Groupon has crossed off another part of its to-do list to become the ultimate local commerce operating system. The company announced Wednesday that it has launched the Breadcrumb point-of-sale system, which will allow restaurants and cafés to streamline the orders, service, and payments system using iPads.
Groupon snapped up the startup back in May and launched a limited pilot in New York City. Today’s launch marks the first time that Breadcrumb will be available to merchants nationwide.
If Square isn’t girding its loins, it may want to start doing so now. Last month, Groupon launched a major blow to Square with the release of Groupon Payments, a mobile payment system that—like Square—uses a little plastic card-reader plugged into an iPad to allow merchants to process payments on-the-go.
But the new Breadcrumb POS brings a whole new dimension of mobility to restaurant operations, as orders, payments, and analytics are now rolled into one. Using the Breadcrumb POS, servers can clock in, take orders, calculate checks, and process payments all from an iPad. They can also make notes on customized orders and split or merge checks.
Management can then see reports and analytics from an iPad or computer, manage time-clocks, and see real-time sales and labor reports.
Plans start at $99 a month and merchants who sign up receive a “Breadbox,” which consists of an iPad (which merchants can purchase, otherwise they can use their own), iPad stand, cash drawer, credit card swipe, printer, router, WAP, and cables. And, naturally, the system is integrated with Groupon Payments, which charges nearly half of what Square and PayPal currently charge. Transactions using Visa, MasterCard, or Discover will be charged 1.8%, plus 15 cents when swiped (2.3% plus 15 cents when keyed). And the rates apply to all merchants, regardless of whether they’ve run a Groupon deal before.
Square charges 2.75% or a flat rate of $275 a month for businesses processing less than $200,000 a year. PayPal charges 2.7%.
Groupon Payments also allows merchants to get paid overnight, rather than waiting the usual two or three days for payments to be deposited into an account.
Groupon’s master plan to be an all-in-one operating system for local commerce is really taking shape—and it’s positioning itself to be a serious competitor to the likes of Square and PayPal. Your local neighborhood coffee shop doesn’t really have much reason to integrate Square when it can go with Groupon and get an advertising platform, mobile payments, and a point-of-sale system all in one.
Groupon shares were down 5.6% Wednesday morning to $4.97.