RM Monitor Helps Watch Over Killarney’s

Killarney‘s Publick House in Hamilton, NJ provides a perfect spot to watch a game and enjoy a pint while dining on traditional Irish fare. That kind of atmosphere keeps the crowd coming in, the staff hopping and the management focused on ensuring smooth operations. For owner Jack Manousos, this task has been made a great deal easier thanks to Restaurant Manager‘s RM Monitor.

RM Monitor is a powerful service that allows owners and managers to gain real-time visibility into key operational and management data from any smart phone. Through access to information such as sales data, labor and cost ratios, and employee hours worked, as well as the ability to receive key alerts on items like overtime hours worked, voids and deletions, management can stay on top of costly issues at any time, from anywhere.

“It‘s the most used app on my iPhone,” said Jack. “No matter where I am simply pulling out my iPhone and launching RM Monitor gives me instant access to the information that lets me know exactly what‘s going on back at the restaurant while reducing my calls to the manager on duty.”

Click here to read the full case study.

Heartbleed Bug May Impact Your Restaurant

Restaurant owners are busy people who don’t always have time to keep up with news from the technology sector. But restaurants that do ANY social media marketing could be affected by the Heartbleed Bug that’s been in the news lately.

If your restaurant does social media marketing, be sure to change the password you use to access any of the social media sites listed on this Heartbleed Hit List. Failure to do so leaves you open to hackers intent of making malicious changes to your account or using your email to send spam.

Tracy Fifer, owner of Fifer’s Seafood in Annapolis, MD didn’t think much about it when he heard first the news about the so-called Heartbleed Bug. “Even though Facebook and Foursquare are an important part of our marketing strategy, it didn’t occur to me that some bug in SSL software would affect my restaurant,” said Fifer. “Fortunately, I work with a terrific POS provider who helps me stay on top of all these technologies and within a few hours of hearing the news, he’d gotten all our passwords updated and our business secure. In this day and age, I couldn’t operate my business without a technology advisor like Technology Marketing!!”

If your not sure what the Heartbleed Bug might mean for your business, contact your POS provider TODAY.

Fifer’s Seafood trades on family tradition with a modern twist

Managing a fresh seafood market and restaurant near the Chesapeake Bay is no easy task for Tracy Fifer, a third-generation Marylander whose grandfather opened a seafood carryout in the heart of Baltimore in 1950. After learning the trade from their father, Tracy and his two younger brothers opened the door to Fifer’s Seafood in 2001, a casual dining restaurant situated in a small shopping plaza in Pasadena, Maryland.

Fifer’s has grown and expanded a few times since their opening, but this popular seafood restaurant and market hasn’t always been on the cutting edge when it comes to using technology in the restaurant. “We were doing it the old-fashioned way with pencil and paper, but that came at a steep price. During a busy weekend we would lose between $300 and $500 due to ticket mistakes and delays. The wrong food would be cooked because the kitchen staff couldn’t read the tickets, the wait staff would forget to add a second or third drink order, and a carry-out order would create chaos because no one knew how to schedule it. I knew it was time to make a change,” stated Tracy.

After receiving a sales call from Dan Youngblood at Technology Marketing, a full-service distributor of ASI’s Restaurant Manager POS, Tracy was excited to see how much time and money he would save by installing a computerized POS system, to help manage the dine-in, carry-out, and delivery aspects of his restaurant. The popularity of Fifer’s carry-out crabs continued to grow and Tracy kept adding phone lines to handle the rush during weekends, especially during the popular summer months when Maryland crabs are in high demand. To streamline this process even more, Tracy decided to try out Restaurant Manager’s new integrated Online Ordering service, which processes orders from the web and sends them directly to Fifer’s kitchen. The weekend rushes were soon more manageable as Fifer’s “trained” their customers to order online and save 10% on their orders. Customers began to flock to the new online ordering service resulting in a 40% increase in online sales. “It seems like almost overnight, we went from zero online sales to having months in excess of $10,000 or more just in online seafood sales,” said Tracy.

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US Foods Mobile Kitchen uses Restaurant Manager iPad POS at Indianapolis Colts Touchdown Town

As the only POS System in the US Foods Resource Advantage Program, Restaurant Manager POS has been chosen as the iPad POS solution for the US Foods Mobile Kitchen at the Indianapolis Colts American Family Insurance Touchdown Town, the Colts premier pre-game party.

“We wanted to do this right all the way around which meant choosing a quality point of sale system with state of the art mobile options,” says Rob Tackett, Director of Sales Support for the US Foods Indianapolis Division, who is overseeing the project. Rob turned to ThinkSmart POS, the local Restaurant Manager reseller, who recommended Restaurant Manager’s iPad POS.

Armed with three iPad POS stations running the full Restaurant Manager POS software, the US Foods Mobile Kitchen team is able to mobilize the order taking process. Cashiers walk the crowds taking orders and credit card payments that are sent directly to the truck; cutting lines and wait times while getting food to hungry fans faster. The easy to use interface also cuts down training times, “We give everyone a 10 minute training class before they start and they pick it right up,” says Rob.

“Restaurant Manager is an amazing system,” he goes on, “it’s so simple to use but behind the scenes it’s doing so much,” Rob and his team particularly love the interface between Restaurant Manager and the US Foods Proprietary Menu Profit Builder Pro Online software. This tool allows them to easily manage food costs, quickly set the right price for specials and new menu items, and accurately predict inventory needs.

The US Foods Mobile Kitchen will be serving delicious, modern takes on tailgate classics for all Colts home games during the regular season. If the Colts make the play-offs their run could be extended.

Learn more about the US Foods Mobile Kitchen and their Restaurant Manager iPad POS system.

Independent Restaurants Speak Out On Purchasing Better POS Systems

Software Advice recently concluded a survey of thousands of businesses who were looking to purchase a new POS system, and published their findings in the “Point of Sale Software BuyerView 2013.”  The restaurant industry ranked in the top 5 market segments that they sampled, and over a third of the buyers were looking to upgrade the POS software they were currently using.

Some highlights from the research include:

  • Over 80% of respondents were owner/operators of a single store concept.
  • The top cited reasons for purchasing or replacing a POS system is improve accuracy and effectiveness and better features.
  • Nearly 100% of respondents are seeking inventory control and approximately half are seeking customer management functions.

Click here to view the full report.

New IRS Rule Causes Restaurants to Rethink Auto-gratuities

A new IRS tax rule has restaurants rethinking the practice of including a gratuity in the amount due on checks presented to large parties.  Effective January 1, 2014 the Internal Revenue Service will classify automatic gratuities as wages, subject to payroll tax withholding—instead of tips, which are made at the customer’s discretion and reported to the IRS by the employee, only, not by the employer.

In other words, the IRS has decided that “automatic gratuities” aren’t really tips at all, but service charges that should be considered part of the restaurant payroll!  You can read more about the rule on the IRS website:

IRS Topic 761 – Tips: Reporting & Withholding

What does this mean for restaurant owners?

This change has several potential consequences for restaurant owners:

More complicated payroll calculations: Restaurants will be required to adjust the gross salary earned during each pay period to include the amount of any “auto gratuities” paid out to a given employees.

Higher taxes: When employee wages go up, their employers’ tax liability goes up as well. For example social security contributions will be higher for employees who receive a large amount of these service charges as part of their wage.

Dissatisfied employees: Your staff’s tax burden will go up right along with your own, leading to some unhappy servers.  Additionally, severs will need to wait to take home cash earned this way until their next paycheck, rather than pocketing it the night the customer pays the gratuity.

What should you do?

The cleanest way to comply with the new IRS rule is to stop charging automatic gratuities entirely.  Alternatively, restaurants can upgrade their POS System to a solution that includes auto gratuities in payroll calculations.  The one thing you don’t want to do is NOTHING.  Manually tracking unpredictable variations in employee wages after the fact is an unnecessary cost that restaurants need not – and SHOULD NOT – incur.

Whether you stop charging auto gratuities or start including these gratuities in your payroll calculation, it’s important to communicate with your staff prior to making any changes.  Make sure they understand that outside forces – the IRS to be exact – are requiring you to change company policies.  And demonstrate that you’re trying to comply in a way that causes them the least harm possible.  For example, if you do decide to stop charging automatic gratuities, you might consider re-designing guest checks so that, under the actual check total, customers can see the total amount they should pay if they wish to leave a 15%, 18% or 20% tip.  Sometimes a simple change like a re-designed check format can go a long way in boosting staff morale.

iPad POS for Restaurants: Pros and Cons

iPad POS is steadily gaining popularity. Demand for iPad POS solutions from all over the retail and hospitality spectrum has driven the creation of many new iPad POS start-up companies as well as major investments in iPad POS technology from more established POS providers. Walking around the National Restaurant Show this May, our team saw iPads in almost every booth. So is iPad POS the right answer for your restaurant? We’ve compiled a list of 5 advantages of an iPad POS system as well as 3 disadvantages of iPad POS when compared to alternatives.

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