March 26, 2011
-- Restaurants are increasingly adopting social and mobile networking as a marketing mechanism to attract customers. Using these technologies effectively can sometimes be complicated. SalesVu LLC is an Austin, Texas-based Technology Company that facilitates this process by integrating the point-of-sale software with Facebook. Restaurant managers can create promotions that show directly on their Facebook page as well as SalesVu’s consumer portal TownVu.com. The only thing the cashier has to do is enter the consumer’s discount code in the SalesVu point-of-sale software when they ring up the customer. When consumers redeem these promotions at the restaurant, a status update is displayed on their Facebook wall, notifying all of their friends that they just got a great deal. It not only provides the update, but also attaches a link to the deal so that their friends can click on it, automating the word-of-mouth process for the restaurant.
SalesVu’s CEO, Pascal Nicolas, says, “we make it easy for businesses to generate word of mouth via Facebook, they don’t even have to do anything because their customers spread the message on their behalf.” The company has filed two patents to protect the intellectual property of this program and started a pilot last summer with several restaurants in Austin -- including The Pita Factory whose owner, Tim Calandro, says, “SalesVu helped us decrease our food cost and make more money.”
In addition to the social marketing innovation, SalesVu offers various features that aim to simplify the life of restaurant owners. For example, all the reporting and management can be done over the internet. This type of solution is typically referred to as cloud-computing or software-as-
as-service (SaaS). Whereas traditional point-of-sale solutions require a server (or high price desktop) in the back office (often a closet), SalesVu’s servers are hosted offsite. In fact, SalesVu hosts its servers on the same “cloud” as Amazon.com, ensuring reliability and stability. This infrastructure allows business owners to access their sales and inventory data in real-time from anywhere in the world by logging into their secured SalesVu.com database. The website is flexible enough for restaurant owners since they can even change prices remotely by using the very intuitive SalesVu Point-of-Sale management interface.
If the internet is down at the store (or someone unplugs the cable), all the terminals will still function properly and continue to allow cashiers to process transactions, when the internet comes back up the terminals will resume their communication with SalesVu.com, upload all their latest sales data and download any new products or price changes. This model significantly decreases the risk of data-loss in case of disasters. Since all the terminals sync-up with the server every five minutes, all the information is always backed-up offsite. In the traditional model, a server issue might cause the entire business to shut down, while with the SaaS model the manager can simply plug-in a laptop, download the SalesVu software, and login to configure the touch-screen point of sale with all products and price information – in just a few minutes the store can be up and running again.
The SalesVu point of sale software can now be downloaded for free from the company’s website http://www.SalesVu.com
. Customers who need more features such as splitting checks, table management, or multi-store reporting can easily upgrade to the small business version ($49/month) or enterprise version ($99/month).