Trade shows are the place for companies to showcase their products to a large number of qualified buyers in their industry. One of the main things buyers come looking for is technology because it is always changing and if used properly, makes your life easier. The buyers at The Atlanta Foodservice Expo were no different. Here is a recap of a couple handy tech products that were on display at the show.
The Clover Station
There are always dozens of POS systems present at these shows which can be extremely hard to differentiate. However, there was one that caught our eye. At first glance, Clover Station by First Data looked like every other POS (pun intended), but there was something that made us take a closer look. The Clover Station does everything your standard POS does with some a few bells and whistles that set it apart from the sea of competitors.
Not only does the Clover Station integrate with all of your standard bookkeeping, CRM, and Inventory management software (fairly standard features)- but it also manages your loyalty program without having those annoying little punch cards that everyone just loses anyway.
Perka, a digital loyalty card software company was acquired by First Data and then merged with Clover. Perka allows operators to create their own unique loyalty program that uses location beacons for automatic check-in. When a customer is automatically checked in, their loyalty information appears on the tablet so you can greet your customer by name. Order history is also displayed to create an even more personal experience- just short of being creepy.
The Clover Station operated on open source software that allows for third party developers to create new apps that can be run on Clover’s hardware. There seems to be an app for pretty much anything you would need to do. For example, Happy Hour, is an app that allows you to discount certain items or categories for specific hours on certain days without having to manually make the change daily.
If you already use a tablet POS system, you can now accept bitcoins. BitPay is a merchant processor that is allowing anyone to accept bitcoins. Their software integrates with all web-based POS systems with plug-ins available in most programming languages. BitPay allows customers to pay for everyday purchases by scanning their bitcoin bar code.
One feature worth mentioning, is that there are no transaction fees for using BitPay. All transactions are deposited directly into your bank account or bitcoin wallet at the end of every business day. Unlike most merchant processors, BitPay does not charge you a percentage on transactions, leaving you with more money!
iBistro is a cloud-based back-of-the-house software solution to help restaurant managers regulate their supply chain. With iBistro, managers can shop, place orders, pay invoices, and monitor deliveries from multiple suppliers from one place. Then, iBistro takes it a step further by showing the USDA average market prices of the ingredients you need. This allows you to shop around from multiple vendors to find the best deal. It was designed for smaller independent restaurants who use a lot of fresh ingredients from local vendors and farmers.
An interesting application of this software would be to take the farm-to-table trend to the next level by using iBistro’s social integration to let your customers know when a delivery is on the way and where it came from. Before your customer even enters the restaurant, they know what you have and where it came from. No leaving the the table to figure out if Colin the chicken had a happy life (Portlandia, Anyone?).
For a full list of exhibiting companies, visit The Atlanta Foodservice Expo’s website at http://www.atlantafoodserviceexpo.com/