Did you know that you can browse the Clover App Marketplace to find cool apps to increase the features in your Clover system? Here are our picks for the 5 best Clover apps.
As of September 2018, Clover was processing $70 billion in annualized volume, up 45% year-over-year and more than triple its $20 billion in annualized volume in early 2016. The restaurant sector is Clover’s biggest merchant segment, or vertical.
In the past, Clover’s focus had been small, quick-service restaurants. Now the company is turning its attention to full-service restaurants, a vertical that requires wider functionality. Clover is owned by First Data, which owns the STAR network that processes about one-third of all U.S. debit cards. In July 2019, First Data was acquired by Fiserv.
Although Clover comes with a small range of crucial functions, the system can be augmented with apps from the Clover App Marketplace. Many of these apps are free or are available for a small fee. Restaurant owners can choose from marketing apps, apps to manage employees, CRM apps, data analytic apps, inventory apps and more. This means you have the freedom to essentially design your own restaurant management system. However, keep in mind that if you start adding multiple apps, the costs can add up quickly. If you find that the Clover doesn’t natively support the functions you need, you may want to consider other, fuller-featured restaurant POS systems.
But if you just need a few additional functions, the Clover App Marketplace can be a lifesaver. Here are some of the best Clover apps.
Bar Tab Auths
One cool app that’s especially useful for bars is, aptly, called Bar Tab Auths. This is an app that may help you reduce losses from customers who leave without paying the tab, known to everyone in the restaurant business as “dining and dashing.” Cops have their own, less glamorous, name – theft of services – for that sort of activity, which can carry time behind bars.
The Bar Tab Auths app allows you to check a customer’s card account when you open a tab by running a card authorization, which tells you if the customer has enough funds without actually putting through a charge. The Bar Tab works by creating a pre-authorization, or “pre-auth.” When a pre-auth is initiated, the customer’s bank sets aside funds to cover the amount of the transaction. Although limited in functionality the Bar Tab Auths app is good at making sure you’re not cheated.
The Bar Tab Auths app doesn’t come with the Clover Station but it’s free on the Clover App Market and will work with the Clover Flex, the Clover Mini, Clover Mobile, and, of course, Clover Station 2018.
QuickBooks by Commerce Sync
If you run QuickBooks for your establishment, Commerce Sync can help you move a step closer to data orchestration, i.e. automating the transfer of data from one application to another. The Commerce Sync app eliminates the tedious task of manually entering the accounting data derived from operational activities. In effect, the app is a bookkeeper that never sleeps. It will transfer your sales data into QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Online, and Xero, typically at the end of each day. It’s nice to know – in dollars – how business went that day. But who wants to spend time at the end of a long day making accounting entries? Now you can find out in just a few keystrokes.
The app has some attractive additional features. It can integrate several locations into the same QuickBooks accounts or handle them separately. You can classify sales according to categories you set up and transfer amounts into separate revenue accounts. It can track payment methods, telling you how much is paid with cash, with card, and on credit. And it can handle sales taxes, including single, combined and multiple rates / jurisdictions. Commerce Sync works with all Clover devices, including Clover Station (Classic and 2018), Clover Mini, Clover Mobile, and Clover Flex. It also works with all Clover monthly plans: Register, Register Lite and Payments Plus.
Commerce Sync has two pricing plans. The Essential, available for QuickBooks Online and Xero, costs $19.95 per month. Using it, your sales will be transferred as a daily summary. The Expert edition costs $39.00 per month and will work with QuickBooks Desktop, as well as QuickBooks Online and Xero. It capability includes all the functionality of Essential plus there is a “Sales by Category” feature. Customer rating on the Clover App market is 3.7 stars out of five.
If you’re looking for other options, be sure to read our article on credit card processing integrated with QuickBooks.
Menufy Online Ordering
In order to stay competitive, takeout restaurants must be able to accept online orders. But signing up with different restaurant delivery services – GrubHub, DoorDash, Uber Eats, etc. – means your online presence is all over the place… not a good marketing strategy. Moreover, these delivery services charge hefty fees. However, Menufy, available at the Clover App Market, will do the same job… with just one website. Menufy will use your Clover menu to generate a new website for online ordering. Already have a website? Instead, it can create a module that will integrate with your existing website.
The $1.50 per order charge can be passed to the customer or you can absorb it as a cost of doing business. The flat charge works best for restaurants that have higher average orders. In those situations, it will be significantly cheaper than many other online ordering / delivery services, which take a larger percentage-based cut. (Often 30% of more!) The app is also easy to use, requiring no registering and no login. Customer rating on the Clover App Market is 4.5 stars out of five.
Yelp for Business Owners
Yelp for Business Owners is on the Clover App Market under “New & Notable.” Yelp is the well-known business directory service that, as of June 2019, offered 192 million reviews on its site. The app allows isn’t earth-shattering, but it helps you more easily manage your Yelp listing and keep an eye on your customer interactions.
You can track visitors, reply to customer reviews (either publicly or privately) and follow up with leads. You can also upload photos of your business or individual dishes. Best of all, it’s free. Customer rating on the Clover App Market is 3.0 stars out of five.
MarketMan sounds like a superhero and in the inventory management universe may just be. It’s an inventory management and purchasing solution for the restaurant industry. It streamlines procurement, delivery, and accounting. MarketMan provides advanced inventory and order management capabilities that will allow you to track and measure cost of goods sold (COGs), view purchase history, and manage inventory.
With MarketMan, you can monitor inventory to keep an eye on items that are running low and place orders directly through the app. You’ll receive real time reports and alerts, like when inventory is low or when a menu item becomes less profitable. Properly utilizing these alerts and reports can help you reduce waste and ensure you have popular products on hand, resulting in better sales and saving time or money at your restaurant. MarketMan costs $149.00 per month, training included. Customer rating on Capterra is 4.7 stars out of five.
With these five apps, you can power up your Clover POS system to tackle a variety of troublesome tasks. Menufy and the Yelp App will extend your brick and mortar presence to the web while Commerce Sync and MarketMan will take care of back office tasks like accounting and inventory. And there’s no need to get a hangover from theft of services. With Bar Tab Auths, you can pre-empt the tricksters, with a pre-auth charge as soon as they’re served. Cheers!
Did we miss your favorite Clover app? Let us know what it is in the comments!