New PoS systems from Groupon & Square
Square announced its new Point of Sale (PoS) device on the very same day that online coupon king Groupon released its new POS app. Both are centered around Apple's iPad and both offer small businesses, including restaurants, some cost savings. But does the switch from telephone reservations to pre-paid restaurant ticketing means these new PoS devices are focused on the wrong end of the transaction?
Groupon Breadcrumb POS app
Known as the king of online coupons, Groupon has just launched a new app through Apple's iTunes that turns your iPad into a Point of Sale (PoS) terminal. The stand-alone software does not replace the more industrial-grade Breadcrumb Pro (video above) Groupon sells. According to Engadget, the move by Groupon was a bit of a surprise catching many off guard.
Groupon POS appeared in the iTunes Store but was quickly pulled. Now we know why. Breadcrumb POS, which is the official name of yesterday's leaked point-of-sale iPad app, is now officially available, bringing a simple interface and a handful of financial incentives. The application, which can be downloaded for free, charges vendors a credit card processing fee of 1.8 percent plus 15 cents per transaction.
The app's lower price point, combined with the incentives Groupon is offering to early adopters, does save small businesses some money. The independent merchant can forgo proprietary PoS products from industry stalwarts and just make use of the Groupon app + iPad combination.
Of note, Groupon's aggressive move into PoS retail sales transactions is a result of the company acquiring Breadcrumb for $15 million in May of last year.
On the very same day that Groupon launched its PoS app, newcomer Square announced its all-new PoS product, simply called "Stand."
Like Groupon, the Square's Stand is built around the iPad, but Stand is an integrated solution. Stand costs $299 (iPad not included) and requires a business to sign-up for Square's transitional services. From Square's website:
Local business owners take as a given that they need an ugly, slow, expensive, and complicated point of sale system cluttering their counter," said Jack Dorsey, co-founder, and CEO of Square. "Square Stand is elegant, fast, affordable, and easy to use. Whether you’re selling cupcakes, cardigans, or cappuccinos, running your business with Square has never been easier."
Square has been the darling of the tech industry since launching its micro-transaction service for the iPhone in 2010. At that time, Square let any individual person accept credit card payments using just an iPhone and a small card swiping accessory. Now, with Stand, Square is aiming at a more traditional retail business, like restaurants.
Groupon and Square devices are made use of at the very end of the transaction - diner is complete and the check is to be paid - like any other cash register. But the question must be asked to restaurant owners - are both devices focused at the wrong end of the transaction timeline?
Restaurants, lead by Next in Chicago, are switching in droves to selling tickets instead of taking telephone reservations. By selling tickets in advance the transaction process is completed at the very beginning, eliminating the need for a PoS system entirely.
The technological focus by Square and Groupon is great for boutiques selling items at retail, but restaurants looking to solve the reservation no-show problem may find no need for iPad based PoS.
ThunderTix Restaurant Ticketing Software
New high-tech PoS systems operate at the very end of the process - at the polar opposite end is restaurant ticketing.
ThunderTix restaurant ticketing software lets you leave no-shows behind and sell tickets in advance just like Next restaurant in Chicago. And we make nightly deposits of your sales dollars directly into your bank account, giving you the liquidity to buy only what you need for the menu – no waste.
When you say “table d’hôte” we know what you mean. In addition to being the most restaurant friendly ticketing software available, know that ThunderTix has years of experience in enabling venues to sell tickets online. You will inherit all that expertise when you decide to make the move from telephone reservation to selling tickets, either all-at-once or gradually.