Client Profile, Digital Menu Board, Menu, Menu Design, Menuat, Restaurants

Client Profile: The Kookaburra & Social Media Integration

The Kookaburra, a Saint Augustine staple for coffee and Aussie Pies, opened the doors to their second location in Saint Augustine last week.

Kookaburra Digital Menu Board

The Kookaburra- Downtown Saint Augustine

As one of Menuat’s clients, The Kookaburra’s owners are able to actively respond to the seasonal demand that comes with operating a business in a tourist destination. The Kookaburra is located right in the heart of Saint Augustine’s Historic District and uses Menuat’s Instagram integration feature to engage with their customers.

The Kookaburra’s customers spend more time looking at their menu as the photos rotate, resulting in up-selling and suggestive selling of menu offerings.

Managing Partner, Spencer Hooker, states that “The Kookaburra has enjoyed a marked increase in sales after switching out our chalkboards for digital menu boards. The organization of the menu, the legibility of the display, the speed of updating our offerings and the ease of use have all served to streamline our operations and queue management. The menu boards have paid for themselves several times over.”

Digital Menu with Instagram Integration

Digital Menu with Instagram Integration

Digital Menu Board, Legislation, Menu Design, Restaurants, Tips

FDA Menu Labeling Resource Guide

Today FDA is releasing the final ruling for a new set of guidelines for the Menu Labeling Provision of the Affordable Care Act. These new guidelines require all franchises, vending machine companies, movie theaters, concession stands, and any other similar retail food-type establishments with more than 20 units to accurately display the calorie count of all menu items on paper menus as well as menu boards.

Here is a resource guide to help you navigate the new regulations:

FDA Resource Guide

US Federal Register Guide

FDA Press Release

Now more than ever Digital Menus will help restaurant owners stay on top of their printing costs, especially for those restaurants who shop around for different brands of indigents. Every time the brand of an ingredient is changed, the calorie count of the menu item will change as well. To stay compliment with these new laws, restaurant owners will have to change their menus often.

These new regulations will take effect on December 1, 2015.

Digital Signage, Products, Restaurants, Technology

Using Technology to Create a Personal Experience

Many independent restaurant owners are weary to adopt new technology for many reasons: cost, perceived difficulty of use, loss of connection with customers etc. However, in recent years, restaurant tech companies have responded to these pain points from restaurant owners and adapted accordingly. Now there is a wide array of products available to help improve customer engagement and create a personal experience for each individual customer.

Digital Signage- Menu Personalization & Social Media Integration

Digital Signage in restaurants has really taken off in the last year. Most major franchises are either testing or have started to roll out digital signage in locations across the country. Smaller regional franchises and independent restaurants are taking digital signage an extra step by integrating with social media.

First, you need to determine which social media accounts you want to connect with. Instagram is typically the most effective given its visual nature. You can either filter posts that appear on a portion of your signage by having your customers tag you in their post or posts can filter by a business-specific hashtag. Customers love seeing their photos being displayed in-store. Its an easy and fun way to interact with your customers that will keep the coming back.

Location Beaconing Rewards Programs

Perka, a digital loyalty card software company was acquired by First Data and then merged with Clover Station POS system. Perka allows operators to create their own unique loyalty program that uses location beacons for automatic check-in. Location beacons use a low energy bluetooth signal to communicate with mobile devices in a specific radius. When a customer is automatically checked in on their mobile device, 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.

Customer Relationship Manager

DineTime Host is a guest management solution that does everything from seating, queue, and customer profile management. When a customer reserves a table online or in-store their information is automatically added to the guestbook for future visits. From the guestbook, you can add notes, important dates (anniversary, birthday etc.) allergy information, feedback, or any other information that is relevant to their visit. For example, your restaurant just got a reservation for Bob Jones and last time he came in his wife, Sarah, did not enjoy her ahi tuna. The notes in their guestbook entry lets the staff know that the chef needs to visit their table to make sure everything is satisfactory.

Products, Restaurants, Technology

Atlanta Foodservice Expo- Tech Recap

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.

The Clover Station by First Data

The Clover Station by First Data

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.

 

BitPay

Bitpay

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

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.

iBistro

iBistro

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/

Digital Menu Board, Menuat, Technology

Atlanta Foodservice Expo

Last week the Menuat Team attended The Atlanta Foodservice Expo at The Georgia World Congress Center. Over the two day event, the team met with many restaurant owners as well as students from local culinary programs who were eager to learn about digital signage in the restaurant environment.

Rob & Emily at AFSE14

Rob & Emily at AFSE14

With over 150 companies exhibiting, there was a variety of products to test from every sector of the industry. All of the usual suspects were in attendance, Cheney Brothers, US Foods, Square, and First Data. Notable newcomers include BitPay, a payment processor that allows merchants to accept Bitcoin, Red Hare Brewing, an independent craft brewery located in Marietta, GA, and Uber, the popular alternative to the traditional taxi service- More on those in a future post.

One of the big attractions of The Expo was the keynote address given by Chef Robert Irvine. He spoke to the importance of using the latest technology in restaurants to stay successful.

We could not have written a better keynote ourselves. Staying current with technology in your restaurant is imperative. There are so many new products on the market that help you analyze your restaurant’s operations to remain profitable and appropriately price menu items.

Menuat’s software, for example, allows restaurant owners and managers to change pricing, menu layout, and daily specials as needed to protect profit margins and increase up-selling. Most restaurants who install digital signage in their location see an increase in revenue from 5%-9%.


Be mindful of the numbers. They don’t lie.

Menuat

Welcome to the Menuat Blog!

Menuat_logo_Square_Profile-01

Welcome to The Menuat Blog, your source for everything you need to know about Digital Signage.

First of all- What is Menuat?

Menuat is the all-digital signage solution for restaurants, bars, and public spaces. Menuat’s software can be tailored to fit any venue from restaurants to public transit. The most popular application of our software is fast-casual restaurant menus, but it is also used in full-service restaurants, retail stores, concert venues, and airports. Our easy-to-use content management system allows the operator to log-on and make any necessary changes to the sign’s content without the need for expensive editing software or web development skills. All content is cloud-based and updates are made in real-time across all platforms (in-store, website integration, and mobile devices).

The Menuat Team has a broad educational background in web development, design, business, and operations with one common thread; we all have worked in foodservice at some point in our careers.

Menuat was born from the need of restaurant owners to be able to change menu options and pricing to protect their profit margins. Nothing is more off-putting than seeing a brash marker line through your favorite menu item. Restaurant owners need to be able to change their menu often, as the prices of their ingredients fluctuate frequently. Menuat allows restaurants to stay on top of the ever-changing landscape of the restaurant industry with the flexibility to respond to those unforeseen price increases and eliminate the costs associated with printing new menus.

Our content management system (CMS) has evolved from a simple menu solution to a multi-discipline platform that can be adapted to fit most applications such as advertising, event schedules, way-finding, and the retail environment.

The Menuat Blog will be your one-stop source for digital signage and restaurant technology. We will cover everything from emerging technology, new products, Menuat Features, questions from actual restaurant owners, and everything you will need to know to stay up-to-date with the industry.

If you’re thinking about installing digital signage and have questions that you would like addressed, please forward them to jeff@menuat.com or give us a call at (904) 495-0616.


Power to your Menu!