Integrator's POS Software Solution Leads To Hospitality Sale
By pitching the added efficiencies of new point of sale (POS) hardware and software, this integrator expects a 50% increase in sales revenue.
You've studied your market; invested in a professional, reliable staff; and built a strong reputation through hard work. You've done everything right to become a successful, growing VAR, and then, without warning, catastrophic events outside of your control take it all away. This is a business owner's worst nightmare and one that many victims of hurricane Katrina have faced and continue to attempt to recover from. Randy Cartlidge, president of POS software manufacturer and integrator Hospitality Data Systems, Inc. (HDS), went through a similar business experience with his company in 2002 when hurricane Charlie decimated HDS' surrounding business region. Because of that experience, Cartlidge reached out to a hospitality association to see how the New Orleans businesses were faring. Through this association, Cartlidge heard of the struggles facing the Cajun Cabin and Five O'Clock Grille and its need for a new POS system.
Located on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, the restaurant suffered no physical damage from Katrina, and yet, due to the desolation of the surrounding area, sales dropped 99% immediately following the disaster, forcing the ownership to cut the restaurant staff from 120 people to 7 within the two months following the storm. Because the restaurant suffered no physical damage from Katrina, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) relief and insurance restitution were not available. At the same time, the Cajun Cabin and Five O'Clock Grille's POS hardware was failing due to old age, and its POS software was lacking sales management features the restaurant's owners needed to closely monitor the establishment's financial health.
Sell The Added Functionality Of POS Software
"With the loss of employees, Cajun Cabin and Five O'Clock Grille needed to do more with fewer people," says Cartlidge. "We discussed the need for better POS software to handle as many different restaurant functions as possible." The solution was Cartlidge's own POS software Win-EZ, which acts as a time and attendance system, creates food menus, and displays drink recipes for bartenders. The software also provides sales, expense, and inventory reports. The Win-EZ software is running on six TekVision TC-1000 thin-client terminals throughout the restaurant. HDS also installed two Epson TM220 thermal receipt printers in the kitchen and two printers in the bar areas.
Sterling Payment was selected as the payment processing solution due to the ease of installation. "Since Sterling provides IP [Internet Protocol]-based payment processing, installation and maintenance is very fast and easy," says Cartlidge. "It takes 30 seconds to complete a Sterling installation." The result is the Cajun Cabin and Five O'Clock Grille now has 2-second payment card authorization times, there is no need for any third party payment processing gateway software residing on the restaurant's own computers, and all system updates (such as payment card industry security updates) are handled immediately and automatically on Sterling's end.
HDS spent one day to complete the hardware and software installation and three days training the Cajun Cabin and Five O'Clock Grille staff how to use the system. After one week of using the new POS systems, restaurant management noticed an increase in revenue. "Unlike their old POS system, the new POS software tracks food costs, shortages, and sales statistics in real time," adds Cartlidge. In addition, the incorporated time and attendance system better manages employee overtime and has resulted in increased bartender efficiency by displaying drink ingredients in the proper volumes. HDS expects a 50% increase in sales revenue this year by touting the added benefits of its Win-EZ POS software to restaurants in need of the added visibility and management the software offers.
Despite the added efficiencies of the new POS system, Cajun Cabin and Five O'Clock Grille faces a long journey toward economic stability — a fact driven home by the restaurant's current sales goal: to recover to only a 50% loss in sales. Today, the Cajun Cabin and Five O'Clock Grille has recovered to 30 full-time staff members. Cartlidge says that the 6-terminal POS system will be able to support the added staff, even if the Cajun Cabin and Five O'Clock Grille reaches its pre-Katrina size of 120 employees.