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Using tech to combat inflation

Refined Editorial Team
March 16, 2022

From persistent supply-chain backlogs to elevated prices, U.S. merchants are dealing with one of the hardest inflationary environments seen in decades. Here are several proven technologies that we believe can help mitigate the effects of inflation on one’s business.

Digital menu boards

Prices are changing so rapidly that by the time a menu board can be ordered, printed, delivered, and changed on the point-of-sale, thousands of dollars could potentially be lost. For larger chains and franchises, as well as multi-store retail systems, this problem is compounded not only monetarily, but logistically.   With digital menu boards, the prices can be changed from one central location and updated across multiple locations or chain-wide in real time, and also be reflected on the point-of-sale.

Digital Menu boards can also act as advertisement at the in-store level. For instance, in a restaurant, if there is a significant price increase of one type of protein, an advertisement promoting a different protein source or vegetarian option can boost sales in the most optimal foods that week. If there is a shortage or sourcing issue of a certain menu item, the item can also be removed entirely from the menu board until the food item is back in stock.

Point-of-sale-integrated customer facing display 

Upgrading to point-of-sale system with a customer facing touch screen will allow a customer to add an optional tip when checking out. For quick-service restaurants not currently implementing tipping, this technology can help to attract and retain more employees without having to increase payroll costs. Tips can then be automatically calculated by point-of-sale software that tracks employees’ hours and fairly distributes it to the staff.

Tipping can be displayed suggestively such as 15 percent, 20 percent, or 25 percent of the total, or a flat tip such as $1, $2, or $3. In a recent survey conducted by creditcard.com, within fast-casual restaurants 46.5 percent of customers left tips with the average tip percentage being 17 percent. They also found that 24 percent of Americans in a fast-casual environment always tip.

Electric vehicles for business

All businesses impacted by the increased prices of fuel and energy, including but not limited to transportation and delivery service companies, can reduce costs by operating with electric vehicles. In most states, there are very generous tax incentives for making an investment to green energy. Being able to keep transportation costs lower versus competitors during inflationary periods is not only beneficial for increasing profits, but can also drive sales higher due to the price advantage. Consider sitting down with an accountant to learn the best way to structure these capital expenditures. For the most up-to-date state and federal incentives and rebates click here: https://www.dsireusa.org/

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