Simpler Point-of-Sale?: Groupon Releases Breadcrumb
I don’t know if anyone else just noticed, some 7 days late, but according to the internet Groupon — the oft-maligned but still vital group discount site — recently released a new product, Breadcrumb, on October 10 of last week. Breadcrumb is an iPad based point-of-sale (POS) system for restaurants and other hospitality-industry businesses. It was designed, apparently, to be affordable, powerful, and easy to use.
So what do I make of this release?
Well, it’s no secret that traditional point-of-sale systems are a little antiquated. In my retail experience I was often frustrated with slow computer systems, faulty card-swiping mechanisms, and the generally complicated methods by which I had to accept payment, make change, and do other cashiering tasks. The Breadcrumb system does appear to have its positives — by allowing hospitality-industry businesses to process payments (through credit cards, debit cards, etc.) on an iPad or iPhone, the overhead costs of old, overly-complicated POS systems can be cut. (Do keep in mind, however, that you would need to purchase at least one iPad to use this technology.) Groupon’s new system has plans starting at $99/month and, for anyone who can use a phone or tablet, should be simple to use. Simpler, probably, than older systems. Additionally, the sleak, streamlined look of tech savvy restaurants utilizing tablets in their business is attractive to many customers.
Of course, Groupon isn’t developing this new system and offering it at a low, low price because they simply want to give away superior technology out of the pure goodness of their hearts. There is a business-related motive. (As there well should be; that’s not exactly a criticism on my parts.) By streamlining their current systems with Breadcrumb and getting these technologies in place at a wide variety of restaurants all in one easy, streamlined, connected platform, the company hopes to lock stores and businesses into their service and eventually offer their coupons and discounts (for which customers do have to pay them) through the merchandise itself. Again: eventually Groupon hopes to offer discounts via their new POS system.
Honestly, it’s too early to tell whether systems like Breadcrumb are the wave of the future. They do seem to offer a low cost, low difficulty approach to hospitality-industry POS. If that’s something your business is looking to change or upgrade, or cut costs on, it might be worth a try. Until it’s been around a little longer, it’s hard to make a much greater judgment than that.
I’ll be back later this week with another post. Until then, contact us here.