Food Truck Point of Sale

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DWags541
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Food Truck Point of Sale - Sat, 03/31/12 3:55 PM
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[Helpful answer received] / [List Solutions Only]
https://squareup.com/register
 
In other threads we've been talking a little about Point of Sale systems for trucks. I've known about Square for a while to use in conjunction with smart phones for taking CC. Square also has a register app for ipads, which is a system I've thought about for my truck.
 
Anyone else leaning this direction?

zumguteetz
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Sat, 03/31/12 4:09 PM
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I got square for my iphone to use on my hot dog cart. There are a number of apps to turn an ipad into a cash register and using square makes you all set to include credit cards. In this day and age I would think that would be the direction that I would go if I had a truck or even a bricks and mortar restaurant.
 
I even see that they make an ipad stand to use at a counter to hover over a cash drawer that can be hooked up through the ipad app.

Dr of BBQ
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Sat, 03/31/12 5:33 PM
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zumguteetz
There are a number of apps to turn an ipad into a cash register and using square makes you all set to include credit cards. In this day and age I would think that would be the direction that I would go if I had a truck or even a bricks and mortar restaurant. I even see that they make an ipad stand to use at a counter to hover over a cash drawer that can be hooked up through the ipad app.

 
And what happens if your Ipad is down, lost, or stolen?
 
 

wandering_joe
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Sat, 03/31/12 6:41 PM
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[This post was marked as helpful]
The exact same thing that happens if your drawer/register is down, lost or stolen.

DWags541
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Sat, 03/31/12 7:29 PM
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I have had some issues with my standard CC/Debit card system over the couple years its been in use.
I did a little number crunch on the fees relative to gross and it looks like it costs me about 5% average to use my card processor.
When the middle men compete w each other, they talk about per swipe fees, usually .5-.25 cents. And also % of transaction fee, anywhere from 1.25%-1.5+%. And some cards, like rewards cards end up demanding a higher fee. And the CC fee is different than the debit fee. Its all hard to really keep track of.
We offset these fees by charging the customer .50 per CC/Debit transaction. Only a few people balk at this, but its just a convenience charge. I could also charge more overall and give a "cash discount". Anyway, same thing.
 
It seems like the thing with square is dealing with any demand for a printed paper receipt. On a smart phone, you can email them the receipt. If I were them, I wouldn't go that far as to get it emailed to me. Seems ridiculous for a lunch receipt. For the ipad, it seems like there are receipt printers that are compatible with the ipad interface. They cost $280 when I looked around a little on ebay for the brands they provided.
This would satisfy anyone who wanted a receipt for a CC/Debit transaction. In my experience, I would say about 20% of those transactions, people want receipts. It would also give you an opportunity to print out sales info (presumably) from the register software you use.
I use a receipt printer currently with my POS and most of the tape that comes out of it is used for printing out large orders and delivery/call in orders, and for end-of-day sales info. This is good for when employees count the till and see if there are any discrepancies.
 
One thing I wonder about with Square is a feeling of putting my eggs into one basket, so to speak. Where I'll get hooked into this system, and they either raise their %, or I'll find the app is limiting in some way that a traditional POS is not. Tho, there is such variability in POS software. And currently, I am paying way too much (5%) to take CC/Debit. I could use the extra 2.25% of gross to pay for the ipad and printer.
 
I will probably make the decision when I figure out what kind of other technology accessories I will have associated with the rig. For example, will I try to put a CLEARwire router on the truck for internet? Or does it make more sense to have a 3G capable ipad. Probably the latter, tho with a broadband receiver, I can be a hotspot to other devices, including an ipad, if necessary.
I am not that familiar with data usage limits with smartphones and other devices, as I do not have a smartphone currently. I wouldn't want to get into a situation where I am paying too much because I find my needs go over the limits. That is where wireless might be better.
 
I haven't found info on whether you can use a square with an ipad on just a wireless connection, or if you need to be 3G connected.
 
Dave

Dr of BBQ
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Sat, 03/31/12 7:42 PM
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wandering_joe
The exact same thing that happens if your drawer/register is down, lost or stolen.

 
I have never had my register go down. Never. And they are hard to lose.

lornaschinske
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Sat, 03/31/12 8:31 PM
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I was in Wal-Mart the other day. They were selling the Square thingy for about $10. I got mine free (David has decided "not yet" on the Square). It's the same exact box and packaging I got for free directly from Square. Why buy something when you can get it free?

Vic Cardenas
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Sat, 03/31/12 8:32 PM
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I'm in the same boat as you dwags. I don't have a smartphone. I'm just looking at getting a wifi ipad and having a mobile hotspot (also from clear) on the truck. It looks like this is the way to go as far as fees. It seems that many restaurant owners don't calculate and average out their CC system cost-per-transaction and figure out it's just cheaper to go with the 2.75% flat fee. I really like the look of having an ipad as a cash register. I think there will be more WOW factor from the customers. Even more so than a smartphone with square. Of course, this should wear off in the next year or so. That wow factor should help distract from my rinky-dink truck. LOL
 
  As far as the ipad going down. I had my CC machine shut down constantly at my last job. It's really frustrating. I had to reset it and it would take 3 minutes to boot back up. I'd say that happened, on average, 5-6 times a week. Some days it would freeze up 2 or 3 times. I figure an ipad will be more reliable than that. I have to say, to prevent it from being stolen, just keep it on a shelf out of reach from the customers.
<message edited by Vic Cardenas on Sat, 03/31/12 8:48 PM>

wandering_joe
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Sat, 03/31/12 8:44 PM
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Dr of BBQ


wandering_joe
The exact same thing that happens if your drawer/register is down, lost or stolen.


I have never had my register go down. Never. And they are hard to lose.

That was my point.

CCinNJ
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Sat, 03/31/12 8:56 PM
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There is a free app (free now) that tracks iPad/iPhones/iPod touch devices...called icloud.

Otherwise chase the SOB down...with an ibat or something.

FriedTater
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Sat, 03/31/12 9:34 PM
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ibat...............love it!

chefbuba
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Sun, 04/1/12 12:08 AM
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I hope you guys are focusing on your food as much or more than you are on electronic gadgets and gizmos for your truck.
My pos system is a pencil and order pad. Tally it all up at the end of the month.
Tells me how many cheese burgers, fries and pastrami sands I sold.
Cost me about 2 bucks.
I can't see spending a bunch of money on all this stuff to just have it ruined by all the grease floating around in your truck/trailer.
I have a very powerful fan, and can clean the glass, wipe the register 2x's a day and
still write my name in the grease.
Maybe it;s just me with the char broiler and burgers?

Sapphirebistro
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Sun, 04/1/12 1:34 AM
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I enjoy square immensely, ease of use simple interface awesome customer service.
I was wondering if there's a point of sale that can interface between devices lets say I type an order in from my iphone I want it to send to the iPad in my truck!

Vic Cardenas
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Sun, 04/1/12 1:54 AM
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chefbuba
 

I hope you guys are focusing on your food as much or more than you are on electronic gadgets and gizmos for your truck.
My pos system is a pencil and order pad. Tally it all up at the end of the month.
Tells me how many cheese burgers, fries and pastrami sands I sold.
Cost me about 2 bucks.
I can't see spending a bunch of money on all this stuff to just have it ruined by all the grease floating around in your truck/trailer.
I have a very powerful fan, and can clean the glass, wipe the register 2x's a day and
still write my name in the grease.
Maybe it;s just me with the char broiler and burgers?

The only reason I'm thinking about all these gizmos is because I've seen how few people around here carry cash. Unfortunately, it's the nature of the beast. I wish I could do a cash-only business, but I feel I'd be loosing out on a lot of sales.

chefbuba
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Sun, 04/1/12 2:05 AM
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I take cards too, but I do it with a $150 Android phone.

mofood
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Sun, 04/1/12 2:16 AM
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ChefBuba, all due respect, but I already own one of these devices. I'll convert it to a work machine asap when I get my rig on the road. To me, The paper and pencil is no longer an option. I still take notes, and do sketches on paper, but the time on that is prolly limited too. I have buds in extremely active joints that are supplying their employees with iPads so they can help clients with sales immediately (food joints!!).
I would love nothing more than to keep it simple, but I really think the ease with which these units operate is gonna be an asset.

CCinNJ
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Sun, 04/1/12 2:30 AM
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A screen protector with anti-glare will really make life easier and quicker...when dealing with the the various forms of light you will be experiencing.

Dr of BBQ
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Sun, 04/1/12 2:31 AM
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chefbuba
I hope you guys are focusing on your food as much or more than you are on electronic gadgets and gizmos for your truck. My pos system is a pencil and order pad. Tally it all up at the end of the month.
Tells me how many cheese burgers, fries and pastrami sands I sold. Cost me about 2 bucks. I can't see spending a bunch of money on all this stuff to just have it ruined by all the grease floating around in your truck/trailer. I have a very powerful fan, and can clean the glass, wipe the register 2x's a day and still write my name in the grease. Maybe it;s just me with the char broiler and burgers?

 
And that is why I asked what I did originally. The tricks and gizmos don't make a good sandwich. And the restaurant environment in the BOH, is always greasy and hot or cold or damp. And all we have is the BOH. LOL Besides it's to easy for someone else to track your total sales when your doing it through credit or debit cards.  If you know what I mean.

chefbuba
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Sun, 04/1/12 2:38 AM
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mofood
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Sun, 04/1/12 3:13 AM
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That's a major consideration. I hear you!

Bistro a go-go
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Sun, 04/1/12 1:04 PM
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big brother will soon be stepping into many more arena's than you even know. ebay and amazon have already been served notice of impending records audits and all tax id numbers have to now be reported. also going into audit wait staff at most restaurants. next move is thrift malls, flea markets and food trucks and casual vendors.  mark my words, its (obama) coming to get you and sooner than you think.
 
the ipad or tablet idea is something im def going to do. heres my thoughts:
Im not always gonna be the cashier on my trucks so if all transactions are recorded EVERYTIME and done also by a webcam that gets recorded, i get the benefit of ALL the cash from that days sales. if employees know going in that #1 part of setting up is opening the tablet and turning it on then all are less likely to fund their habits outside of work at my expense. cameras serve a few functions, namely security. security of resources as well as security of whatever. wireless harddrive and bada-bing, everyone gets paid. those records are personal and get deleted daily. its largely a deterrent and records keeping for me. sure credit cards get more eyes but look at every mexican rest youve ever been to with open registers for cash transactions and also take credit cards. anyway, thats what i think,...

DWags541
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Mon, 04/2/12 12:51 AM
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Way to get political, Bistro.
 
I think in considering employees, technology can be a distraction, but also a good way to keep track of things, where they can be lost with paper and pencil. Bistro mentioned security cameras. Those can keep potential thieves and/or employees in check. I have employees use google spreadsheets as checklists that allow me to find out where we are lacking in inventory, even if I am away. Computers are good for business. I can see how you might be able to do without if you are a one man owner operated show and thats all you ever plan to be. But if you want to ever grow and have people in your system helping you do your best, technology helps.
 
Most of us are comfortable with our level of expertise in preparing good food for our customers. I don't think that has to be questioned because we are thinking about technology aids to be more productive businesses.

Bkfoodie
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Sun, 02/24/13 11:08 AM
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Hi Dave,
Thanks for your info, can you tell me which receipt printers work with the ipad/square app on the food truck. 

a.mckenna
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Sun, 02/24/13 11:36 AM
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I am going to be using the Android ap Registroid based off a Asus Transformer pad with a wireless printer.
 
Way more versatility then Square and a IPad.
 
Besides, every time I say IPad I think of a maxi pad....

daddywoofdawg
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Sun, 02/24/13 12:47 PM
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I am in the process and may have stirred up the pot the last couple of weeks about this subject.
I just got my Ipad,and now I need a recipt printer and cash drawer.the printer for square are the star tsp 143 or 650
for Vend which I downloaded the app (both free)
they say 143,650,or epson 88.
Both want the 1416 or 1616 cash drawer
square is free of any fees but the 2.75% per swipe or 275?per and 0% per swipe.
Vend is a monthly fee over 10 sku's
Both keep info in the cloud so if your pad is lost or stolen it's just the pad not the info.
So at the moment I'm looking for a cash drawer and a recipt printer anyone have one to sell?

oqanani
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Tue, 02/26/13 9:01 AM
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Dr of BBQ


chefbuba
I hope you guys are focusing on your food as much or more than you are on electronic gadgets and gizmos for your truck. My pos system is a pencil and order pad. Tally it all up at the end of the month.
Tells me how many cheese burgers, fries and pastrami sands I sold. Cost me about 2 bucks. I can't see spending a bunch of money on all this stuff to just have it ruined by all the grease floating around in your truck/trailer. I have a very powerful fan, and can clean the glass, wipe the register 2x's a day and still write my name in the grease. Maybe it;s just me with the char broiler and burgers?


And that is why I asked what I did originally. The tricks and gizmos don't make a good sandwich. And the restaurant environment in the BOH, is always greasy and hot or cold or damp. And all we have is the BOH. LOL Besides it's to easy for someone else to track your total sales when your doing it through credit or debit cards.  If you know what I mean.

In advance, Im not condoning or saying this is right in any shape or form. But, when I was discussing POS options with an old chef who is one of my greatest mentors and teachers.  I talked about this very same issue.  He looked at me and said, "Wait, Wait!! How are you going to hide cash sales if your entering every sale into a system that registers on the internet and is stored for everyone to see?  Use an order pad and a pen idiot." I then turned around and walked out of the room without saying another word LOL.

DWags541
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Wed, 05/1/13 8:32 PM
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Bk,
I've never coupled my square usage with a printer, yet. To be honest, I use my square for CC processing at events and use a register for cash exchanges. I plan to use square a lot more with my food truck, which is not yet online. I think if you visit the square website, they recommend a couple of pricey printers. I would try to do without a printer if you can, but maybe it is essential to your system.
 
Dave

DWags541
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Wed, 05/1/13 8:34 PM
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>In advance, Im not condoning or saying this is right in any shape or form. But, when I was discussing POS options with an old chef who is one of my greatest mentors and teachers.  I talked about this very same issue.  He looked at me and said, "Wait, Wait!! How are you going to hide cash sales if your entering every sale into a system that registers on the internet and is stored for everyone to see?  Use an order pad and a pen idiot." I then turned around and walked out of the room without saying another word LOL.
 
 
Yes. That is indeed another kind of wisdom.
<message edited by DWags541 on Wed, 05/1/13 8:36 PM>

Dr of BBQ
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Wed, 05/1/13 9:15 PM
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This is funny "Use an order pad and a pen". If you go back to 4/1/12 in this same thread I said, "it's to easy for someone else to track your total sales when your doing it through credit or debit cards.  If you know what I mean.". And today is 5/1/13. LOL Just a year ago. And when someone ask for a receipt which happens maybe twice a year I write a note on a menu I give to most everyone with the item circled and the amount paid. I have never had a customer complain. But I take only cash. Unless I'm doing a corporate gig and they write checks. 
<message edited by Dr of BBQ on Wed, 05/1/13 9:19 PM>

fishscale28
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Re:Food Truck Point of Sale - Wed, 05/1/13 10:43 PM
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Pen and Paper definitely wins for cash sales...but for credit card, POS and even printed tickets us kitchen folk are used to working from I'm really starting to dig Revel's system.  It's a bit more than I would like to spend but seems to be a solid system.  I'm probably going to start with Square but will definitely opt for Revel if I can...