The Green Sheet Online Edition
August 08, 2011 • Issue 11:08:01
Mobile POS with tableside manners
A new mobile POS solution from pcAmerica has joined the ranks of innovators making it possible for wait staff to place orders and process payments tableside. Restaurant Pro Express Mobile offers the same functionality of a stationary POS terminal but on an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch, pcAmerica reported. And it synchronizes guest checks and menus in real time with the company's Restaurant Pro Express touch screen system.
RPE Mobile, which debuted at the RSPA RetailNOW Convention in July 2011, is scheduled for rollout soon. "We have already a restaurant product that's pretty widely used for both table service and quick service," said David Gosman, Chief Executive Officer at pcAmerica. "It is still a PC-based product, so you would still need to have our Restaurant Pro Express core product within the business."
But instead of installing four or five POS terminals in a restaurant, which requires servers to take orders on paper and transfer information at a POS station, orders can be entered accurately into the mobile device and payments processed through an attached encrypted card reader, Gosman said.
"It is routing it back into their primary POS system, which does connect through SSL," he added. "Our POS system has all the power and ability to do special pricing, calculate taxes, send orders to the kitchen - all the features you would expect in a high-end POS. But we're giving it that mobile extension where the server can take orders and process payments at the table and spend more time with the customers."
Gosman believes mobile POS solutions are gaining popularity because they offer the functionality of a traditional POS package in an affordable unit that fits into your pocket. The company has found that tableside ordering not only reduces wait times and errors, but it also enables staff to deliver more personalized service and, in the process, up-sell drinks, side dishes and desserts.
"It has a really great design in terms of how everything is laid out," Gosman said. "It's very colorful and moves forward in a list format that a lot of users are familiar with," and because it operates with the touch of a finger, no stylus device is required.
In synchronizing with the main POS system, servers can walk around a busy bar placing orders through the device with happy hour pricing reflected on each order, Gosman noted. "You can also split checks, so if somebody wants to pay with two separate credit cards, you can do that in the mobile device as well," he said. With RPE Mobile, tips can be applied and signatures captured electronically on the signature pad.
A broader profit perimeter
According to pcAmerica, RPE Mobile not only enhances the profit potential for traditional hospitality businesses, including restaurants, bars and nightclubs, but it expands sales to virtually any environment where wireless POS capability is required such as stadiums and other outdoor venues.
"It really is going to be any table service restaurant application, whether it be an independent or a chain," Gosman said. "It's priced on a very scalable model. The pricing itself works on a monthly fee, and the monthly fee applies to a per terminal basis, so you can scale up or down as many terminals as you want at any point in time." RPE Mobile's software-as-a-service technology will be available through pcAmerica's reseller channel under a revenue share model.
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