Becoming a Brick-and-Mortar Business

It has happened, your fantastic food truck or popular pop-up has grown and the time has come to lay down some roots and become a brick-and-mortar. But what does this mean for your Point Of Sale system? Like anything when growth comes, it will need to change. If you have been using a cash box and a phone app to take credit cards, a better more robust Point of Sale system is just what you need to grow. Here are some things to keep in mind and some features you should look at to help your business flourish in its next stage.

The first questions you will need to answer is, will this brick-and-mortar establishment be counter-serve or full-serve? There are a few pitfalls to look out for for each option. If full service, how many and where do you put the server Point Of Sale stations? Walking lanes and traffic flow will need to be considered to make sure the serving staff isn’t getting in each other’s way or waiting behind each other to enter orders. This would cause a disruption in service to the customers. If counter service, while it may be reasonable to have only one or two point of sale registers at the counter, what is the plan for when the line gets really long? There are several strategies; from switching to a “cash only” line, to investing in a POS tablet for line busting. Some stuff to consider when building your brick-and-mortar location.

top view of a table set of cutlery with symbol of question mark in a plate. concept off diet and where or what to eat.

Now that your food truck is no longer on the move, will you still want to sell to your customers who don’t show up in person? Convenience may have been a factor for some of your regulars and there are several ways to keep them in the loop. Having a built-in online ordering feature in your Point of Sale system will allow your customers to order from you wherever they are. They can swing by and pick up their orders or do curb-side pick up. Often this add-on feature has a small up-charge with little down side. Call-in delivery is another option but with a bit more cost with it. You will need an employee just for deliveries on your busy days. You will also need a Point of Sale system that can do Caller ID and Customer Tracking. These are used to help keep track of the delivery orders and prevent food waste. Let’s talk more about “Customer Tracking” in the next paragraph.

Without the ability to pop-up where your customers are, you will want to consider incentivizing your customers to visit you more often. A simple built-in customer rewards program in the Point Of Sale system can allow you to reward your most loyal customer without breaking the bank. But to have a customer rewards program you need it to track your customers first. Getting a customer’s full name, address, phone number, and a place to put personal notes on each one will give you the ability to give each customer that personal touch. This is the same info you will need for a call-in delivery service. Having all that info plus the ability to see past orders from each customer will keep them coming back.

A brick-and-mortar location often allows for you to expand the menu and bring more offerings to your customers but will that expansion bring a bar and a drink menu? If that is your plan as you transition over, then a Point Of Sale system that can manage tabs will be vital. Speed is the name of the game at any bar, so a Point Of Sale system that can start a tab with a single swipe and not require the bartender to hold onto the customer’s card will be all that much better off. 

Change is good but it can also be overwhelming. With so much to consider when switching from a pop-up or food truck to a brick-and-mortar location it is always good to get some expert advice or try some of the features you are considering out for yourself. Contact Total Merchant Supply to see how we can customize a Point Of Sale system for your flourishing business!

As always, we are here to help. Let us know if you have any questions.

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Total Merchant Supply is a POS dealer based in Charlotte, NC

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