Hurricane Sandy. Lightning storms. Flooding. These are the punches that Mother Nature has dealt restaurant managers at the Jersey shore in recent years. Also a challenge for these managers is running a business during the busy summer months. Everything, especially the point of sale system, has to be up and running at top performance during these peak times.
“Every restaurant has its ups and downs, but if you operate year-round and your POS goes down, you can probably get by for a day or two using handheld tickets,” says Lou Romanini, vice president, JSE Computers. “At the Jersey Shore, when a restaurant’s entire revenue-generating activity is crammed into three months, certain nights or weekends can make or break the month or the entire season. A restaurant at the Jersey shore does not want to deal with POS downtime.”
While no one can prevent a system from going down, choosing a reliable POS solution and having a local reseller can help minimize this from becoming a major issue.
JSE Computers has been serving individually-owned and corporate-run establishments throughout the Southern New Jersey region since 1999, and began offering its customers Restaurant Manager POS in 2004. Restaurant Manager, acquired by Shift4 Payments just a few months ago, has been designing point-of-sale software for the foodservice industry since 1987, including solutions for table service, nightclubs and bars, pizza and delivery, quick service, and chain operations. The company also offers a Restaurant Manager mobile POS system called Duet.
Scalable, Flexible, and Customizable
Romanini says that Restaurant Manager scales very nicely, allowing JSE to serve its smaller merchants that use just one terminal, as well as larger customers operating 20-plus stations.
Additionally, the RM POS system is flexible and customizable. One unique feature of this system is called Restaurant Manager Alerts. Romanini explains that a pre-set condition is established based on real-time data from the POS. When the condition is met, an action can be triggered. One example would be using this feature to send a text message to the manager when the cash drawer contains more than $500.
Another example of Restaurant Manager’s flexibility is its printing capabilities. “One of our customers has an inside and outside kitchen, as well as inside dining and two outdoor bars with seating,” says Romanini. “Some food is made inside, some outside, and some in both kitchens. We had to set up Restaurant Manager to route each order to the correct printer in the right kitchen for the chef. On top of that, this information could change depending on the time of day. Restaurant Manager handled it just fine.”
Restaurant Manager also features automated reports based on sales, cash vs. credit card transactions, and product inventory so that kitchen managers know what sold and what needs to be reordered. Reports are sent to a merchant’s inbox or printer.
Appealing Price Point
Before Restaurant Manager was acquired by Shift4 Payments, the POS was priced accordingly as a high-end system, says Romanini. “But, since the purchase, Shift4 Payments has lowered the cost of software licenses and add-on modules, making it less expensive for dealers to deploy a system and giving us a competitive edge. Shift4 Payments also empowered us with the ability to offer the full Restaurant Manager system as a POS-as-a-Service option at $99 per month. The shift in the pricing model allows new merchants to afford more of the features of Restaurant Manager that they may have not previously purchased like customer loyalty, gift cards, online reservations, and online ordering. All of these tools help our merchants grow their businesses.”
Another benefit of the acquisition is that dealers like JSE can purchase high-quality hardware directly from Shift4 Payments at a steep discount. Romanini explains how JSE used to purchase hardware for Restaurant Manager from other vendors, hardware that was not specific to the POS. “Buying this hardware was costly, but since Shift4 Payments manufactures its own hardware, we dealers can purchase a complete POS bundle at a very attractive price,” says Romanini. Additionally, Shift4 Payments offers a lifetime warranty on the hardware, which is a huge selling point over the other vendors’ one- to three-year warranties, he says.
Opportunities Beyond Software
While JSE prides itself on servicing its local community, the company is not limiting itself to selling on Restaurant Manager. “Shift4 Payments has given us other tools, such as stand-alone credit card terminals, mobile credit card terminals, and electronic cash registers to service merchants who don’t want or need a high-end product like Restaurant Manager,” he says. “We previously ignored these potential customers, but not anymore.”