The Essential Blog

Take Advantage of our Free Annual System Review

Posted by Heather Leekins on Apr 10, 2017 9:00:00 AM

From time to time we hear our customers say “we don't use half of the features of our point of sale system” and “We are still having problems with the system,” or even “We need more training, we want to start using loyalty and gift cards but we don’t know where to start.”

These questions are the reasons that we offer a free POS system review for our customers and even those businesses that aren’t our customers. So many of our customers tell us they don't have time for us to review their system,  (or maybe they’re afraid there is a hidden fee). I’m here to tell you that it’s super easy, and it’s super free!
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Topics: Point Of Sale

Why You Should Work with a Local Point of Sale Company

Posted by Heather Leekins on Mar 29, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Purchasing a point of sale (POS) system is an important investment that will have a direct impact on how efficiently your business operates. You will probably spend a lot of time researching options that work best for your business, looking for the features and functions your business needs, and matching prices to your budget. You will focus so much attention on the perfect POS solution, do you also research the best place to buy your POS system? The answer is a resounding YES!

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Topics: Restaurant tips and tricks

Lower Those Credit Card Processing Fees!

Posted by Heather Leekins on Jan 30, 2017 8:43:47 AM

If your restaurant accepts credit cards, you’ll always have to pay credit card processing fees. Most merchant account companies charge up to 5% on all credit card sales, including processing costs, and statement fees. America is choosing plastic over cash these days, and choosing not to accepts credit cards is not the smartest way to avoid these fees. You can’t avoid credit card processing fees, but you can reduce these fees and save your restaurant money with a little preparation.

Comparison Shop
Just like buying a new flat-screen TV or a new car, you can get the best deal by doing a little
comparison shopping. Some providers charge more than others, even though they may offer the same level of service. Other providers may advertise a lower rate, but they actually charge you more in hidden fees and provide less service.

If you need to find a new payment processor, a quick Google search can give you a list of companies. You can also search for companies on the Better Business Bureau website where you can see whether the company is accredited whether they’ve received any consumer complaints.

Ask your processor, what is the total rate when all fees are included? Are there any contracts, cancellation fees, statement fees, service fees or application fees? Can they waives any of those fees for you? They can.

Swipe or Dip Only
Transactions where you enter the cardholder’s information manually cost more in fees per transaction than swipes and dips. That’s because manually entered transactions are more vulnerable to fraud, since thieves usually obtain credit card numbers without a physical credit card to make fraudulent purchases.

Additionally, most credit cards contain magnetic stripes or chips that have built-in security features that would not be used if the card is entered manually. Since the risk of fraud is higher, credit card processors charge you more for manually entered transactions.

Require Credit Card Sales Minimums
If your restaurant usually handles smaller transactions, it might be smart to require minimum amounts for credit card sales. For example, if you own a small carry-out that gets a lot of small transactions under $5 and your profit margin on those products is just 10%, it’s probably not worth conducting the sale after factoring in credit card fees.

Just put up a note that says you accept credit cards with a sale minimum $10. If a customer doesn’t understand, just explain that the cost of processing plastic is greater than cash.

Set up Your Account and Terminal Correctly
Sometimes, a simple mistake can lead to higher credit card processing fees. Stay away from this by making sure you POS provider sets up your account the right way. If your account is set up incorrectly, you risk getting higher processing fees from providing the incorrect business information. Also, do your batch process every day, it is more cost effective instead of every few days or a few times a week. Don't wait, because the longer you wait to process, the higher the fees and rates.

Ask A Credit Card Expert
We know most restaurant owners know very little about credit card processing, you’re concerned about making good food and giving great service. Get a better understanding and have a trusted advisor by your side by consulting a credit card processing expert. May times, your POS provider can help dispel credit card processing myths. Also, their knowledge and relationship with processors can also help you get lower rates for your business.

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Topics: Credit Card Processing

5 Quick Ways to Bring Customers to Your Restaurant after the Holidays

Posted by Heather Leekins on Dec 29, 2016 9:05:42 AM

It’s the end of the year. Pockets are light and bellies are full from the Holidays. That doesn’t mean your restaurant should sit empty until people are ready to get back out to enjoy your tasty creations.  Here are 10 quick ways to get people back into your restaurant after the Holidays.

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Topics: Restaurant tips and tricks

Your Restaurant's Food Pictures Suck

Posted by Heather Leekins on Dec 12, 2016 9:05:58 AM

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Topics: Restaurant tips and tricks

Press Release: Essential Systems Solutions Celebrates 5th Anniversary as a Leader in Point of Sale Industry

Posted by Heather Leekins on Dec 8, 2016 8:53:53 AM
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Topics: Insider, Press Release, Essential Information

6 Reasons to Play Background Music in Your Restaurant

Posted by Heather Leekins on Dec 5, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Have you ever been in a completely quiet store – with no music playing in the background? What did you think? If you are like most people, you probably felt uncomfortable, and after browsing around for a bit, you quickly left, and headed toward a friendlier, more welcoming store.
On another note, have you ever left a restaurant because the music was far too loud or unpleasant? Did it make you feel anxious and stressed?
Music is a key, and underrated detail in a store’s retail business: The right music has the potential to put people in the right mood. It can attract customers, increase sales, and add revenue. Here are six reasons why playing the right music will benefit your restaurant:

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Topics: Restaurant tips and tricks

Best Practices for Securing Your Restaurant

Posted by Heather Leekins on Nov 28, 2016 2:18:40 PM

As a restaurant owner, protecting your employees and customers is probably one of the most challenging parts of your job. Drawing customers into your restaurants for increased business must be balanced with the concerns of crime, loss, liability, food safety and security.

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Topics: POS Security, Restaurant tips and tricks

5 Ways to Prepare for Black Friday

Posted by Heather Leekins on Nov 2, 2016 9:15:36 AM

The Holiday shopping season begins with Black Friday and that’s the best time for retailers to turn a profit. It’s hard to believe but Black Friday is less than 30 days away.  Get ready for hungry shopping crowds. This is the perfect opportunity for restaurant owners to nab new customers, increase sales, and establish a loyal clientele for the slow winter months.

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Topics: Restaurant tips and tricks

Should I Fix My Broken POS System or Just Buy a New One?

Posted by Heather Leekins on Oct 17, 2016 10:26:15 AM

Sometimes fixing a POS system, cracked screen, dead motherboard, or even a broken thermal printer is almost as costly as buying a new one. When that happens, you have a pretty tough decision to make: Do I stick with what I’ve been using and love, or get something brand new? Here’s what you should consider before making the choice.

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Topics: Point Of Sale Repair