A year ago, guests at the Terrace Bay Hotel in Upper Michigan could not charge food and beverage from the hotel’s restaurant to their room. It was a technical complexity that made the guest experience worse, and that was something Terrace Bay Hotel Owner and Operator Jarred Downs would not accept.
As a result, Downs and his team sought out a new POS system that would seamlessly integrate with their property management system (pms) interface. What they ended up finding was Lightspeed, a commerce platform that Downs believes will help him grow his business into the future.
“The desired integration between our POS and PMS was the driving factor behind us making the switch, and we’ve been really pleased with transitioning to Lightspeed,” Downs says. “It’s user friendly and intuitive.Sometimes to get an integration you have to pivot to an inferior product, but this was a top of the line product and has all of the features we could possibly want.”
Lightspeed goes beyond being just a cloud-based POS system that seamlessly integrates with other management systems, though it excels at that, too. The platform also automates tasks and offers key analytical insights into maximizing revenue. For example, Lightspeed remembers customers and is able to help waitstaff upsell more effectively based on that information.
“We can quickly see if servers are getting customers to add craft cocktails to 20 percent of meals, for example, or selling a bottle of wine to 5 percent of tables,” Downs says. “Every restaurant has different priorities and Lightspeed can program around those priorities, but for us that information is super valuable, and it helps us work with servers for them to get higher sales and thus more tips.”
Another feature that Downs loves is Magic Quadrant reporting, where a graph’s X axis is how often the item brings a customer back into the restaurant, and the Y axis is how much of a margin is achieved by selling the menu item. This has helped operators both streamline menus and also design them to emphasize which items achieve the most revenue.
These features—and many others—are the foundation of why a survey conducted by Lightspeed revealed that its commerce platform helped operators like Downs grow same-store sales comps by between 55–70 percent in 2021, or about three–four times greater than the industry average. That growth isn’t just nice to have any more—with so many aspects of running a restaurant getting more expensive, growing sales is even more important than it’s ever been.
“The restaurant industry today, you have compressed margins, food costs have gone up, and staff costs have gone up,” says Peter Doughtery, general manager of hospitality at Lightspeed. “What that means is that you can no longer be focused on tools that help you sell and that’s it. You need tools that help you sell smarter and get the most out of the customers sitting in your restaurant every time.”
For more on the Lightspeed restaurant platform, visit lightspeedhq.com.