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The Three Most Important Pieces of Tech for Running Your Retail or Hospitality Business

Running a venue can get messy if you aren’t organised. In partnership with Square, we highlight the three areas where tech can increase efficiency and create seamless service for your customers.

Operating a business – whether it’s a shop, restaurant or bar – poses practical challenges. From staffing to stock and everything in between, staying organised is crucial – and the right technology, from apps to hardware, means smoother experiences for operators and customers. Here are the three most important pieces of tech for running your retail or hospitality business.

Point of sale

Point of Sale (POS) software has evolved far beyond cash registers and eftpos machines. Researching and investing in a good bit of tech can really increase efficiency and save time, so look for something user-friendly with plenty of features. Square is a great option – you’ve probably already seen those little white card readers in restaurants and shops – and it can be as simple or as complex as your business needs. It’s particularly handy for hospitality, where an efficient docket system can make or break a service. Square pushes orders from front-of-house to the Kitchen Display System, organises table maps, reports sales data, integrates takeaway menus and even allows customers to order via QR code from their table. All these things eliminate paperwork and reduce overheads, and turn your POS into an all-in-one business management hub.

Tip: Square only takes a fee when you accept a card transaction. There are no set-up, monthly, compliance or hardware rental fees, so the platform is as accessible for small businesses as it is for large companies.

Check-in platform

No one anticipated that check-in technology would be critical (from both business and legal perspectives) to a business’s success, but here we are. It’s best to keep this simple – checking in should be quick and easy for your customers. There are plenty of platforms with heaps of bells and whistles, but since you’ve got that covered with your POS system, less is best here. We recommend using your state government’s check-in app (Service Victoria, Service NSW and so on). They’re free and easy to use, and data is stored on government servers, so you don’t have to worry about financial commitments or overheads. Customers check in using a QR code, and because many venues use government check-in systems, one-touch check-in is often possible.

Tip: It’s easy to fall for the comprehensive all-in-one check-in systems, but it’s best to keep the menu and ordering system separate – link those features to your POS instead. This makes check-in quick, easy and uncluttered for customers – and won’t raise questions about where their data is being stored.

Rostering tool

Rostering is tricky. The size and nature of your business will determine the platform that’s right for you, so evaluate your needs and shop around. Regardless of what platform you choose, it’s crucial to have one in place. It’ll save you time and effort, reducing the number of texts to send and calls to make about last-minute shift swaps – and of course, you don’t have to record everything by hand. Square’s Team Management system is a great solution for businesses of all sizes — and free for smaller businesses.

Tip: No business is too small for a rostering platform. Even if your team is tiny, it takes the guesswork out of setting hours and ensures you have systems in place for rush periods and growth surges, which often happen unexpectedly.

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Square.

Photography: Kate Shanasy

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