APG partner Toast cures popular food truck’s POS woes
Leaving POS problems behind and stabilizing business
Erik Metzdorf knows what it’s like to be a victim of your own success. When his food truck, Metzy’s Taqueria, rolled onto the streets of Newburyport, MA in spring 2014, a line of customers wanting to buy tacos and burritos wrapped around the block. While it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to fulfill an order, customers were forced to wait much longer.
The problem was the truck’s POS system. Metzdorf and his crew were never able to get an off-the-shelf POS system to process credit cards, and Internet access through a 4-G based MiFi connection was spotty.
BN9 0LA Newhaven
To keep up with customer demand while wrangling with the POS issues, Metzdorf says, “We had eight people working each lunch shift, but there’s only so much you can do when you don’t have the right tools in place. I was spending all my time there, trying to resolve the POS connectivity issues. I was practically sleeping in the truck, let’s put it that way!”
Call for Help
One week after opening, Erik had had enough, and asked for help through Facebook. The next day, Boston-based POS system provider Toast sent a senior engineer to Metzy’s. “It was like Superman came in and solved my problem overnight,” Metzdorf says. “They just ripped everything out. Toast came with their system and installed it. Within hours we were live. It was that simple.”
Toast deployed its SaaS-based POS system, a receipt printer, a wireless router and an IP-connected APG cash drawer. Order takers were equipped with handheld tablets that connect with the truck’s kitchen wirelessly, linking orders taken outside the truck to cooks inside the truck. Improved wireless connectivity also enabled online orders; Metzdorf says Metzy’s generates over 10 percent of its revenue through Toast’s online ordering software.
“As a mobile restaurant, it’s crucial for Metzy’s to have products that work well on WiFi. Toast helped set up the system within the food truck so they can use it anywhere, anytime,” says John McNamara, Toast’s Director of Product Management.
Soon, the long lines that had become a common sight outside the Metzy’s truck were no longer a problem.
Metzdorf says the Toast POS system is elegant and easy to use. “We have a button that says ‘tacos,’ and lists five proteins. The system brings you through those proteins, and then you are done. You can serve a family of four in under a minute.”
With the POS problems behind him, Metzdorf was able to stabilize the business, cultivating a reputation for great food that keeps customers coming back. Metzy’s Taqueria has been so successful that Erik decided to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Metzy’s Cantina is set to open in July at Newburyport’s commuter rail station.
Although Toast solved Metzy’s food truck’s POS woes, Metzdorf still did his due diligence in evaluating competing POS systems for the new restaurant/Cantina. “I wasn’t going to sit back and have blinders on, but I didn’t have to look for very long,” he says. It quickly became clear that Toast was the better choice, not only because Metzdorf likes the platform but also because of Toast’s customer service. “I like the fact that they pick up the phone, I like the fact that they do what they need to do to solve a problem when one occurs.”
The new restaurant is equipped with three Toast terminals. One will sit at the bar, another at a stationary POS station, and the third on a rolling cart used in the restaurant’s outdoor patio. Servers also will use handheld tablets for tableside orders and payment. This approach suits the pay-at-the table model that Metzdorf envisions, with patrons going straight to tables instead of lining up in front of cashiers to order their food.
The restaurant also will have two IP-enabled APG cash drawers connected wirelessly to the Toast platform. Toast has worked with APG since going into business in 2012. “APG and Toast share a mutual commitment to customer success and providing top-of the line hardware for restaurants. Toast has used APG cash drawers since its founding because we can rely on their quality and rock solid performance,” says McNamara.
Metzdorf says he likes the APG drawers because they offer the same feel of elegance, integration and ease of use as the Toast system.
Going forward, he plans to keep refining the fast casual dining concept, even getting drinks to a table before a server finishes taking an order. Toast’s handheld tablets and wireless connectivity make this possible. Toast and APG, Metzdorf says, are integral to his future plans for the business.
Download the case study here.