Barista Magazine

OCT-NOV 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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connected via Ethernet cables and not wirelessly, as are the most com- mon iterations of Square and Breadcrumb) and back-end restaurant features that most closely resemble some of the more popular features of Aloha and Micros, Toast has one fundamental aspect in common with Breadcrumb and Square: They are the credit processor as well. Simply put, these three systems can charge as little as zero dollars per month (Square, if you don't use their payroll or marketing features), or as much as $400–$500 per month for the use of their point-of-sale software, depending on the number of terminals and the features selected. All of them, however, are banking on making anywhere from 2.2–3.5 percent plus $0.15 per transaction on a merchant's credit card sales. A reasonably successful shop might see $3,000 per day in sales, with approximately 80–90 percent of those sales being paid for with credit cards. Conservatively, that can equate to something like $825,000 in credit card sales per year. How much are you then paying your point-of-sale system provider for credit card processing? About $22,000 per year. That is the prize for all of these com- panies, at this point, and for that reason, much of what a shop owner needs to buy from, or subscribe with, a POS company is negotiable. Negotiating power is likely to be based on the number of shops a compa- ny has, the average amount per transac- tion (there is a lot more risk associated with transactions of $7, a common average ticket size for coffee shops, than the $20 or $30 that many bars and restaurants experience), and the volume. A bar on Chi- cago's Riverwalk opened in 2016 with an iPad POS system because they were the only POS system capable of getting up and running within 10 days and with limited internet connectivity. However, they found that with Friday and Saturday sales of up to $25,000 (that's a lot of Old Style and Whiskey Sours) and average transactions above $30, they could successfully negoti- ate their credit card rate from 2.75 percent down to 2.22 percent. C a s h l e s s i n S e a t t l e At the Nordic Museum of Seattle, beneath the sculpted glass shorebirds and the almost Redwood-level-imposing corridor, beset by natural wood footbridges, the visi- tor is guided through a small entrance into the grandest of spaces. Ropes nudge the visitor toward a desk where the staff swipes the customer's card through a Stripe stand, and then the staff spins the display around to face the screen toward the customer for a digital signature. Despite Square's ability to tie mobile phone numbers to a guest's credit card, there is no push from the mu- seum staff to collect an email address or to continue the engagement past the point of sale (and they don't need to—the exhibits and the museum itself make it a not-to-be-missed paean to Scandina- vian design and culture). Freya, the sleek café right inside the entrance of the museum, has come out of the gate using Lightspeed POS's new product for restaurants. Similarly, they don't collect visitor emails, a feature built into Lightspeed's platform, but instead favor a quiet, high-touch hos- pitality model: Sleek and no-frills, not unlike a Carl Hansen "Wing" chair. Lightspeed is new to restaurants, having made its United States presence fi rst known at the 2016 National Restaurant Show. From the customer's side of the counter, it works as one would expect: sign-on screen options, orders sent to the kitchen, and cards swiped on a mammoth Cayan-branded credit card terminal. It is hard to see anything that suggests they've reinvented the wheel for restaurant POS. 101

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