Asking the Expert: Dave Mayer, Account Manager, Retail Tech
What do you find is the biggest trend with point of sale equipment in the Hospitality market today?
Testing iPads at the tables. Recently, Buffalo Wild Wings trialed about 15 iPads for 60 tables at their North Oak Store in Minnesota. After the demo, the store found customer reviews to be mixed. More than half liked the ease of checking out and having the iPad as an entertainment source for their children. Yet, the other half missed the interaction with a waiter or waitress. After analysis, BWW spent around $7500 for 15 iPads. This is not outrageous, but it is also important to keep in mind that 15 iPads for 60 tables is probably not enough if you want to completely implement them at the point of sale. Generally, most hospitality chains would spend about $7500 for 4 Cash Registers, which would be enough for an entire store. I believe testing iPads will continue to trend. Hospitality chains will try this out, and while iPad checkout stations may work for some, it is definitely not the best solution for everyone.
How do you think mobile checkout will be used in the hospitality market moving forward?
As we have seen, mobile devices will either be brought to the table for customers or already be set out before the guests are seated. The iPads would be used for a number of functions: Order, check-out, entertainment, advertisements, suggestive selling (specials, drinks, desserts), and promotions or loyalty programs.
What services should hospitality clients take advantage of at Retail Tech?
Retail Tech is known for our refurbishment. While many POS companies repair, Retail Tech not only repairs, we rebuild peripherals and terminals. Other services that we provide include onsite services, whole systems, parts, integration and staging, and depot repair. I promise that by saying our refurbishment services are the best, I am not exaggerating. We have IBM to concur.
What has changed in the last five years that surprised you?
While the industry is never static, within the last five years, the amount of time hospitality owners have kept their equipment has increased significantly. Rather than renewing leases and upgrading the three-year old equipment with brand new systems, hospitality operators are now renewing these leases and increasing their TCO with equipment.
What kind of hospitality software do you recommend with an IBM point of sale hardware?
There are a few different options of software to use with IBM point of sale hardware. I have worked with clients who have used Positouch, Xpient, Restaurant Manager, and Lucas to name a few. Ultimately, software is the bread and butter for your point of sale. You need to pick your software before you consider hardware.
What advice would you give a new franchise owner when selecting the best POS?
Define what you want to get out of the register. Reporting, tracking, food, cost, employees, menu items, ease of check-out, ease of use, ability of remote log-in, etc. It is important to have a system with trackability and accountability.
Aside from providing good products, what do you think Retail Tech does better than our competition?
Retail Tech’s employee retention is most important to the company’s long term success. Retail Tech truly values our employees and this is proven in their loyalty throughout the years. Long-standing employees as well as life-long customers set a standard for a solid company.
The quality of our services is second to none. No one has a refurbishment process that is quite like ours. While many point of sale companies repair equipment, most do not take apart completely, thoroughly wash and clean, and repaint if needed.
Getting Personal with Dave!
How long have you been in the industry?
I have been in the industry since 1988 about 24 years! You know you have been in the business a long time when you have been married to POS longer than your wife.
What is the best part about your job?
The best part of my job is building relationships with my customers and interacting with them daily.
What is your favorite restaurant (answer wisely)?
I like restaurants. I like eating. Do I have to choose just one?
Fast Food: Dairy Queen, Erbert and Gerbert
Casual Dining: Applebee’s
What is your favorite piece of technology, and why?
Aside from IBM POS equipment, probably my iPhone. I love the Apps. Some of my favorite are Over 40 which is a magnifier with a flashlight. This application is vital for the days I forget my bifocals. The other App I love is called Pocket Whip. It makes the sound of a whip when you toss it back and forth. Some days I need it to whip myself and co-workers into shape.