Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Why beacons are the next tech thing for your restaurant

rezkupay uses beacon technology

You may soon find a beacon in your restaurant without any cost to you. They are already found in most retailers and becoming more prevalent in restaurants as well. What is a beacon and why would you allow it in your restaurant? 

A beacon is a small device that gets mounted, usually, at the front entrance. It's unnoticeable to anyone unless they know to look for it. It uses bluetooth technology to communicate with cellphones and is able to identify the owner by phone number and then it reacts by sending out push notifications such as coupons or announcements. It's a sci-fi staple that is now a reality.

There are several ways a beacon can work in your restaurant. A guest arrives at the restaurant and the beacon picks up their cellphone. It may send out an invitation to download a restaurant's app if they don't have it already. Or it could ask them to join their mailing list. Some restaurants announce discounts, specials, or their happy hour. Others use it to link to "Like" their Facebook page. The uses are endless. 

What does this mean for the restaurant? When linked to a POS or reservation service, it could mean faster turn times on tables, meaning more efficiency and profitability. For the customer, convenience. 

And the beacon? It's often included free with the app service. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The 2016 NRA Forecast says to look into pay-by-phone

Technology is becoming more and more important to the restaurant consumer according to the National Restaurant Association's 2016 Restaurant Industry Forecast. As in years past, the numbers of consumers interested in using technology and smartphone apps continues to increase. 

 The 2016 NRA report presented the following data:

  • 75% Smartphone users who view restaurant menus on their phones at least a few times per year. 
  • 39% Smartphone users who would pay restaurant and bar tabs via smartphone app if offered.
  • 72% Consumers who say restaurant technology increases convenience. 
  • 37% Consumers who say technology makes them dine out or order takeout or delivery more often.
Obviously it's worth it for a restaurant to investigate. There are many companies that are now shopping around this service. Here's why you should consider Rezku and our suite of FoH solutions.

We provide all the equipment needed to offer pay-at-table to your guests, including two tablet devices. We also include Rezku Tablet: a full featured front of house and reservation system at no charge, or Rezku Prime at a discounted price. 

The Rezku app offers searching of all restaurants in the area, but if you are a client, your restaurant floats to the top of the search screen. 

If you are a restaurant that takes reservations, then diners will be able to make reservations for your restaurant directly via the app.

If you are a restaurant that only takes waitlist names, the app will show the diner a countdown clock of their wait time. 

We offer very competitive credit card processing rates, saving more of that check from both the app or regular customers. You save twice: once from the credit card fees and again for the free FOH software.

Your servers will thank you for the system set tipping. Tipping starts at 15% and can go as high as 25% based on the choice of the diner. 

Due to the server not having to handle the bill or credit card, your table turn times will improve dramatically.

Presented by Guest Innovations. Be sure to check out our affordable hospitality products RezkuWaitkuSendkuRezkuPrime, and RezkuTablet.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Find and reserve restaurants with Rezku app

The most successful smartphone apps for businesses need to do several things. Most importantly, it needs to appeal to both the customers and the business owners. 

For the customers the app needs to accomplish two things. First it needs to be both beautiful and functional. The app has to be attractive so that it looks like it took time and thought to lay out versus something thrown quickly together. Once it's grabbed attention by sight, it needs to follow through with functionality. Is it intuitive and easy to navigate? Can people find what it is they are looking for? 

For the business there are several different considerations that factor in to the final outcome - helping to improve business. The restaurant owner should have the ability to "claim" their restaurant's profile so that they can edit it as they like. This includes adding photos, a description, and then hours such details as hours, menus, and amenities. Next is whether the app makes it easy to contact a restaurant and/or make a reservation. After all, reservations are income. 

We believe the new Rezku app does it all.

The new Rezku app is a new restaurant search app that covers restaurants across the United States. It works based on your location, but you can also change locations to search in other cities. You can search by cuisine, such as Chinese or Southern. All restaurants are listed, but client restaurants rise to the top. 

Once you've selected a restaurant you can delve into the profile. Each profile has photos of food or the restaurant if they are available. The address, map, phone number are easy to find. Scroll down and you will find all the amenities such as cuisine, hours, parking information, etc. Finally, if they are a client restaurant, there is the ability to make reservations.

You can tell if a restaurant is currently open by the background picture on their listing. Looking above, Plan B is dark because it was closed at the time of this screen shot. But Fabian's was open. 

Another feature for client restaurants is the waitlist time. If a person is put on the waitlist with a quote of 20 minutes (as in the photos above), then the app shows a countdown clock for the customer's wait time. 

We already have future updates in mind to make the app more interactive and improve business even more. Stay tuned! 

Presented by Guest Innovations. Be sure to check out our affordable hospitality products RezkuWaitkuSendkuRezkuPrime, and RezkuTablet.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

5 Reasons to Offer Pay-at-Table

The biggest trend in restaurant technology is the move to Pay-at-Table (PAT) options. The good news for the restaurant owner is that it doesn't have to cost you a thing while also saving you money!

In our recent post, Next big thing: Pay-at-Table, we discussed the types of Pay-at-Table options available. Now that it's time to explore your options, let's discuss the overall benefits to making the switch.

Systems offered for free

Many Pay-at-Table won't cost a thing to implement! The tech companies that offer the systems are usually making their money in other ways. For tableside tablets it might be advertising that will appear occasionally on the screen. For smartphone apps, the cost is usually covered by advertising and/or credit card fees.

Increased table turnover 

A good portion of the meal is taken up by the payment processing done the traditional way — the server brings the bill, the diner checks it and provides payment, the server goes back to process the payment and then returns with the change and/or receipt. With PAT systems, the payment transaction takes place either at the table or via an app, effectively reducing or completely eliminating the need to wait for payment processing. Shortening the meal time for each table means that tables can be turned over faster, ensuring more revenue from more sales.

Better customer service

As much as five to ten minutes per table can be consumed of a server's time just handling the payment process. By using technology to shoot the orders to the kitchen or to handle payments at the table, a server can use time saved to provide better customer service. A server that spends less time traveling back and forth to the POS station or kitchen is able to spend more time on the floor keeping an eye on their tables. 

Saving money from credit card transaction fees

Credit cards are used to pay for meals more than 80% of the time, making credit card transactions an integral and profitable business. Restaurants are already used to the practice of paying 1-4% to credit card processing companies. Since these transactions are electronic, it only makes sense that PAT companies incorporate them into their systems. In some cases the software companies will be able to save a restaurant money by lowering the transaction fee by 1-2%

Labor costs

Some restaurants may see a savings in wages. Having servers on the floor instead of back and forth to the kitchen or POS system can equate to them being able to handle more tables. Where you might have had four servers covering 20 tables before, could be reduced to three by efficient use of technology.

There are many opportunities for restaurants to enter the Pay-at-Table era with little or no cost. Shop around, negotiate, and you'll find that adding this technology option will help your bottom line. 

Presented by Guest Innovations. Be sure to check out our affordable hospitality products RezkuPrimeRezkuTabletWaitku, and Sendku.

Customers want Pay-at-Table

More and more customers are embracing technology coupled with convenience. In the restaurant world, that means the convenience of Pay-at-table. 

Some new technology takes off to great success, such as handheld Point-of-Sale (POS) systems. Other technologies, such as QR codes, weren't as successful. The key to success is end user acceptance. Restaurants love the the speed and accuracy of the electronic POS systems, but the public wasn't as quick to accept the use of QR codes.

The next big thing in the restaurant industry technology is Pay-at-table (PAT), of which there are two types.

Swipe at table

The first style of PAT is via a credit card swipe at the table. This can take place in one of two ways. The first is the most common — giving a credit card to a server who swipes it into her handheld POS device while she's standing in front of you. Then her device prints a receipt or she can email it to you. This is not only quick, but also guarantees that your credit card is never visually out of your sight. This really reduces anyone being given the opportunity to steal your credit card information and adds protection against identity theft.

The second style is to have the customer process the transaction themselves via tablets mounted at the tables. Larger chains such as Applebee's, Chili's, and Chevy's have all tried tablets at tables. Table tablets allow for advertisements, games for kids, menu assistance, and ordering. They also let the customer view their bill, swipe their credit card to pay, and then leave without having to wait for a server. 

Pay-at-table apps

What is becoming even more popular among consumers are the PAT apps. There's been an onslaught of them on the market recently.  Most of these apps store the customers' credit cards within the app itself.

Again, there are variations. One method is via reservation apps. A customer makes a reservation at a restaurant that is served by the reservation app. They arrive, dine, and then get up and leave. These apps most often have a default gratuity set in them of 18-20% so that the tipping is automatic as well. There are also walk-in apps where a customer doesn't need a reservation, they can just go to a restaurant that accepts the app. 

Another variation is via credit card or payment service applications themselves. Some provide that the customer must make their presence known to the restaurant and let them know that they will be paying via the app, whereas in the reservation apps the identity and payment method would already be known via the reservation.  

What both methods share in common is that the app companies must make agreements with restaurants to accept the apps and await payment. With the new proliferation of PAT apps there is a lot of competition to sign up restaurants. 

There are also a lot of questions for the restaurants. Does a restaurant sign with one or multiple apps? How long must they wait for the actual funds to be transferred via this new third party? What fees, if any, are there? 

What is clear is that Pay-at-table is becoming more popular and one of the technology trends that appears to be sticking. It's important for restaurants to think carefully how they want to enter into this new area. 

Presented by Guest Innovations. Be sure to check out our affordable hospitality products RezkuPrime, RezkuTabletWaitku, and Sendku.