How to Protect your Business from Employee Theft

How to Protect your Business from Employee Theft

Employee theft is increasing – the scope ranges from stealing inventory and padding time to taking money from the till. Many times, theft is a result of opportunity and incentive to steal. Employee theft can go unnoticed for years until your company hits a wall. Fortunately, early detection has never been easier with the convenience of a POS System (Point of Sale) and its many features.

A POS system allows your customer payments to be displayed and authorizes transactions to be executed. This compact system can also monitor employee engagements with your company. You will be able to use many of the numerous features such as…

  • Managing your inventory
  • Control inventory shrinkage
  • Following company sales reports
  • Outlining your best-selling products
  • Determining customer buying habits
  • Collecting customer data for future marketing
  • Identifying your top performing employees

Smaller Companies Experience Larger Median Losses

Having access to the powerful business tools provided with a POS System can improve the security of your company by deterring employee theft,  manage inventory losses and monitor employee time and productivity. Small businesses run a higher risk of falling victim to employee theft. Industries with over 100 employees have a median loss of $104,000, while industries with less than 100 employees have a median loss of $200,000. Smaller or mid-sized businesses often lack practices or systems designed to deter theft, making them a target. Here is an example:

Two Florida men working under a computer repair establishment were exposed for stealing inventory and skimming cash.  Although both men had to repay their stolen expenses, many employees can carry out theft seamlessly and without a trace, costing U.S. businesses over $7 billion in total losses

Protect Your Business with a POS System

Employee theft is responsible for nearly 41% of all inventory shrinkage.  A POS System can track inventory and sales, you will be able to recognize an imbalance in your inventory’s listed quantity and the actual physical count before it becomes a serious issue. Internal theft often occurs when an automated inventory system isn’t in place. Also, the easy to use POS system gives you the ability to accurately track and control product data such as pricing, stock counts and receipts.

The convenience and efficiency of a POS System will help reduce your exposure to employee theft, inventory losses, and unearned payroll which reduces costs and increases profits for your business.  The price of investing in a POS System will be significantly less than the price of losing millions to theft.

Don’t Fall Victim to Employee Embezzlement

Don’t Fall Victim to Employee Embezzlement

Courtney Wells, a 49-year-old woman in Connecticut admitted to embezzling over a half a million dollars combined from her two positions as a trusted bookkeeper.  Appearing as a trustworthy employee at her job as treasurer of the Southington Lacrosse Association, she gained exclusive access to the association’s debit cards and the bank account.  Authorities believe she had stolen approximately $100,000 from this position to fund personal needs such as concerts, traveling, or shopping.

Additionally, Wells embezzled $375,000 from her other job working as a part-time bookkeeper at Jones Engineering. She put this money towards a partial refund of what she had stolen from The Lacrosse Association.  Wells finally surrendered herself to authorities according to Southington, CT police. Her warrants included first-degree larceny, second-degree money laundering, and first-degree forgery.  There are steps you can take to help secure the well-being of your company.

Article source: https://fox61.com/2019/01/10/woman-pleads-guilty-to-stealing-from-youth-sports-group/

5 ways to protect your company from employee fraud:

  1. Install a POS System for Accountability
  2. Monitor your company books and the back office of your POS System on a regular basis
  3. Sign up for bank and credit card alerts when purchases are made
  4. Perform thorough Background Checks on all employees and independent contractors
  5. If you become a victim, prosecute the employee!

A criminal background screening provides a thorough insight into a potential hire’s criminal history.  Not only does PCI 12.7 warrant a background of employees dealing with multiple forms of payments, but also taking proactive steps to reduce your risk of employee theft and possible violence in the workplace makes good business sense.   Your company’s future is in your hands and now more than ever we need to be watchful of who we are letting in the door.

According to PCI…that dreaded term…

12.7 Screen potential personnel prior to hire to minimize the risk of attacks from internal sources. (Examples of background checks include previous employment history, criminal record, credit history, and reference checks.)

Article source: https://fox61.com/2019/01/10/woman-pleads-guilty-to-stealing-from-youth-sports-group/

Generate More Revenue and Traffic with an ATM

Generate More Revenue and Traffic with an ATM

ATMs still Represent Easy Money for your Business, Restaurant or Store

With the rise of online shopping, brick-and-mortar businesses today need to do everything they can to stay competitive. Sometimes that means using a traditional, tried-and-true method of boosting traffic and earning some passive income.

We’re talking about the ATM machine.

Your store, restaurant or business just might need one.

Why?

Not everyone likes to swipe or dip the chip at a business. Credit and Debit card security concerns are causing some people to stick to the safety of cash. One-third of U.S. consumers (34 percent) say they are making more purchases in store with cash because of data breaches, according to ATM Marketplace.

Avoid card processing fees: Customers who use your ATM and then pay cash in your business save you in credit card processing fees.

Where’s my bank? In a tourist market, in particular, a customer’s regular bank may not be available or may be prohibitively far from his or her local destination. Your customer may want to withdraw money from or check his balance from an ATM before making a card transaction with you or another business.

“Now that I’m here”: Average 7-Eleven ATMs perform about 3,000 transactions per month, according to National Cash, an industry provider. That could be 3,000 times a customer visits your business just to use the ATM, and while there, they notice what else your business offers.

It’s a tax write-off: The ATM is a tangible personal property item which can be expensed. Your tax advisor can tell you about how the cost of an ATM machine can be depreciated or expensed beginning in the tax year that it is placed.

Earn income on surcharges: Talk about passive income! It’s the easiest way to make money on your money.

Operating an ATM is easy and a great way to drive more revenue and foot traffic into your establishment this year!  Call or email us today to learn more.

Watch your Restaurant’s Revenue Soar with Mobile and Online Ordering

Watch your Restaurant’s Revenue Soar with Mobile and Online Ordering

Card Systems merchant using smartphoneIncrease Your Restaurant Revenue with Mobile and Online Ordering 

You know how important it is to get customers’ orders right. So why leave anything to chance? With our online ordering system, you won’t. Your customers will find it so easy to use from whatever device they choose to use.

We know that running a restaurant isn’t easy and competition is fierce, whether you are offering fine dining, a casual experience, takeout, delivery or a combination.

Move your restaurant into the future with mobile online ordering. Employees won’t need to spend time on the phone – they can serve customers.

Traditionally, online ordering was a term used to define restaurant orders that were placed through the internet typically from a customer’s desktop. Now 77 percent of Americans have smartphones, and they’re doing everything with them, including placing orders. Today, many restaurants are offering customers the chance to place orders and make inquiries online, on whatever device they use, without any interaction from the restaurant until pickup. This saves time and improves the accuracy of orders. Furthermore, applications such as Uber Eats, Door Dash and other food delivery services allow people to order food from multiple restaurants in one place. Are you poised to take advantage of this new method of ordering?

Today, more than half of takeaway orders placed in restaurants are done through the Internet. Furthermore, many different sources have cited revenue increases of up to 30 percent for restaurants who use online ordering.

Are you ready to see your revenues increase as well?

Our Restaurant POS solution  is your answer
Selecting a platform that is stable and easy for customers to use brings them back for more and leads to your success. You need a platform that helps you streamline and optimize your entire set of operations the front of the house as well as the back of the house in a social media

Here’s why our POS is a cut above its competition:
It’s easy to use.  The Restaurant POS allows your customers to modify their orders easily and without the assistance of your wait staff. This frees your staff to focus on in-house customers. Also, the ease of use empowers your clients and makes ordering simple creating accurate orders and less wasted food and labor.

It’s simple to set up
You can add, delete or modify your online menus in minutes. It makes running your online menu simple and creates a great customer experience. Your restaurant staff can easily manage daily specials on site, or you can, on any mobile device from anywhere in the world. Anyone you authorize can log in to the POS and manage your business.

It’s mobile-friendly
Today, this is essential. With a responsive design and customer engagement, you can be miles ahead of other restaurants, giving you the edge. Our POS System can be operated by any and all mobile devices with ease, and your customers can order from you, no matter where they are.

We give you the most comprehensive online ordering system around. Don’t have a website yet? We’ll help you develop one so you can use the system. Give us a call today and make customers happy and your restaurant more profitable!

Powerful Marketing Ideas For Your Restaurant

Powerful Marketing Ideas For Your Restaurant

Powerful Marketing Ideas For Your Restaurant

This is going to be an eye opener and the “secret sauce,” to give you guidance in the right direction to include: SEO, The importance of your website, how to improve guest counts in your restaurant and more importantly, building your brand.

Take these relevant ideas and the sky’s the limit for your success.

WEBSITE DESIGN – Simple is better

The website is the primary communication for the customer who doesn’t know the first thing about you.

It is very important to give them a virtual tour before they come in.

Getting a professional photo shoot done is absolutely the most important thing you can do for your website. Especially in the restaurant business.

People have this mindset that they have to make this work of art website; that has to be perfect. That has to be so visually stunning it will just blow people away when they find it.

So their downfall is that they don’t put any money into Search Engine Optimization. So people will never ever find this awesome work of art website that they have done. We’ll get into that in a minute.

When it comes to your restaurant website (web presence) your marketing dollar for this shouldn’t cost more than fifteen hundred dollars. That is the going rate. Preferably WordPress (as your platform) because it is a powerful tool with many marketing plug-ins.

If your designer is trying to talk you into a five thousand dollar platform, run! You do not need it. Your marketing dollars need to go into SEO. If you are spending more than the recommended fifteen hundred dollars you are doing it all wrong. It doesn’t need to be all things to all people. It is not necessary. You are making your website into being found.

Statistics show that by 2020 websites will be irrelevant. Because Google is providing so much information without even getting to the website.

When you type in a restaurant there is a knowledge panel. Which is the map, pictures and hours to the right? That piece is getting more and more robust. Most people are going in to get your contact information, or your hours, or a couple of photos or your YELP reviews.

The website is becoming less and less important. But by all means, have a website. The point here is, it doesn’t need to be that “work of art,” people have been misled to believe.

CONTENT

When you have professional photographs that make up the majority of your content, that does tell a story. That gives them the virtual tour of what the place is going to look like. What the vibe is about. What the food is about. You obviously get a great food photo shoot and put all the stuff together. So they are not guessing. By the time they walk in the door, they have a great idea of what the place is. You are able to show it off. The great thing is not that many restaurants are utilizing high-resolution professional photos. So you will automatically look better than your competition.

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)

You need to put in 90% of your budget into being found. So your SEO is absolutely crucial.

SEO is very complicated, to most people, it is such Voodoo they don’t even understand it, and we don’t blame them.

The main approach you need to take with your SEO expert is this.

You have to find a keyword that has a lot of monthly clicks. A lot of traffic, yet not a lot of competition. That’s the sweet spot.

Find a very good blend of the two

For example: Type in: “Restaurants near me.” Gets 11 million searches a month. That’s the most competitive key word out there. So if you are just going for that word, you are going to be up against every single other restaurant out there. Of course, it has to do with if your GPS is on in your phone. Then it is going to pick up the closest ones to you. Then you could get lucky.

Another example: “Restaurants in Cape Coral, FL,” where we are. Then you are up against some even more serious competition.

Try: “Cape Coral, FL patio restaurant.” We found that the word was getting 6K searches per month and there was no competition. So optimize with your expert for organic wording like that. So there’s a hint that may allow you to get to the top on Google in 30-60 days (which is tough). Usually, SEO is a very long-term approach.

Allocate a monthly budget. It is a monthly maintenance. It is not something you do once and forget about it. It goes on and on forever.

The organic search results are called organic for a reason. They are always changing. They are always evolving. You could be number one day, and number ten the next day It is really all over the board. It’s the SEO expert that puts the most attention and constantly working SEO that excels.

BACKLINKS (listing syncs)

Find an expert who offers listing syncs. Backlinks, it is the number of other websites and directories and other platforms (have a link) that point towards you. If you have a link on your Facebook page, Instagram, Trip Advisor, Open Table, and Yelp. List yourself with at least 50 directories at least, and lock into it. Because Google is watching. If you aren’t on top of it then Google thinks: “Well okay, if nobody else cares about this website, why should we.”

Once you have 50 different directories pointing to your website, all of a sudden Google’s algorithm sees it as: “Ohhh this is a very important site, people care about this. We are going to put it at the top of the search results.

One of the things that Google and Facebook have both opened themselves up to lately is users generated content or what they call: “SUGGESTED EDITS.” It is a very terrible idea, but it is what it is. Stay informed!

Have you ever been somewhere (the restaurant’s in particular) and gotten a notification from either of these two? We have and used it. It pops up and asks you: “Hey are you at ABC Restaurant?” If you hit “YES,” it will ask you: “Are these hours correct?” As a customer, you can change the hours of a restaurant you are sitting in. It is completely insane. Then it will ask: “Is this the address?” Honest consumers will hopefully give true information. Because most would think it would go into a pending mode for 90 days and they are going to aggregate it with a bunch of information and make a decision. We got a notification from Google within 45 minutes on one of our client restaurants. It says: “Your changes have been applied.” We looked on Google and sure enough, our changes were applied. Get someone who knows what they are doing to lock consumers from doing this to you.

ONLINE REVIEWS

Statistically, 85% believe online reviews as much as a recommendation from a friend or family member. Online reviews (next to word of mouth) are the most important thing for driving new traffic.

Word of mouth brings new faces to your restaurant. Word of mouth is king. It is 2/3rds of new people walking through your doors. The second one at 22% is online reviews and the third is Google.

Almost all restaurants approached don’t have a pulse on their online reviews or they don’t optimize them and they don’t work them to their advantage.

These reviews are so easy to respond to and to actually have a presence on there. But what we found is very few restaurants do this. It is so important, yet so missed. It truly blew our minds here to discover these online reviews were being neglected.

The reason you should respond to ALL online reviews or hire someone, or delegate someone in your restaurant. No excuses. Recommendation: respond publicly to all reviews, good and bad. Think about it this way, if you are just responding to negative reviews you send a message to the positive: “You are not important enough to get a response unless you are pissed off.”

You want to thank your fans and invite them back in. Put your contact information on every single response to include: Name, email address, and cell number, every single response. You may think your phone will blow up or that your phones going to ring nonstop, thinking you will just get bugged by everyone. It will not. Every single response.

Your contact information is out there. You will probably get one phone call a month. Or better yet, when your establishment isn’t reachable you will find people calling asking to book a table and you get them in touch with the right person in your restaurant. You will be amazed it fields that review from the individual who was just about to give a one-star review because maybe they had a terrible experience you were unaware of.

Devote time to monitor and respond to every review because it is critical. You have the big four review platforms. Google, Facebook, Yelp and Trip Advisor it is time-consuming. There are systems out there (platforms) that will aggregate everything into one platform. Use the tools available, systems that are all in one, coming in a big feed through a dashboard. Worth every penny. You must respond within 72 hours to be effective.

INTERNAL MARKETING

We want to show you how to shift the mindset or paradigm of the average restaurant owner/ operator. You are spending very little money at all if any money at all on things that have the greatest impact on customer traffic and building your brand and using your staff to become brand ambassadors for your business. If you show your customers a good time, you can be sure they will be telling their friends and family: “You have to go to that place.” “The service was amazing.” “The food was amazing.”

But so many people that are in the restaurant business continue to spend tens of thousands of dollars on the traditional radio, print, tv and direct mail stuff. Stop it, you need to remember this is 2018 and work on your internal marketing. Start working on your restaurant’s online reviews, it is free marketing. All it takes is the time and the creativity and putting your best spin forward to give your customers an idea of what’s great about your restaurant. And responding to any negative reviews too.

INFLUENCE STAR FACTORS WITH INTEGRITY (More 5 Stars) Yelp has really strict terms and conditions when it comes to soliciting reviews. You are not allowed to solicit reviews. But you are allowed to ask for a review and not reward someone. You are not allowed to manipulate good or bad.

Here is a big secret we will share with you. ZenReach.com it is a wireless router that goes into the restaurant. Any customer that hooks up to your guest Wi-Fi, it will capture their Facebook or email address for use of your wi-fi. One step for them, easy. It captures that real-time information for you and creates a database of all the emails. These are the most highly valued (customers that have been in your door).

What it does that is awesome it sends smart emails out automatically on certain schedules. So the first time customer after they leave within three hours. (Note: It will say whatever you want it to say). The default sends a generic you will want to change: “Hey thanks for coming into XXX, hope you had a good time.” Terrible message. You can use their reputation management and put: “Thanks for visiting, how did we do, 1 to 5 Star rating. Rate your experience.”

When they choose that 1 to 5-star rating

If it is a 1 to 3-star rating it will email you and pull that email in internally. This gives you time to respond to that customer and make it right before it winds up on Yelp. It is amazingly effective. If they give you a 4 or 5-star rating it will say: “Thank you, please share your message.” Then redirects them to Google, Trip Advisor, Yelp or Trip Advisor.

But it gets better, these smart emails give you the First Time Customer, the Regular Customer (we recommend five),then the Loyal Customer (been more than 10), then a Lost Customer (that’s been there 2 times in the last 30 days, but not again), then it has Birthdays. You can tailor different offers to these people based on their visit frequency.

This is a legitimate way to manipulate those numbers, you are welcome!

3 Holiday Gift Card Recipes for Success!

3 Holiday Gift Card Recipes for Success!

With the holiday season right around the corner, gift cards are one of the most requested items.   Here are a few tips to sell and benefits you will gain with a simple gift card program.

TIPS:

  • Impulse Buyers – Stock up and make sure you have them within eye-sight at your register. Your impulse buyer is sure to purchase for a family member, colleague, teacher or friend.
  • Up-selling – Educate yourself and your staff. Consumers like to be enticed. Offer them the pleasure and advantage.  If you are not up-selling your customers, you are missing out on a LOT of revenue.  It works, just ask: “I am so happy you and yours enjoyed yourselves this evening.  Why not add a gift card for a loved one?  Sounds great, right!”  As you and your staff master this amazing tool, you can move onto cross-selling.  Just by suggesting other relevant options to your customer like: “Did you know the $25.00 gift cards are on special this week, buy three get the fourth for half price?”  Or, “Don’t forget to pick up a few of these cards for your family and friends; they are handy to have for last minute needs.  Want me to add another card to your order?”
  • Lifesaver (Be the “Go to Merchant”) – As consumers, we have all done it. It’s down to the last minute and we need a gift.  If a customer comes in for gift cards and you don’t have them, you lost a sale.  The mere act of displaying gift cards lets your customers know they can rely on you in a pinch.  Be the Hero and “Go To”. Try it!

BENEFITS:

  • Increased Sales – The primary benefit is your sales numbers will boom! You will generate revenue in advance of sales, and studies show customers spend more than the amount on the card.
  • Marketing – Get the word out about your establishment.  Gift cards are like mini billboards.  Your branding speaks volumes.
  • Breakage – refers to the amount left on a gift card that is never redeemed. A person with a $100 gift card may purchase $97 and inadvertently toss the card in a drawer, or throw it away. This helps your margins.
  • Repeat Business – If someone has never heard about your business, but receive a $20 gift card for their birthday, Christmas or even a holiday party, they will find you and maybe become a customer for life!
  • Advertising – Your gift cards encourage customers to join loyalty programs as well and you will now have the data you need, providing you are using a POS system, to capture that data.  Now you can send specials or “ping” them when they drive by your business.

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