Tim McLaughlin wanted to streamline the customer experience at his Caboose Brewing Co. in Vienna, Virginia, and the POS system he developed also has made accounting and percentage rent a snap for tenants at food halls.
The multiple-points-of-sale model has grown cumbersome for vendors and landlords, said McLaughlin. His GoTab, he said, attracts bookkeeping-averse vendors and has something landlords like, too: “GoTab allows landlords to take on a little more risk on tenants because they know they can pay percentage rent because it’s automatically taken, and customers get the same quick-commerce experience they’ve come to enjoy with online shopping and food delivery,” said co-founder and CEO McLaughlin.
For visitors to food halls, lines move faster, and payouts for groups are easier. The integrated point-of-sale system gives patrons more time to cool their heels at dining tables, pour themselves beverages off a self-serve beer wall or explore. “Say you want a beer and a taco and maybe a slice of pizza. There’s no reason you should have to pay multiple times,” said McLaughlin. Under GoTab Pass, staffers check a guest’s ID and then configure a credit card and mobile number to a branded RFID card or wristband. From there, a guest orders and then moves through checkout at each vendor by tappingthe card or wristband on the merchant’s payment processor. The guest then gets a phone notification when the order is ready for pickup. At the end of the visit, the guest drops the RFID card or wristband into a bucket at the exit and receives a receipt via text message for all transactions made that day. “By digitizing the checkout process and eliminating the need to run a typical credit card and close individual transactions at each vendor, lines move a lot faster,” McLaughlin said. Guests may prepay a specific amount and will get refunded automatically if they spend less, so parents can get cards or bands for their kids with a limit, say $20. And because guests show their IDs when they get their cards or wristbands, underage visitors can’t order alcohol.