The PMQ P.O.S. report

The difference that separates those pizza operators who are successful and those who go bankrupt, or just manage to stay open, are small advantages in marketing ability or investments in equipment that gives them an edge. In the tightest of markets, the smallest advantage makes the biggest difference.

For many pizzeria operators, one investment that can make a difference is a P.O.S. system. In any business, one of the most valuable assets is information on what is going on within the company. In pizzerias, the two basic pieces of information you want to know at the end of the night is how many orders you ran that day and how much money was received. Naturally, a P.O.S. can make these tabulations quicker and easier, but they can do much more.

Being able to break sales down and see specifically which items are selling and which ones aren't starts you on the road to better management. The ability to know who is ordering what from where and when and how they are paying for it can save thousands of dollars and earn thousands more. Knowing how well a promotion works will determine if it should be run again or avoided at all cost. Knowing where your orders are coming from can tell you whom to target with promotions. Knowing what is selling will tell you what to add or remove from the menu.

Toss in the ability to pull data from multiple locations to a remote location each night, analyze labor costs, speed of deliveries, customer ordering histories and many of the other functions P.O.S.systems can perform and you begin to see the value in a P.O.S. investment. No longer do you have to count orders, do the accounting and payroll or keep up with drivers, tips and taxes. Today's generation of P.O.S. systems can do all of this for you. They can tell you what hour is the busiest of the year, what day sees the highest volume, which topping is selling the most and automatically pull up the order history and address of the customer on the phone. These systems can run credit cards, monitor store operations with video surveillance and do your accounting for you.

Many pizza operators overlook some of the aspects of P.O.S. systems that put more money in their accounts. Systems can have suggestive selling software added that prompts employees to up-sell customers. A P.O.S. system can also help identify lost or lazy customers who haven't ordered in a while. Once you pull these records from your P.O.S. database, you can target marketing efforts to recapture them

One of the newest features to POS systems helps reduce employee theft. This new technology involves fingerprint identification. If you are thinking it sounds like some James Bond stuff, you're right. If you are thinking it costs an arm and a leg to add, you're wrong. According to sources in the POS industry I spoke with, fingerprint identification hardware and software can be added for under $1,000 and in many cases around $700. How does this new tool help? It limits who has the capability to delete orders from the system. Fingerprint identification can also be used to clock people in and out for payroll and notify the owner either by email or paging that an employee has clocked in early or the store is closing early.

Another item that has been around and has become a basic feature is touch-screen ordering. Touch-screens have a couple of advantages. Obviously, they are smaller and sleeker, taking up less space and giving your operation that cutting edge technology look. Touch-screens also make the ordering process easier for the employee and can help in operations where employees are not well versed in the English language and icons can help.

A Note for the POS Companies

I know that all of the P.O.S. companies who are listed in the following P.O.S. directory will be reading this so I would like to take this opportunity to pass along some feedback. While researching this article, I asked operators what was the most important thing about their P.O.S. It was truly amazing how nearly everyone I spoke with responded with, "Support, Support, and Support." Many said they called after-hours when they were closing (which is when many of the problems or questions occur) and got automated messages. Most said they talked with the techies who seemed to speak a different language than the average Joe. This may be something P.O.S. companies need to address.

Users have also commented about how many of the useful functions of a P.O.S. system aren't used because they haven't had the time available that is needed to learn how to use them. Any time I go to a pizzeria to do an interview and see a P.O.S. system I ask the operator what function they use. More times than not, they tell me they use the customer history and use the closing functions at the end of the night to get the day's sales. When I ask why they don't use any of the other functions, they tell me that they tried to learn them, but it was taking too much time and they had a business to run. This subject came up recently in a Tuesday Night Chat Session and when asked, most everyone there said they would use the features if they could learn them quickly. Maybe it is time for P.O.S. companies to offer some type of visual training for new and existing clients. Should it be a CD-ROM, video, or Flash program training? I don't know, but if your clients can learn how to use the features, they will – and be happier with their purchase. P.O.S. companies are invited to schedule online chats in the PMQ Chatroom for training or seminars.

Leaders in the pizza industry find an edge and put it to work for them. They probably get home earlier and sleep better, too. If you use the functions of the P.O.S., it will most likely pay for itself by the end of the first year if not sooner. If you are considering purchasing a P.O.S. system or upgrading to a newer system, take a look at the P.O.S. guide we have compiles here and narrow down your choices to five or six and then give them a call.

2003 PMQ POS SYSTEM REVIEW

ABC POS The ABC Supreme POS uses dual servers, storing all data on both computers, to guard against loss of data due to equipment failure. Software includes inventory and ideal food costs,30,000 customer database, 6,500 menu items, 25,000 bad check entries, up to 9 tills, timeclock with scheduling, US postal zipcodes for all addresses in the delivery area. It supports CheckBack and maps of APH . For kitchen, the software supports one or two video displays; or from one to three printers, each displaying different food items to be prepared.An offsite office computer or laptop stores total data for up to 20 stores and prepares individual or combined store reports. Collects data remotely by modem or downloaded directly on portable laptop unit.Exports data to Access or Excel, and uses the Internet for support. Sales information: 800-842-4153

Aloha Technologies (www.alohapos.com) provides a comprehensive suite of point-of-sale software and information solutions for the foodservice and hospitality industries. The restaurant industry's first Windows-based POS solution, the Aloha line includes flagship products, Aloha TableService, Aloha QuickService and Aloha Enterprise.com. The Aloha suite also includes a collection of back office and customer relationship management tools. The company's award-winning POS system is available in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and German and is industry-renowned for its redundancy and ease-of-use. Another industry first, Aloha Enterprise.com is an Internet/ASP-based restaurant enterprise management solution that allows restaurateurs to manage their operations using only a web browser. Aloha Technologies is based in Bedford, Texas. The company has a nationwide network of certified resellers and international offices in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Sales information: 800-792-5642

ASI Restaurant Manager (www.actionsystems.com) DeliveryService from ASI was specially designed for the pizza industry. It can be integrated with other Restaurant Manager modules for managing table service or carry-out business. DeliveryService covers all the bases that make your business so different from other restaurants. Whether employees are manning the phones, working the counter, preparing orders or expediting delivery, they use intuitive POS screens tailored to prompt them through their specific job tasks quickly and accurately. You'll appreciate Restaurant Manager's approach that lets you go with the customer's flow. No matter how they place their order, split pies or change their minds it's all on one interactive screen: crust, size, toppings, specialty/combo deals. From Caller ID and Last Order Recall to driving directions and money drops, Restaurant Manager does it all! Sales information: 800-356-6037 or sales@actionsystems.com

ASSAL Corporation (www.assal.com) is a leading provider of a broad range of innovative advanced restaurant point of sale and management data systems. InTouchPOS is Easy-to-use, user defined, with Windows2000, 2003 or XP server, we offer brand name pc based hardware and top quality touch screen monitors for multinational chains as well as independent operators. ASSAL provides a complete POS solution including software, hardware, systems integration, consulting, system setup & configuration, installation, training, and 24/7/365 toll free customer service. Since 1988, we have been supporting Restaurant POS for table service and quick service restaurants worldwide. InTouchPOS, and InTouchOffice (our corporate office enterprise system) are uniquely flexible and can be customized to meet the specific needs of our customers. Knowing that we will be there for you after the install allows you the piece of mind to concentrate on more important aspects of your business. We have retained 99.9% of our Customers since 1988. Information: 1-800-777-8202 .

Breakaway International (www.breakawaynet.com) develops innovative software to meet your needs. Breakaway Vision, our flagship POS system, provides extensive capabilities, from order tracking and store operations to management and customer marketing. Breakaway Enterprise is our multi-unit enterprise management solution that provides centralized data warehousing capabilities. Breakaway Enterprise uses Breakaway Vision to transfer store information through the Internet, and utilizes a web-based portal interface for users to access store data and reports. Breakaway offers two software solutions: Breakway ProHost and Breakaway RSViP to address the needs of restaurant's table seating and reservations management. Other basic features of our system include ambidextrous order taking, multi-currency support, and Store-to-Door delivery maps and instructions. Breakaway International helps you take advantage of evolving technologies to create powerful business tools for our industry for years to come. Sales information: 800-677-2986

Comstar Interactive Corp (www.comstarinteractive.com) is an innovator of Web-enabled wireless solutions both for businesses and individuals. Its groundbreaking CHARGE ANYwhere wireless credit card processing solution is a feature-laden end-to-end, scalable, POS service that allows businesses to securely make transactions in the field and also to manage them on-line, in real-time for hundreds of dollars less than other companies charge just for mobile terminals. CHARGE ANYwhere features a wearable, state-of-the-art device that incorporates a patented magnetic card swipe reader with the popular BlackBerry-class RIM 850/950 Wireless Handheld with a full QWERTY keyboard. The device connects wirelessly through Comstar's powerful Gateway to complete authorizations on average within five to seven seconds. The Gateway processes data that feeds Comstar's Web-based transaction management system, "CHARGE ANYwhere Transaction Manager," which gives customers a real-time view via their desktop computer of credit card sales taking place in the field by their representatives. The solution also includes such wireless capabilities as check authorization, two-way messaging and e-mail access. Sales information: 1-800-211-1256, ext. 4 or sales@comstarinteractive.com.

DataQuest (www.pdqpos.com) PDQ Software is the 17-year leader in being the most affordable and durable point of sale in the market place. Available in both keyboard and touch screen platforms, PDQ will provide not only labor control and marketing inventory but the easiest order taking available. You can train your employees in less than 8 minutes and they are taking orders and being productive. If you deliver then our Driver Dispatch is a must for you �not only controls your drivers, but it is a valuable tool in managing orders. Our motto is this "Why pay more for something that doesn't do as much?" Sales information: 800-677-2986

Digital Dining (www.menusoft.com) Digital Dining is a true 32bit windows restaurant management system installed in over 25,000 foodservice operations from pizza delivery to quick service and fine dining. Choose Digital Dining's touch screen POS or handheld POS and get the same feature-rich system, including Frequent Diner, Delivery, A/R, Table Management and Gift Certificates. Digital Dining's comprehensive back office offers built-in report generators for customizable reporting, fully integrated on-line credit card verification, inventory with recipe costing, labor scheduling and multi-store data management. Sales information: 703-912-3000

EATA 2000 by Kilo Delta Pty. Ltd (www.eata2000.com) is a fast food administration system written for any Windows based OS and compatible hardware. EATA 2000 works well with touch screen or rapid minimum keystroke keyboard entry. The EATA 2000 solution costs $100 per month for up to a ten terminal single site system, including unlimited e-mail and free updates. Current system includes: Caller ID, Voice recognition and extensive reports. A comprehensive features and benefits list is available online. Our motto is, "We Listen." The results are you getting what you ask for. New versions (released every 6 months) have features created from your requests. New features scheduled: enhanced inventory management, integration to industry standard accounting packages (such as MYOB & Quickbooks) and an Online Web based ordering process. Sales information: +6189571 0002

Phoenix POS by FireFly Technologies (www.fireflypos.com) was designed from the ground up by the most experienced team in the pizza technology business to help you run your restaurant more efficiently. It is incredibly powerful, speedy and easy to use. Outstanding flexibility combined with simplicity in building menus and pricing items combined with very powerful coupon controls are some of its greatest strengths. Instant graphical updates of store status keep managers informed, and Phoenix offers complete delivery management, employee management, very strong marketing features and more. It's backed by a strong commitment to reliability as well as quality service & support. Contact FireFly at 866-678-6781 or sales@fireflypos.com.

Foodman (www.Foodman123.com) The only Do-it-Yourself software system on the market (buy your own cheap hardware). The only truly SELF-EXPLANATORY system on the market. Use either keyboard OR touchscreen OR both. Includes Debit Cards and Rentals. Birthday Club, Lucky Numbers, $100 club for promotions. Sales information: 800-971-3663

Microworks PrISM' for Windows POS System (www.microworks.com) is developed specifically for the Pizza Business. For the new POS user, PrISM provides the ease-of-use necessary to get up and running in no time. For the experienced user, PrISM offers advanced features such as a Customer Profile allowing multiple ph. numbers/addresses per account, default delivery/marketing addresses and logging of credit card numbers to an account. The QuickBooks Pro direct XML interface gives immediate access to accounting information without data reentry. Other features include Gift Cards, Inventory, Food Costing and Multiple Tickets per Delivery Location. PrISM merges Dine In, Carry Out and Delivery business seamlessly and can even scan barcodes. Whether Carry Out & Delivery or a Full Service restaurant, PrISM for Windows provides the tools to automate your business. Sales information: 800-787-2068

National Systems Corporation (www.nationalsystems.com) NSC is a major provider of POS systems to pizza chains across the U.S. and around the world. The company flagship product, TMS/G2, is the newest and most powerful version of the TMS/Quik Order family of POS systems used in the highly competitive pizza delivery industry. The TMS/Quik Order Touch Screen is a graphical touch screen interface added to existing TMS implementations operating on legacy systems including MSDOS and Windows-based, as well as Windows 2000 platforms.TMS systems have been used to process more than two billion pizza orders in four languages in over a dozen countries Other basic features include Integrated Driver Mapping, Integrated Credit Card Processing, Integrated Automatic Direct Mail Marketing, Integrated Internet Ordering. Sales information: 312-855-1000

Next POS (www.nextpos.com) NextPOS For Restaurants is 100% 32-Bit Windows based. Our software runs on Windows 95 or better. Additionally, our software is designed especially for touch screen operations, resulting in easier and faster employee training. Our software was designed with the user in mind and has resulted in a very intuitive solution. New features are being added every day with input from customers which ensures the software is what people are asking for. Sales information: 209-533-3711

Nextwave Solutions (www.nextwavepos.com) Bolt Point-Of-Sale from Nextwave Solutions, Inc. is designed for delivery, dine-in and quick-serve restaurants. Bolt can help you control your business/employees better and save money at the same time. Bolt is based on latest technology with touch-screen, driver routing/maps, credit card authorization, Caller ID, time clock/scheduling and much more. Bolt is intuitive, affordable, and powerful. Find out how quickly you can improve your business and keep your customers forever. Sales information: 877-827-7441

OneSystem POS by oneSystem Inc. (www.onesystem.com) Our POS is a separate or fully integrated component of our oneNumber Call Center. Our Enterprise suite includes options for back office Internet reporting and Internet sales. Other basic features of our system include a 25-page feature guide, polling by store or Call Center, extended keyboards (i.e Prey and Wombat), secure cash flows with cashier, manager or owner keys, manager & owner security over rides with complete audit trail. We offer a scaleable POS solution that ranges from Delivery only, to Full service Dining. Sales information: 888-311-1110

PixelPoint (www.pixelpointpos.com) PixelPoint delivers seamlessly integrated, cost effective, off the shelf and out of the box POS, web, wireless and Enterprise software solutions for the pizza industry worldwide. There is no better way to build customer loyalty, increase sales and improve efficiency. Since 1992, PixelPoint has been committed to providing reliable, flexible, and easy-to-use point of sale software for hospitality industry. PixelPoint has installations in North America and Internationally, covering almost every major economic center worldwide, shipping its software in 5 languages and is continually dedicated to expand its reach into new and emerging markets. Sales information: 800-267-4935

Posera (www.maitredpos.com) Posera offers a complete series of integrated software solutions to streamline restaurant management, be it a small eatery or a multi-national corporation. Developed by a team of talented programmers, Maitre'D POS solutions, Back-Office solutions and Enterprise solutions create long-term viability for business owners by helping them maintain quality standards and cost controls in real-time. With built-in redundancy features that ensure no single point of failure, this innovative tool can be customized to your needs and will provide invaluable data when it comes to making business decisions that count. Sales information: 888-404-2662

Radiant (www.radiantsystems.com) Radiant RapidFire, Radiant's solution for Pizza and Delivery restaurants, enables operators to efficiently manage all aspects of site operations from order taking, food production and delivery management to sales reporting, inventory controls and food and labor cost analysis. Our extensive tracking and reporting features give you the critical information you need to make profitable decisions. Use RapidFire's innovative marketing tools to increase customer loyalty and your bottom line. RapidFire gives you the tools you need to efficiently manage your business today, and to help it grow into the future. Complete cash management, inventory control, time and attendance, sales and labor reports, and more give you the control and security you need in your operation. Sales information: 800-676-1059

RMS (www.rmstouch.com or www.rmskiosk.com) RMS-TOUCH is a Windows based touch screen POS system for the hospitality industry. RMS-KIOSK, our customer self ordering system allows customer to place their own orders using a multimedia touch screen device. RMS-KIOSK is designed for busy take out operations such as Pizza, Delis and Quick Service operations. RMS-KIOSK increases sales and reduced labor costs. RMS-KIOSK reduces waiting line. RMS-KIOSK includes suggesting selling, multi-language capabilities and a graphical Pizza builder. RMS-KIOSK interfaces with the RMS-TOUCH POS system, speeding up the order entry process. RMS-KIOSK is an IBM "Store Proven" Solution. RMS-TOUCH is an IBM Business Partner. Sales information: RMS-TOUCH at 201-461-9096

Rockland Technology (www.rocklandtech.com) Diamond Touch by Rockland Technology Group is an advanced POS and management system designed specifically for pizzerias. Our graphical menu design enables all of your employees to build any type of pizza that customers can throw at them. Our integrated delivery dispatch, mapping, and tracking systems help your staff get customer orders to their door quickly and accurately while tracking every penny of your cash every step of the way. Behind the front end is a suite of reporting functions to help manage your business even while you're away from the store. Diamond Touch can also be secured with advanced biometric access control to protect your profits. Other basic features include delivery route mapping, biometric access control (fingerprint security), remote viewing of sales data, corporate polling and paper reports. Sales information: 800-750-3947

Selby Soft (www.SelbySoft.com) SP-1 by SelbySoft is no doubt the most powerful tool you can invest in for your business! SP-1 can be configured for virtually any restaurant from the small delivery only business to extremely high volume delivery. With the ability to use the system for tabling, carry out, and pick up orders, SP-1 is the best choice for your business. SP-1 will also provide meticulous reporting, the ability to do gift cards, inventory control, e-mail communication, time and attendance and internet based corporate reporting. With 17 years in the point of sale industry we have a selection of leasing options for you as well. Sales Information: 800-454-4434 or sp1@selbysoft.com

Signature Systems, Inc. (www.SignatureSystemsPOS.com) Our unique Driver Dispatch is available for tracking and routing deliveries. We offer our customers a FULL YEAR on-site service and support. We understand the unique pizzeria industry, our POS system was built FOR this industry. Some companies try to make their square peg fit into a round hole, we simply provide the right peg for the right hole. We now offer finger print recognition. No more passwords or employee cards needed. 100% accuracy, literally, at your fingertips! Other basic features: delivery routing, multi-level pricing, customer database, inventory, time clock gift certificates and gift cards and scanning of dry goods. Systems run as cheaply as $8.00 per day! Call today to set up a time we can come to your location and do an on-site demonstration. Sales information: 877-968-6430

Speedline (www.speedlinesolutions.com) SpeedLine specializes in pizza POS, with pizza intelligence™ features that improve service and efficiency. Projected sales calculator, skill-based scheduling, and labor percentage tracking to control labor costs. Sales summaries at a glance for fast answers. Smart direct customer marketing: print customer reports to mailing labels or mass email. Advanced capabilities include Excel® integration and automatic journal entries for QuickBooks®, Peach Tree®, and Simply Accounting®. SpeedLine also offers smart coupons, time clock export to ADP® Payroll, and gift certificate tracking. Other options: delivery mapping and directions, finger security sensors, caller ID, credit card processing, remote Web access, and inventory control. For multiple locations: central menu management, one-number call center, corporate data integration and analysis. On-site training, reliable toll-free support, and regular upgrades complete the package. Sales information: 888-400-9185 or info@speedlinesolutions.com

Summit Computer Networks POS Pizza (www.pospizza.net) is a Windows 32-Bit program that works on Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000 and XP. This system is fast, efficient and requires very low hardware overhead. Our binaries are compiled to machine code to execute efficiently and reliably on Windows systems. The base packages gives you one order taking station, and up to nine make lines, and a driver's station, and back-office, all for $330. Each additional order taking station sells for $110, so a system with 3 order taking stations would cost $550. Other basic features include employee time-clock, driver console, integrated backup/restore with data compression and sales history (items). Free upgrades, free telephones, email, and web forum support. Sales information: (724) 776-4834 or sales@pospizza.net

System3 POS (www.system3pos.com) Whether you do delivery, take-out, dine-in or if you're a full service pizza operation, System3 POS is ready to help you! We'll show you how, with some great features that could help you where it counts the most. Your bottom line! Ensure drivers don't 'get lost' with NEW Mapping/Routing Features. Accurate Promise Time features mean more satisfied customers. Food costs dramatically improve using our included Inventory module. Use Customer Loyalty/Marketing programs to drive up revenues. Improve Your Labor Cost In the Front and Back of the house. Caller-ID allows One Button Touch, 'Last Order' creation in seconds. Increase Driver Efficiency through Advanced Reporting Features. Automate Time and Attendance and track Multiple Job Codes. Improve security and profits through enhanced Void/Promo control. Guaranteed to improve over all efficiency on the pizza-make line, and your entire operation! Sales information: 888-545-8185

Tex R US Pizza Expert (www.pizzaexpert.com) For over four years we have had pizzeria owners and managers working with us on creating a POS solution. Features include: Intuitive interface, two-second order taking, multiple reports (with custom reports hook-up) to analyze your business from every perspective, optional call center, comes preloaded with customer data in your area; driver dispatch; mapping/routing, effective marketing; fast start-up time; free migration from other systems; reliability and security. Input: touch screen, light pen, keyboard and mouse. Other basic features include: caller id, eChecks, credit cards, delivery mapping, delivery zones, split payments, gift certificate support, pizza box labels, and make-line/kitchen monitor. We can customize the system for you. Free support for life! Starting price: $1,900 for minimum configuration (for one store businesses.) Sales information: 888-POS-EXPERT

Vital Link (www.vitallinkpos.com) Vital Link's POS is the most comprehensive and cost-effective point-of-sale system on the market. We use only the most proven, reliable technology, so it's easier and less expensive to install, maintain, and manage than other POS systems. It's specifically designed for easy entry of complex menu choices, helping servers get it right the first time, every time. Because it's linked directly to the Internet, it enables you to track sales, generate reports, control costs, and determine where you might need better training, right from your desktop computer.Other basic features of our system include deferred orders, driver dispatch, driver cash out, advanced couponing, split checks, integrated credit authorization, mapping, zoning, complaint tracking, half pizza ordering, forced modifiers, integrated house accounts, and call center with auto store level order placement. Sales information: 877-448-5300

Lost and Lazy Customers

So now you have a P.O.S. system and you want to make it start working for you. What are some ways to do it? One idea is to initiate a Lost and Lazy Customer plan. In a nutshell, to do this you use your P.O.S. system's database to sort out customers who haven't ordered from you in either 30, 60 or 90 days. Then you design a strategy to recapture these 'lost' or 'lazy' customers. The thing to keep in mind here is that for each group a different incentive is needed. Customers who haven't ordered in 30 days may just need a reminder. Customers who haven't ordered in 60 days may have discovered a new pizzeria or were dissatisfied with their last order and need a stronger incentive to return. Customers who haven't ordered in 90 days need the strongest incentive to return. The point being you don't need to offer the same incentive, say something like a free pizza, for customers who haven't ordered in 30 days as you need to offer those who haven't ordered in 90 days. PMQ published an article on this strategy back in the winter 2001 issue. To read the Computer Marketing Power article, go to www.pmq.com/pos_articles.shtml.