Featured Customer: Congregation Ale House

At Congregation Ale House beer is religion.

Focus Featured Customer Congregation Ale HouseThe staff is eager to spread the word, not just about their own creations but also those of fellow brewers. They speak with the passion that only a true believer could. This is just one of the things separating Congregation Ale House from the many other beer bars in LA and Orange County, they are truly excited to talk hops with you and that feeling is contagious.

With three locations in Azusa, Pasadena and Long Beach the team at Congregation Ale House was looking to upgrade their POS so they could increase efficiency, unify menus, and implement new tech like online ordering before setting their attention to expanding in Orange County.

Partnering with our friends at ToGo Technologies, Congregation Ale House has rolled out online ordering at all their locations. This has allowed them to extend their take-out business with a simple ordering flow that made sense for their menu.

Check out what they have on tap by visiting their website at http://congregationalehouse.com/.

Are you ready for summer?!

You can already feel the warm California sun ready to soak us in its glory.

Summer is here. Coming with it the hoards of people… the staycationers, the adventurous locals and visitors to our great state come to bathe in the summer glow of California.

For local restaurants and bars, especially those in beach towns, the summer season can be incredibly busy. We have put together a checklist of items to plan for a successful summer.

Social Media

Put your social media on auto-pilot. Find a platform such as Buffer to manage and schedule your social posts so you can take less time executing timely marketing.

Hire Staff

Extra guests mean a need for more staff. You can always turn to Craigslist or instead check out services like Seasoned to find local talent.

Summer Specials

Plan out your summer specials to take advantage of seasonal favorites. Melissa’s Produce has a great list of seasonal items on their website. Fine-tuning your menu for the summer is best done before you get too busy. Not sure you can get the setup done in a timely manner? Our team can handle any FOCUS menu changes or workflow changes for you.

Extra Hardware

Having backup hardware that can be swapped in place when needed can reduce any downtime during a busy rush. Need additional devices to increase speed and efficiency? Hardware can be purchased and installed as a permanent device or temporary loaner. We even have options for mobile devices that can be used at festivals or other off-site events.

Plenty of Supplies

Running out of paper or ribbon should never happen. Our office keeps supplies stocked so you can get quick shipments locally. Take advantage of our supplies subscriptions so don’t forget to place an order.

Going Paperless in Your Restaurant or Bar

In a world of high tech everything, there is still a constant struggle between maintaining current habits and adapting to the new technology trends. Restaurants and bars are no exception to this ongoing dilemma. We hear from many of our clients who still continue to debate on whether it makes sense to go paperless or stick with printing guest receipts and orders. No matter the size of your operation, there are options that can help you either reduce printing on paper or eliminate it all together.

Let’s start off with taking a look at the kitchen, bar or other prep areas. Kitchen video has long been a staple for any high volume fast paced environment. Orders pop onto a screen that can show either full order details or simple item views depending on the needs of the person reviewing that order. Routing to each station is just as simple as it is in FOCUS, however, you also have more complicated workflow options based on modifiers or load balancing options. Besides not having paper copies of orders that can be lost, since the order data is being tracked at each step of the way you are able to see additional analytical data such as average ticket time and details of the cook times on each item.

Focus POS Rear Display Quick ServiceFor a Quick Service operation, printing at the POS station can be eliminated by utilizing FOCUS’ Signature Capture option. When processing a credit card transaction, the guest can input a digital signature on the point of sale touch screen. This can be achieved with either a station on a swivel base that can be turned and presented to the guest or our favorite option is a rear touch LCD display. The rear display can also be used for up-selling and order confirmation during the ordering process.

In a Table Service or Bar environment, getting a guest to a POS station is not really feasible. However other options such as using pay at the table devices, tablets or accepting payments through third-party applications can allow the payment to be processed with the guest so the signature can either be captured a the time of payment or possibly not even required.

New changes instituted by the credit card brands will also make signature obsolete for anyone processing with EMV. A recent article on Creditcards.com (https://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/signatures-soon-may-not-be-required.php) explains that Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express all dropped the signature requirements.

But what does that mean for tips? The consensus so far has been even with getting rid of signatures most restaurants and bars will still present a check in some form to be able to collect a tip from the guest.

In the end, there are multiple options that each operation will need to evaluate to see what makes the most sense for each business. Our team is always here to review those options with you. Click here to schedule time with a Solution Engineer.

Featured Customer: Board & Brew

Focus POS at Board & Brew Tustin Quick ServiceAnyone who has been to Board & Brew at their San Diego or Orange County locations will tell you about the Secret Sauce, and yes it is one of the things that makes their sandwiches highly addicting but its not the only thing. Its also the bread, the fresh ingredients, and the ever rotating list of craft beers being tapped. But look beyond that and you will see a dedicated team committed to pumping out high quality nosh to their community.

When opening their newest location late last year in Tustin they chose to roll out technology the group had previously not used. The goal for them is to move more locations to be paperless saving both time and supplies. The FOCUS Signature Capture option allows a digital signature to be captured using either a station that swivels or has an additional rear touch display. At the Tustin Board & Brew location they are utilizing rear displays for Order Confirmation and Signature Capture. For the kitchen they are utilizing a kitchen video screen at their Expo area allowing expediters a clear view of all current orders. When orders are completed they are bumped from the KDS and a pager that was provided to the guest goes off so they know to pickup the order. This streamlining has allowed for both better service and increased efficiency.

You can find the closest Board & Brew location by visiting their website, http://www.boardandbrew.com/. Stop by see FOCUS in action, but more importantly enjoy a tasty sandwich with some Secret Sauce and cold beer. We highly recommend the Turkado and Tom’s Choice!