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POS technology evolves for off-premise

credit card payment

An industrial park is not the usual place for a restaurateur to set up shop. Yet one Southern California native recently had the tailgate to his pick-up truck open and was sporting a line of people waiting to order tamales or enchiladas from his mobile restaurant.

But with making 8-12 stops per day, this operator had to keep things simple—especially at point-of-sale. In 2015, he had three rules:

  1. No custom orders
  2. No free extra salsa (an additional serving cost 50 cents)
  3. Cash only

But fast forward to 2016, and the flexibility of this Mexican-food entrepreneur has increased substantially.

This operator aligned his business with technology that’s now commonly used in retail applications—a tablet and a complementary square-shaped card reader running POS software. Just like that, he was able to accept credit cards and offer receipts.

This operator has come a long way in a short time thanks to emerging POS technology. With personal use devices such as phones and tablets trending toward adoption of add-on hardware, payment acceptance options are sure to be an area of focus for savvy restaurateurs.

A customer in line might notice a little printer sitting on the truck. Maybe familiar or perhaps not, the printer is disguised in red splotches that give it a look of, well, Mexican food. One technology-savvy customer says with laugh, “Hey fella, is that an enchilada or a mobile printer?” The merchant grabs the CMP30 mobile printer from Citizen and holds it up. “This is my friend who prints my receipts,” he says.

He then looks at the messy protective rubber outer casing and says, “Sometimes he lands in my dirty foil trays.” Quickly he adds, “But he still works just great, and he smells pretty good too!”

Both men share a laugh and the customer presses the conversation. “Since you have gone to accepting credit as well as cash, how has it affected your business?” he asks. The owner brightens and says, “So much better. I turn no one away, and everyone can pay. I just raised my prices a little to cover some things to allow credit.”

“Makes sense to me,” says the consumer. The merchant then turns to the little printer again, wiping it on his apron. “Glad you like my little enchilada printer. So, do you need a receipt”?

The man replies, “Absolutely, and extra salsa!”

This post is sponsored by CITIZEN Systems

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