Facebook and Cloud Computing for Restaurant POS
A company in Austin, Texas is attempting to take Point of Sale into the 21st century. SalesVu LLC incorporates two increasingly critical components into its business model in order to make the lives of restaurant owners nationwide less stressful. These two components are Facebook and cloud computing.
Facebook and Point of Sale
When utilized properly, Facebook can act as a powerful sales and marketing tool. Not only does it enable a company to remain top of mind, but it facilitates word of mouth marketing. SalesVu LLC facilitates this process by integrating the point-of-sale software with Facebook. Restaurant managers can create promotions that show directly on their Facebook page as well as SalesVu’s consumer portal TownVu.com. The cashier simply enters the customer’s discount code in the SalesVu point-of-sale software and a status update is displayed on their Facebook wall, notifying their friends of the deal they just received as well as attaching a link enabling the customer’s friends to receive the same deal— automating the word-of-mouth process.SalesVu’s CEO, Pascal Nicolas, says, “We make it easy for businesses to generate word of mouth via Facebook, they don’t even have to do anything because their customers spread the message on their behalf.” The company has filed two patents to protect the intellectual property of this program and started a pilot last summer with several restaurants in Austin — including The Pita Factory whose owner, Tim Calandro, says, “SalesVu helped us decrease our food cost and make more money.”
Point of Sale in the Cloud
All the reporting and management can be done over the internet or ‘in the cloud’. Traditional point-of-sale solutions require a server (or high priced desktop) in a back office or closet somewhere, but SalesVu’s servers are hosted offsite. In fact, they reside on the same “cloud” as Amazon.com. This infrastructure allows business owners to access their sales and inventory data in real-time from anywhere in the world by logging into their secure SalesVu.com database. The website is flexible, restaurant owners since can even change prices remotely using the SalesVu Point-of-Sale management interface.
If the internet on-site goes down, every terminal will still function properly, allowing cashiers to process transactions as usual. When the internet returns, terminals will resume their communication with SalesVu.com, upload the latest sales data and download any new products or price changes. This model significantly decreases the risk of data-loss in the case of disasters. Since each terminal syncs with the server every five minutes, information is always backed-up offsite. In the traditional POS model, a server issue might cause the entire business to shut down, while with the cloud model the manager can simply plug-in a laptop, download the SalesVu software, and login to configure the touch-screen point of sale with all products and price information. The restaurant can be up and running again in a matter of minutes.
The SalesVu point of sale software can now be downloaded for free from the company’s website http://www.SalesVu.com. Customers in need of more features, like splitting checks, table management, or multi-store reporting can easily upgrade to the small business version ($49/month) or enterprise version ($99/month).
As cloud computing and Facebook become more entrenched in the retail environment, more companies like SalesVu LLC will emerge. More and more retail establishments are seeking the value of a fully integrated system.
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