“Lunch Only” Restaurant Serves Up Huge Sales with POS
Clara and her husband Greg, owners of Clara’s Tidbits in Jacksonville, FL, operate their restaurant in a unique way. They mean business when it comes to quality, consistency, freshness, and outstanding customer service. Their recent implementation of POS Express, a software designed by POS Prophet Systems, is one example of a consistent striving for excellence.
When Clara was 19 years old, she worked three waitressing jobs to save $10,000. By borrowing another $10,000, she was able to buy a small sandwich shop and start her own business. She married Greg soon after, and since then the couple has undergone three major expansions, quadrupling the size of their restaurant, and today their two sons are also involved in the business. After 26 years, they are planning to move into a new location that will again double their size.
Their unique QSR model
At Tidbits, they serve only lunch, only Monday through Friday, and still manage to pull in a remarkable $2,000,000 a year. In order to accomplish this level of business, they value their employees, they value their customers, and they genuinely want to give their customers a pleasing experience in every respect. Tidbits’ employees are all full time, with full benefits, paid vacations, and a work schedule similar to typical white collar jobs. Most are earning fairly high wages with more than 10 years of tenure, and they are regularly rewarded for attendance, performance, and customer compliments.
The value placed on their employees helps Tidbits to achieve a consistently high standard of customer service. With their unique lunch-only schedule, Greg and Clara know what their customers expect–fresh quality food as well as friendly, personal, and fast service. Greg, who has an obvious sense of his customers needs and wants, says they serve 21 meals a month, which means 21 chances to make a hit, and that’s exactly what they do. He also understands the need for efficiency, commenting that “Every one of them is in a hurry… it’s lunch time!”
A new point of sale for even higher efficiency.
That’s where their point of sale system comes in. Tidbits recently started using POS Prophet Systems software, POS Express. Greg and Clara’s son, Austen, had spent the last year putting together their current POS system from scratch, working with a hardware supplier with whom he already had an established a relationship, and working with POS Prophet Systems on the software end. “One of the many reasons we switched to Prophet,” says Austen, “is that they treat their business as a service provider instead of a software reseller. Which means that they own all the software and bill us monthly a certain amount per terminal and server running their software. Included in this monthly fee is service and support.” Austen was also attracted by the software’s provision of an integrated accounts receivable / customer tracking module, which let’s them keep a running ledger on site with statements directly from the POS Express software. They had previously used two separate systems, since their former POS couldn’t track accounts or print invoices.
A successful outcome
Since February 7, 2011, Tidbits has gone live with POS Express on all stations. Compared to the implementation of the previous two POS systems, Greg and Clara thought that POS Prophet Systems provided a very smooth and simple transition. They loved the difference it made.
At Tidbits, the real test of the POS system takes place at the stations devoted to all of the dine-in and last minute carryout transactions. This traffic is fondly nicknamed “The Line” due to the immediate and non-stop rush of customers streaming in at 11am when they open.
POS Express proved more than capable of keeping “The Line” moving quickly and efficiently. Credit card transactions were faster than cash, and receipts printed quickly and without glitches. Austen even used the abilities of the new software to prompt the cashier with scripted lines in the dialogue between herself and the customer, further contributing to their friendly and professional customer service.
Tidbits is already working with POS Prophet Systems about future goals, such as online ordering, going 100% cashless, and installing self-service kiosks at the new facility.
HP desktop with a dual core AMD processor, 4 gigs of ram, and Windows 7 Pro 64-bit.server.
6 networked HP POS terminals, model # RP5700, running Windows 7 Professional 32-bit.
Each terminal has USB cards in the pci slots to power the printers.
HP thermal receipt printers are bus powered by the 12v USB ports (no separate power supply).
A networked HP laserjet pro color all-in-one.
15 inch HP touch screens, model LM5006YM, send touch feedback by either USB or serial.
Wiired cat5e network.
Cash drawers are simple unbranded ones that they have had in place for years.
Peripherals are all HP POS that are USB powered.
Written by Erin Thayer
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