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Part of the food truck experience is keeping customers happy by providing a quick and efficient service. In order to keep the line moving, payments need to be processed through a reliable point of sale system.

food-trucks-revelA complete POS system needs to process all types of payments, from cash to credit, along with new mobile payment options as well. More than a payment processor, POS solutions provide plenty of other features that are important to keep your business running smoothly.

Here are the top 5 things to consider when choosing a food truck point of sale system.

Data Tracking

Understanding your data helps you make better decision and become more profitable. Thus, a POS that tracks your sales, costs, employee hours, and inventory become essential. This might also include tracking multiple trucks. Hopefully you have a system that can do this from home or any device, without having to actually visit the site.

PCI Compliance

Your hardware has to comply with PCI standards so that your customer data is secure when they used your system. Also you might want to consider the security of the actual devices. If they get stolen, can you wipe your machine remotely?

Hardware

Does your system connect to the hardware you need for your business? Maybe a scanner, or a printer? Think about the ecosystem rather then just one piece. All digital is nice, but it’s good to be able to give customers an actual receipt to sign rather than sign the obligated awkward tip screen.

Transaction Costs

Picking your own payment processor could save you hundreds of dollars a week. Consider if you are making an easy decision with a flat rate or if you want to make a strategic decision that helps your bottom line.

Offline Mode

With many POS systems now being cloud-based, it gives food truck vendors lots of features with respect to cloud-based visibility. However, being completely cloud dependent can be a struggle.  Lets say you have bad Wi-Fi for 5 minutes – that’s 5 minutes you cannot run credit cards. It’s ideal to have a system that will allow local transactions syncing with the cloud, rather then complete dependence.  Any feature that helps business proceed as fast as possible is key.

This article was contributed by Patrick Donnelly of Revel Systems. Revel’s iPad POS System for food trucks is the most robust iPad POS on the market. They make this claim because they are the only iPad POS to go above and beyond standards set for PCI Compliance, and the only iPad-based system to offer such an extensive suite of features, many of which are detailed on their features page.

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ALBUQUERQUE, NM - Lavu Inc., makers of POS Lavu restaurant point of sale for iPad, has developed new features and hardware bundles for mobile food truck businesses. These new features were designed specifically for the mobile food service industry, with solutions for inventory tracking, mobile payment processing, and line busting.

pos lavu-ipad-itouch“Food trucks and other mobile food service business models have unique requirements that differ from typical restaurant POS solutions,” said Camille du Fou of the Lavu Specialist sales team. “We took the time to consult with these business owners to learn about their needs, and even put together a bundled package that removes the guesswork from the POS decision-making equation.”

“The Lavu system is adapted perfectly for any food truck. We do high volume and therefore need a system we can navigate through very quickly and efficiently,” said Chef Kristin Frederick, owner of Le Camion Qui Fume food truck in Paris, France. “Lavu has cut my inventory management and accounting hours in half. I have been working in the restaurant industry for 15 years and Lavu is as good, if not better, than the big POS providers at a fraction of the price.”

POS Lavu is iOS based, with iPad point of sale terminals. Other Apple devices such as iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad mini can also be used as terminals or for line busting during busy periods. Wireless access to the cloud database enables multiple mobile and POS terminal devices to remain in sync, keeping track of sales and inventory in real-time. An internet connection is necessary for syncing, but integrated system backups are included to bridge gaps of weak internet coverage or temporary connection interruption.

Zephyr Hardware has partnered with Lavu to provide specific hardware bundles including Star printers, APG cash drawers, cables, routers, iPad enclosures, and card swipers that are needed to run a successful food truck or mobile food service. Due to the mobility factor inherent to this industry, Lavu mobile food truck hardware bundles include 3G/4G Cellular modems and routers which allow for cloud data access similar to cell phone coverage.

The Lavu system can accept cash, credit card, coupons, and loyalty promotions. Integrated Lavu marketing and management tools are accessed in the Lavu Control Panel (CP). Receipts may be printed with customized promotions, or emailed to customers who prefer paperless transactions. Compounding email lists can be accessed privately by the business and used to send promotions and notices of times and locations for future food truck service.

New features added to POS Lavu, such as the “86” menu item countdown and Passbook coupon and payment integration, are tailored to benefit the food truck industry. “86” is an industry slang term used when a menu item is no longer available. A countdown will appear on the POS Lavu order screen as a menu item’s count approaches zero, and will be grayed out when the item is no longer available.

Special routers and other networking pieces are important to the Lavu food truck iPad POS, and a reliable internet connection is needed to properly operate POS Lavu. Interested business owners are offered a free initial consultation and a POS Lavu free trial to ensure the solution is right for their needs.

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Square recently launched an update to its free point-of-sale system Square Register that makes it easy for food truck owners to run their businesses. The new features announced  include custom order modifiers and customizable kitchen tickets — will allow restaurants to increase accuracy, decrease wait times, and better serve their customers.

ipad-register square

Several months ago, Square launched a “Business in a Box” package for $249, including two card readers, an iPad stand, a cash drawer and an optional receipt printer, all wirelessly connected to the Square Register app.

“In an industry where speed, accuracy, and a great customer experience are essential to success, Square Register gives quick serve restaurants tools that are powerful, intuitive, and affordable,” said Square co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey. “Square is focused on connecting businesses with customers and now, more than ever, merchants can concentrate on providing great food for their customers.”

“We need to be able to take orders and process credit cards as quickly as possible,” said Sara Jenkins owner of Porchetta. “Running a business is complex enough and Square Register simplifies the process and puts the focus back on the customer. For the first time, we have all the tools we need at a price we can afford.”

There are already tens of thousands of merchants in the food industry are increasingly adopting Square for its simple interface, smart analytics, continuous updates, and low processing fees. In the past year, the number of food-related businesses that use Square has almost tripled and the amount of money they process has more than quadrupled.

Square Register’s newest iPad features provide businesses of every size access to free tools that can help them optimize their experience at the counter.

  • Merchants can now quickly customize orders with order modifiers while the line keeps moving. Orders are recorded more accurately and communication with the kitchen is faster, creating a seamless experience on both sides of the counter.
  • Custom kitchen tickets enable merchants to attach a number or a customer’s name to an order, creating the right experience for each business.

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Phone Swipe is a free app and free credit card reader that transforms your smartphone or tablet into a mobile point-of-sale terminal. Their mobile credit card processing solution empowers your food truck business to accept credit cards. You’ll be able to increase revenue, expand your customer base, and increase market reach.

phone swipe

With features like email receipts with Google Maps™, customizable inventory management, real-time reporting, and 24/7 support, Phone Swipe is the solution for your growing business.

Mobile food vendors can use Phone Swipe which is a device that attaches to either your iPhone or Android Smart Phone. The device is a magnetic card reader. The customer’s card information is retrieved by an app on your phone that processes the transaction with the processor. Each transaction is secure and none of the information is saved on the merchant’s phone.

Pricing:

There are plenty of options out there. So why Phone Swipe? Because they offer features and benefits the other processors can’t.

FEATURESPhone SwipeOTHER MOBILE PROCESSING PROGRAMS
Swiped Rates2.69%2.75% + $0.30
Keyed Rates3.49% + $0.193.50% + $0.30
Credit Card ReaderFree$180+
Monthly FeeNone$25+
Monthly MinimumNone$35+
Cancellation FeeNoneStarting at $295+
Merchant AccountUnique, individual, secure accountMay offer only one account shared by thousands of merchants
Merchant Services ProviderNorth American BancardMay not have backing from a provider
Customer Service and Support24/7, online, live (toll-free number)May only be online
   

The main downside to this product is that it is currently available only in the U.S.

You can find more on this product <here> or call 877-957-9473 to reach an account executive.

 

 

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA -Revel Systems, the leader in iPad point-of-sale (POS) solutions, today announced the release of an iPad-based restaurant POS system specially designed for food trucks on the go, complete with Twitter integration. The system offers peace of mind to food truck business owners, freeing them from worries over router connections, loose cables and power reliability. Integration with Twitter, which is embedded into the main console, enables users to send Tweets out if business is slow and to alert followers of special offers and changes of location.

The food-truck solution is the latest flavor in Revel Systems’ revolutionary point-of-sale software line-up, which includes versions for quick-service restaurants (QSR), counter service restaurants and retail. The food-truck solution includes Revel Systems’ new Revel Router—a “made-for-iPad” device developed by Revel Systems in conjunction with Apple that allows customers to run their iPad POS systems without additional Internet connection hardware or wiring. Instead, Revel Router accesses an Internet connection directly via the user’s Verizon 3G- or 4G-enabled Apple iPad, eliminating the need for an Ethernet router or a MiFi 3G hotspot.

Combined with the Twitter integration, this makes the solution a powerful and easy-to-use asset for food truck business owners. Having a slow day? Just click the “Tweet” icon on the main console to push out deals to hundreds of your Twitter followers and let them know exactly where you are, all in real time and without the expense of a Groupon blast.

“Customers talk and Revel listens. Our customers were expressing frustration with installing other systems inside food trucks, so we set out to help them with a purpose-built solution,” said Revel Systems CEO Lisa Falzone. “Being able to Tweet within the point-of-sale system on the iPad has generated a tremendously enthusiastic response from our food truck restaurant POS solution beta testers, who until now have had to put up with bulky connectivity hardware such as routers and cabling. It’s a simple way for them to attract more customers.”

The food truck edition of the POS terminal with the Revel Router is currently available is for $1,999, plus a small monthly software as a service fee.

About Revel Systems

Revel Systems seeks to deliver quick, powerful and intuitive solutions that move the point-of-sale industry away from antiquated and overpriced legacy point-of-sale solutions and into the iPad era. Using sleek, cutting-edge technology, Revel Systems is disrupting how point-of-sale systems are developed and utilized by their end customers, and restaurant and retail establishments. Founded by Stanford graduate CEO Lisa Falzone and CTO Chris Ciabarra, Revel Systems is the leader in iPad point-of-sale technology.  For more information visit www.revelsystems.com. Join the REVELution!

Contact:                   

David Oro

707-558-8585

revelsystems@orogroup.com

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Introducing a new way to build relationships. It’s new. It’s refreshingly unique. It costs significantly less than traditional POS systems and it’s completely mobile.

ISISPOS now provides Sizzler’s with the POS technology to create exciting new food trucks that bring a fresh flavor to the streets. The delicious food trucks—made possible by ISISPOS technology—are providing people with what they love most: tasty and natural food.

One unit is already in the streets, testing the gut of hungry customers. “It’s a fun way to re-introduce people to Sizzler,” says Kerry Kramp, chief executive of Sizzler’s. “If they think we’re cool enough to do great food on a food truck, they may think we’re cool enough to check out our restaurants.”

“New technology has been a game changer, allowing trucks to pick up and move to where the customers are on short notice using Twitter to post messages on followers’ cell phones, alert customers of their whereabouts and even ask for tips on parking spaces. Included in all this is the new POS app from ISISPOS,” says Scott Forrestall CEO of ISISPOS.

ISISPOS’s technology not only helped Sizzler’s truck get off the ground, but they are starting a revolution in the way restaurants build relationships. They put something better on the menu for the food service industry. It’s a new type of restaurant called ISISPOS and it changes the way restaurant owners, managers, front-of-the-house staff and back-of-the-house staff all interact with customers, each other, and their restaurant software.

The idea of running a Sizzler truck grew after the chain’s chief executive, Kerry Kramp, saw people wait for nearly an hour to get food from vendors parked along Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice.

The new breed of lunch truck is aggressively gourmet, tech-savvy and politically correct. The Green Truck, which sells “sustainably harvested” fish tacos, roams the streets of Los Angeles in vehicles fueled by vegetable oil. The Dessert Truck in New York is owned by a former Le Cirque pastry sous chef who donates proceeds from desserts such as a pavlova with red fruit gelée to charity. In the San Francisco Bay area, the RoliRoti rotisserie truck serves free-range chicken, heritage pork and local lamb, prepared by owner Thomas Odermatt, a Swiss former organic farming student whose business card reads “Rotisseur.”

About ISISPOS:

ISISPOS is the perfect recipe for restaurant success. What do you get when you throw restaurant software developers, businessmen with respect for the bottom line and folks with decades of restaurant experience into the kitchen? You get a totally innovative, totally amazing product and service designed to make restaurants better, more productive, more profitable and more successful than ever. ISISPOS is a brand new iPad based restaurant POS system that works out of the box. And just like the iPad it runs on, the restaurant POS system is also incredibly easy-to-use. No learning curve. No complex staff training to worry about. Just launch the app and go. Servers love the simplicity. Owners and management love what it does for sales. For something that costs a lot less, you’d be surprised to learn that ISISPOS iPad for is full of features, easy to use and totally wireless.

Contact:
Paul Perri
ISISPOS
Executive Vice President USA, EAME
139 Main Street, Unionville, Suite 201
Markham, Ontario L3R-2G6
Office. 905.305.4161 ext 4101
Cell. 416.414.4109
Fax. 905.604.1161
paulp(at)isispos(dot)com
http://www.isispos.com

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Earlier this month Mobile Cuisine Magazine put together a Food Truck/Cart Poll aimed at our readers who are owner/operators. The object of the poll was to find out if mobile food vendors accepted cash or credit from their customers.

Mobile Food Vendors: Do you accept credit cards from your customers?

  • No, cash is King for my business.
  • No, but we plan to in the near future.
  • Yes, accepting credit cards allows us serve customers without cash on hand.

Here are the results:

 

We have tabulated the results of this survey and have found that 72 percent of those responding only accepted cash for their transactions, however that number may change in the near future. 14 percent of those who responded to only accepting cash, have stated that they may be switching over to accepting credit cards if they find a source of low transaction fees which won’t cut into their bottom line. The biggest concern expressed to us in regard to those who only accept cash, is the cost involved in the equipment used to process a credit card transaction in addition to the fees charged per sale.

Of the 28 percent that answered yes, most commented that their primary motivation was to provide a means for those people who do not carry cash on hand to be able to purchase food from their trucks. Some of the responders mentioned that allowing people to use credit cards did get some of their customers to make larger purchases than those who use cash.

In our research we found that the lowest transaction fees come from a new product from Square which charges its users 2.75% + $0.15 for card-present transactions and 3.5% + $0.15 for card-not-present transactions, but provides free scanning equipment for scanning credit cards for their members. Although this product provides the lowest rates, for vendors who have transactions which average less than 5 dollars, even this small fee can cut into their already low profit margins.

We would like to thank all of those who responded to this poll, and hope you continue to assist us in gathering information for the mobile food industry.

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