips on picking the right point-of-sale system for your pizza shop!

‘Free’ does not always mean ‘Good’.

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This is a concept as old as time. We have all been there. You get what you pay for in life, and sometimes, you simply can’t avoid shelling out for a high priced necessity. But it’s always difficult when a service that is constantly screaming ‘FREE’ in your face to turn it down. Going with a free POS system will withhold most features that you will need to ease the frustration of the checkout process…which is most likely why you wanted a reliable POS system in the first place. With so many limitations and lack of controls over major areas, you will be deterred from going with ‘Free’.

You need options. And lots of them.

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Since there are so many variables and customizable options with ordering pizza, a standard POS system would hold you back. With sizes, crusts, toppings, and more, tracking inventory can seem like a chore. The complexity doesn’t stop there though. Wait until you get a customer who wants extra cheese on half, no sausage on the other half, and double onions on the entire pie. Keeping the order straight may become overwhelming. And then of course you get the guy who orders ‘None Pizza with Left Beef’.

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Where my Tumblrs at?

You want your pizza point-of-sale to recognize that you use less pepperoni on a 3 topping pizza than on a 1 topping, and general POS systems cannot calculate that for you. And of course once you introduce coupons and delivery into the mix, that adds another depth of tracking that you need specialized software for. General market POS systems simply don’t cut it.

But don’t splurge on additional content unless necessary.

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Having options is definitely a plus, but you don’t need all the bells and whistles off the bat. Get a system which includes the main features, and see if you can negotiate some add-ons as a part of your bundled purchase. If you can get a processing partner for credit cards, don’t pay for extra processing software. And inventory software is not needed immediately, so get accustomed to your system prior to purchasing. And make sure to find a company that will offer an online ordering solution that is easily integrated with your software so you don’t have to pay any additional fees for development. No one wants to spend extra money.

We hope you found our tips to be useful. Now go out there and spend a moderate amount of money on your pizza POS system!

 

Handling Upset Customers

 

Anyone who owns a business, small or large, will tell you that from time to time, they may deal with an upset customer.

Whether it was the wait time, the service, or the product itself, there are various reasons why someone may feel unsatisfied. And it’s up to you to resolve any issues in a gentle manner.

Here is a quick list of tips and tricks for handling upset customers:


Remain Calm

This one seems like common sense, but emotions tend to get the best of us. Don’t fight fire with fire. Hear out your customer. Make sure you are in control of the situation.

Play Therapist

We’ve all been there; Upset, angry, sad. And sometimes, all we want is someone to listen. You can quickly defuse a situation if the customer feels that you are being accommodating and sympathetic.

Briefly summarize what they discussed and ask if they need any further assistance. Make sure your body language reflects this, as a customer can read your movements in the wrong fashion.

Don’t Keep Them Waiting

I’m fairly sure we can all agree here; there is nothing worse than being put on hold. No one likes waiting, even if you were rockin’ out to the sick 80’s jams they use as holding music.

Just remember, the longer you keep a customer waiting for a response, the more time they have to think about how they should have gone somewhere else.

It doesn’t matter how busy it is, try to never answer the phone “So-And-So’s, Please hold!”. You’ve effectively just told the customer you don’t care about them before they even had a chance to speak. Ouch! Instead, get their name and ask if they mind being placed on a brief hold. Those two extra seconds you took to speak to them make all the difference.

If a customer does end up coming to you with a complaint, they will generally expect a response via phone and/or email within 24 hrs. Try to respond as quickly as possible, even if it’s just to tell them you’re looking into the issue. If they have to reach out to you twice, you can be sure they’ll think long and hard before coming back again.

Keep it Easy-Peasy

Jumping through hoops should be solely reserved for big fluffy dogs at the Eukanuba Dog Show; not so much for your customers.

Making it impossible to book a reservation, or having overly complicated return policies on retail items, forcing customers to press through multiple menus on the phone before they ever speak to a real person, or worse, uttering the words “that’s not my job” are nothing but a recipe for disaster.


Step back and look at some of the issues you’ve had to resolve in the past. Were there ways they could have been handled better? Are there any areas of your business you can streamline? Taking stock like this gives you the opportunity to improve before an issue arises, and can prevent future headaches for you and your customers.

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Sometimes, all it takes is a smile.

 

Elf on the Shelf Ideas

As we get closer to Santa’s arrival, children (and myself) get quite excited. The anticipation of waiting to wake up Christmas morning to a plate of half eaten cookies, an empty glass of milk, and a tree lined with more presents than you can count is enough to leave kids speechless.

But if you fear that your child has been a little naughty this year, then look no further than The Elf on the Shelf.

This magical elf helps Santa manage the naughty and nice lists of billions of children by reporting back to him at the North Pole every night. It’s up to you, the adult, to place this mystical scout in a different spot every night to keep up the appearance of reality. I mean, of course Santa exists. That’s not what this is about.

Either way, here is a list of some crafty locations and situations to place your Elf on the Shelf in!

All images provided by The Elf on the Shelf.

Trying to give a dog a bone

Keepin’ it all in the family

Gone Fishin’

Stuck in a wreath of balloons

I think your food went bad?

A Mission of Impossible Proportions

Peppermint White Hot Chocolate

No better way to warm up and relax this holiday season than with some hot chocolate. Some white hot chocolate. With peppermint. Mmm.

INGREDIENTS:
4 cups milk (whichever you desire)
8 oz. white chocolate, chopped fine (white chocolate chips if you prefer)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
Optional (but why wouldn’t you?): marshmallows, whipped cream, crushed peppermint

DIRECTIONS:
Simultaneously stir the milk and white chocolate in a medium saucepan. Simmer on low-medium heat, occasionally stirring, until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat, and stir in peppermint and vanilla extract.

Serve warm, preferably with those yummy toppings! (Yes, I know they’re optional, but still.)

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Come on, you owe it to your taste buds.

Fungi Storing Made Easy

Mushrooms have become quite a staple in the culinary world. Given that organic and natural products have been the current trend, many restaurant owners are taking it upon themselves to hunt for their own fungi. But once you get your hands on these delectable veggies, how do you store them?

Here are some considerations:

1.) Temperature

The USDA states that mushrooms can be stored for seven to nine days, with a temperature range of 32 to 34º F. If they are held any warmer than this, their lifespan will decrease by at least three days due to increased browning, veil opening, or elongation of stems.

2.) Humidity

Maintaining high humidity is also an important factor. Mushrooms should be kept in cartons with an overwrap of polyethylene film to reduce any moisture loss. But be careful; You want to simultaneously avoid a watery build-up of condensation inside these packages.

3.) Flavor Transfer

Mushrooms can absorb odors and flavors from other foods, which is why they are a hot commodity in the foodservice industry. This holds true more so when cooking in a skillet, as opposed to storing the fungi in a walk-in cooler. Because of this, you should not store mushrooms with onions and/or shallots. The odors are quite pungent and conflicting, resulting in cross-scent absorption.

4.) Gas

Accelerated ripening can occur if gas, such as ethylene, is present. Ethylene is a natural hormone released by fresh produce. This is common in walk-in boxes. When exposed to this gas, mushroom caps will brown. As a result, you should not store mushrooms with ethylene-producing vegetables and fruits like avocados, tomatoes, and apples.

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Follow these tips to keep your ‘funguy’ alive.

 

Black Friday: A Survival Guide

Ah, Thanksgiving. A time to visit the in-laws, give thanks to everything important in your life, and stuff your face with Turkey and Stuffing and Mashed Potatoes and Gravy and Corn and Ham and Pumpkin Pie and–

Sorry. Got carried away there.

But once that clock hits midnight (and in recent years, much sooner), Black Friday is upon you. And hopefully by then, you will have made an almost full recovery from your food coma. At this point, you realize you need to maximize your minimum time window. I mean sure; You can totally load up on caffeine, pull an all-nighter, and shop ’til you literally drop. But if you have responsibilities and obligations, or if you simply need your beauty rest, then this can prove problematic.

So here is a brief guide on how to survive Black Friday:

1.) Plan your shopping spree.

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This may seem like a no-brainer, but make sure to properly plan your night/morning of spending. Not only will all major retail and department stores be extremely crowded, but there’s a chance you will miss out on a big ticket item that was only available as a door buster. There’s also the fact that you will be exhausted and won’t want to dillydally.

Here is an in-depth guide to some of this Black Friday’s best deals.

2.) Get a shopping buddy.

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There is safety in numbers. Not only that, but it’s much more fun to shop with a friend. Go grab a friend and save!

3.) Location is everything.

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Big name stores like Best Buy and Walmart are hot spots for Black Friday. But there are plenty of other retail outlets that could very well have the bargain(s) you are looking for. Drive around and try to find any shopping malls with little to no cars. Who knows what deals you may find.

4.) Don’t overpay for your tech.

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With all the sales floating around this time of year, it’s difficult to truly decipher a “good” deal. I mean, that new iPad mini you’ve been scoping out may appear to list for an amazingly low price, but unless you have done a little digging, you won’t know for sure. And why overpay when you don’t have to? We live in an age where there is an endless bounty of information at our fingertips. Why not utilize it? There are tools out there that can help you price match and decide when to strike.

Camel Camel Camel is an Amazon price tracker which monitors price drops and that item’s history of pricing, so you will know if that deal is worth it.

SlickDeals can track pricing from all around the web, providing you with a plethora of deals, discounts, and coupons. It won’t track a product’s pricing history, but it will send you email alerts when that item drops.

InvisibleHand, a web browser add-on, is not a true price tracker, but it will automatically pull up the cheapest pricing in real time on that product from various sites. It is 100% free, and will remove the hassle of opening 10 different browser tabs to search for deals.

5.) Make sure to keep hydrated.

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This. This is everything. Your body needs water. And all the caffeine you will most likely be consuming will only dehydrate you. Make sure to take a few water bottles with you on your spending spree. And don’t be afraid to stop what you’re doing to refill.

6.) And take it easy on the energy drinks.

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This may come as a shock to you, but those energy drinks that you have come to cherish and rely on for your daily tasks are not good for you. Now granted, one here and there won’t kill you. But on a night like Black Friday, slugging back a few cans of pure caffeine can prove to be a bad call. Increased heart rate in an already high-energy environment and negative neurological side effects may lead to less than desirable results.

We hope this survival guide will prove fruitful in your near future, money saving endeavors!

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