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Kick Apps: Five technology solutions to improve your business

Kick Apps: Five technology solutions to improve your business

​Uber Local Offers: Visa Inc. knows restaurant operators like their guests to travel to dinner by Uber because those guests are more likely to buy a second drink or bottle of wine. In August, Visa and Uber joined forces to launch a new loyalty program that includes restaurants. Guests can earn one point for every dollar spent at registered restaurants towards a free Uber ride. Tallied in the Uber app, 100 points equals $10 off a ride. The Uber app also lists local restaurants participating in the program. Available initially in Los Angeles and San Francisco, the program is expected to be expanded to more markets in coming months. Sign up here

​ShiftPixy: Feeling pressured to cut back employee hours to avoid federal mandates for healthcare coverage? ShiftPixy may have a solution. Turn your workforce over to ShiftPixy, a “complete ecosystem” for workforce management targeting the restaurant industry. ShiftPixy becomes their employer, providing all relevant benefits, insurance and healthcare. Those “Shifters,” can then work all the hours they need, finding gigs through the ShiftPixy app. Available now in California with the goal of national rollout.

Cost: Vary by state, but in California restaurants pay about 23 percent above the pay rate for the given position. But the restaurant does not have to carry many additional ancillary labor costs, like healthcare.

​ChowNow Google ordering: The online ordering and marketing platform ChowNow in August launched a partnership with Google. When customers Google a restaurant from their smart phones, they can now place an order from the restaurant’s business profile and navigate right to the restaurant’s menu. ChowNow estimates that 75 percent of consumers choose a restaurant based on a mobile search. Now they can turn mobile searches into transactions. There is no cost to restaurants. 

Bellhop: The first global concierge platform, the Bellhop app is still in beta test, but it’s available in the App store. The app allows travelers to book restaurant reservations (or delivery), transportation, and entertainment in whatever city they happen to be visiting. Restaurants using Resy or (soon) OpenTable, for example, will automatically be listed in the app and can be booked. It’s free to restaurants. iOS only for now. 

Photo: Ordercubes

Why settle for any old candle when restaurants can have the Ordercube glowing on their tables. A touch from guests changes the color to indicate the need for service. If a pre-set wait time is exceeded, the cube begins to pulse to get the server’s attention. A German product, U.S. restaurants can order via Kickstarter or here

Cost: three cubes for a Kickstarter pledge of about $223.

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