Mixed-use spaces have been on the rise for several years. And now, with increasing real estate prices and consumers demanding convenience more than ever before, we can expect to see these “20-minute neighborhoods” pop up in downtowns and even in urban areas everywhere. With them comes plentiful opportunities for YOU—innovative business owners offering food, libations, and experiences unlike any that have been seen before.
Let’s look into more particulars of why mixed-use buildings are growing in popularity, and how savvy technology, like small business POS systems, can help businesses like yours thrive in this type of space.
Mixed-Use Spaces Meet Needs For All Parties Involved
It’s no secret that real estate ain’t cheap in the US. But really successful mixed-use developments like Fifth + Broadway in Nashville are crediting their 15-20% lease success over competitors to providing a space that fits the needs of the masses: offices, residential units, and entertainment-seekers.
And while there’s certainly a monetary value in maximizing the use of a single building to house multiple business types, the rise in mixed-use properties is being driven by consumers and business owners’ desires, too.
Everyone is demanding mixed-use because mixed-use provides flexibility, diversity, and a range of experiences within the context of the smaller neighborhood… Before, [developers’ design] was all about the big tower, or the pretty building, or the object in the field, but now we’re looking at it from the human scale, as people on the ground.
-Beatriz de Paz, Design Director & global leader of Gensler’s mixed-use & Retail Centers practice
Mixed-Used Benefits From Consumer & Business Perspectives
From a consumer perspective, the interest in mixed-space areas comes from a desire for convenience, community, and environmental concerns.
- Convenience: Whether you live or work in a mixed-use space (or, both!) it’s incredibly convenient to grab a bite, shop for a birthday gift, or invite friends to a golf simulator, all walking distance from your home or office. With a few pandemic years under our belts and an Amazon delivery always a few clicks away, consumers are simply seeking the easiest ways possible to consume.
- Community: Your favorite coffee shop knowing your name and order is idealized in movies, but it creates a welcome environment for regulars. Seeing friendly faces around a mixed-use space creates community for those that work and live there, hammering home the idea of that 20-minute neighborhood.
- Environmental: Mixed-use spaces are inherently environmentally-friendly, reducing the need for cars from residents and workers in the area. Less cars means less parking lots, which means more green space and areas for people to spread out and enjoy themselves. Because of consumers’ increased desire to support sustainable businesses, mixed-use buildings are all the more desirable.
Now, from a business perspective, they’re following where the consumers are! With people living and working in these spaces, the revenue potential is there for businesses—they just have to get them in the door and impress them! Not only is there a guarantee of food traffic outside your doors, there’s also a massive potential to grow a really loyal fanbase. If people are frequenting the area and really like what your business offers, they’re likely to return time and again.
Another opportunity for businesses lies in the diversity of business types that mixed-use spaces support. Food, beverages, and retail are obvious contenders to lease, but there’s also opportunities for entertainment venues like golf simulators, ax-throwing spots, and concert halls. And with the abundance of hospitality spots around, it makes a mixed-use space all the more appealing for consumers, businesses, and lessors alike.
Technology That Attracts & Retains Customers In A Mixed-Use Space
Small business POS systems and all of their handy features give mixed-use tenants a tool that not only helps get customers in the door, but also serves to dazzle them when they’re there, and keeps them engaged and coming back for more the next day!
How Small Business POS Systems Attract New Customers
Sure, customers are right there at your business’s proverbial fingertips, but there’s likely a lot of interesting options surrounding you that you must compete with! So how can small business POS systems help you stand out?
Increase Foot Traffic With An Enticing Event
There’s nothing like the promise of a party to attract new customers. The following tools from small business POS systems are there to support any type of event you choose to host:
- Donation Feature: What better way to entice newcomers in the neighborhood than by throwing a party that benefits their community? With donation at checkout, it’s simple to raise money for a charitable cause—all you have to do is turn the feature on, decide whether guests donate in whole dollar amounts or by rounding up their tabs, and the rest is up to your generous guests! Raising awareness and money for a deserving organization establishes a positive reputation for your business, and it feels good, too!
- Marketing Opportunities: Utilize digital tools to market your business and any upcoming events to spread the word. Social media or an online storefront are both great ways to incentivize visits (BOGO deal, anyone?)
- Event Deposits: In a mixed-use space, there’s a good chance you’re sharing a building with several corporate offices. And corporate offices are always looking for convenient venues to host company Happy Hours or other events! With event deposits supported by small business POS systems, you can set up and track deposits to ensure that you have the staff and inventory necessary to host.
- Will Call Reporting: For more exclusive, ticketed events, will call reporting is available so you can manage paid-for attendees, any tickets remaining, and look back at performance reports.
With all of these features in your toolbelt, all you have to do now is fire up the kitchen and bar and blow up some balloons!
Collaborate With Other Businesses Around You
Being alongside many talented artisans in a mixed-use space provides a great opportunity to collaborate. By working with another business, you gain visibility from their established consumer base, and vice versa!
As far as small business POS systems go, they can assist in collaborations by informing you on which are the most successful. With robust reporting tools, you can easily see revenue from any particular collaboration, and also any visible traffic spikes after the fact.
Perhaps collaborating with the Sip & Paint joint next door led to some great traffic afterwards. If that’s the case, maybe your Small Bites Bar can work with them more often—or start offering wine yourself!
How Small Business POS Systems Impress Customers In Your Space
Events and collaborations are great ways to spread the word about your business and get people in the door. But how do you ensure you make a great impression?
Savvy Technology Supports Exceptional Service
First impressions matter, and you’ve already got a friendly team ready to wow. Now you just need the technology to deliver fast, seamless service.
- Mobile: Portable POS devices give staff the freedom to service guests from anywhere in your space. Guests can ask for another drink on the way to the bathroom, and close out tableside, allowing for optimal convenience.
- Cloud-based: With POS devices that all sync to the same cloud, your staff expedites service. Kitchen and bar staff receive orders from servers the instant one is sent through, greatly reducing the time it takes for guests to receive their food and beverages. Plus, since all tabs are synced with all staff devices, a guest can be helped by any roaming server.
- Contactless ordering: Guests may choose to utilize QR codes or other contactless options if they’re in a virtual meeting, or having lunch with a business partner. Self-serve ordering is a great way to experience exceptional service, while avoiding interruptions from staff when guests are focused on other matters.
Fast service and ordering flexibility is especially important in a mixed-use space, because oftentimes guests drop in for a quick bite before their morning meeting or during a lunch break. If guests can depend on your business to deliver delicious grub in a timely manner, they’re more likely to come again!
Dynamic Menus Dazzle Guests With An Abundance Of Choices
Another way to go above and beyond for guests in your establishment? Curating a rotating menu that gives you the flexibility to show off all your cooking and cocktail-mixing chops!
Digital menus are easy-to-change, which makes mixing up your menu offerings a no-brainer. After all, consumers are walking by your business on a daily basis, so it’s critical that your menu is always coming up with something new and exciting to try.
And if you’re always offering something new, guests are bound to want to get a little taste of everything! That’s why features such as flight tools come in handy—the more delicious sips guests have, the more they’re going to enjoy themselves! The best small business POS systems ensure flight orders are customizable for guests (2-8 options for each flight to try everything they want, and nothing they don’t) and quick to input for staff. Showcasing variety in your offerings is good for business, and good for dazzling first-time guests!
Another menu feature that impresses guests is menu accuracy and clarity. The last thing you want is a guest hesitating on choosing menu items because they’re unsure of pricing or availability. Timed menus take the guesswork out of menu changes surrounding special occasions like Happy Hour. As a business owner, you can decide what’s offered and how it’s priced during specific times of the day, and digital menus will automatically update when the clock strikes Happy Hour o’clock. This set-it-and-forget-it tool minimizes questions staff must answer, and makes for easy decision-making for guests.
Amplify Your Sustainable Efforts—Mixed-Use Consumers Care!
We mentioned the inherent sustainability of mixed-use spaces, and how consumers are increasingly paying attention to businesses acting with Mother Earth in mind. That’s why if your business in a mixed-use space is acting sustainably, you should make it known to customers.
To establish your business as a sustainable one and impress new guests, consider implementing low-lift solutions like the following:
- Digital menus: The pros keep coming for this dynamic menu type. You’re also saving money and trees by not having to print and reprint physical menus.
- Eco-friendly to-go containers: Styrofoam and single-use plastic is a red flag to the growing consciousness of recyclability. Try biodegradable, compostable packing instead.
- Locally sourced goods: From the fresh veggies and fruits you use, to the tables and chairs that fill your space, it benefits your community and, in turn, your business, if you choose to shop local.
- Inventory management: There are plenty of 3rd party integrations available for small business POS systems to keep track of your inventory counts. Accurate inventory leads to accurate forecasting, which reduces the chance that good ingredients go to waste.
Because mixed-use spaces garner such a sense of community, it’s really important your business is acting, and tooting their horn about, the ways you’re practicing corporate social responsibility.
How Small Business POS Systems Engage & Retain Existing Customers
Alright, you’ve encouraged guests inside and you’ve made a positive impression. Now it’s time to make sure they’ll be lifelong fans!
Diversify How Guests Can Enjoy Your Offerings… & Your Revenue Streams
Now that you’ve established yourself as a delicious food and drink option in the mixed-use building, customers are going to look at you as an option for any time of day! That’s why it’s really important to have to-go and pickup options available and fully integrated with the rest of your small business POS system.
With cloud-based technology, your kitchen and bar crew receive orders made off-site via an online storefront instantly to their devices, too. That way all orders are visible in one place, and online orders don’t get forgotten. Fulfillment is as simple as assembling a plate for on-site consumption, and you can set up a station at the front where people can pick up their to-go orders.
Reward Loyal Guests & Incentivize Purchases
Another way to retain engagement from guests is through a loyalty program. By rewarding guests for spending money with you, you drive traffic and build your brand name within a mixed-use space. Here’s how small business POS systems can help:
- Member signup is simple. Add a link at checkout for guests, or host a membership site for free!
- Incentives boost your bottom line. Programs designed like Mug Clubs encourage lifelong loyalty to your business, and discounts on merchandise get your brand name out in the wild! Customize how you reward members, and see your profits climb.
- Encourage traffic: Reach out to members easily with a simple email promoting a new menu item or exclusive discounts to get traffic in the door on your slower days.
- Create FOMO: Patrons are talking in a tight-knit community like a mixed-use space. Offer member-only perks and merchandise to draw in even more loyal members.
Most importantly, have fun with your loyalty program and make it unique to your brand. The more you can make members feel like they’re a part of a special community, the more likely they are to stay loyal to your business.
Evaluate What’s Working & What’s Not With Reporting Tools
Lastly, to ensure you’re garnering a group of lifelong customers, you absolutely must pay attention to the reporting from small business POS systems. Data doesn’t lie, and it informs a clear path forward.
Here are some reports that would be valuable to you:
- Best sellers: A clear item rank that shows which menu items are selling the most is key to building a buzzing business.
- Purchase size: It’s important to know if you’re pouring mostly tasters of your Saison, and full glasses of your Lager. If that’s the case, nix that Saison! You can optimize sales and know what to refine on the next brew with a report like this that breaks down orders by pour size.
- Hourly total sales: Isolate sales during certain periods of time by breaking down sales by the hour. If sales are less or greater than your other hours, you have a good idea how successful an event or a collaboration was!
- Employee performance: By looking at total sales by employee, you can pinpoint the staff that are seemingly the best at charming guests. Make sure they’re on the schedule for your busiest hours!
The best small business POS systems offer an easy-to-navigate reporting dashboard so reports like these are just a few clicks away. Plus, with all POS and guest devices synced to the cloud, you can guarantee you’re looking at the most up-to-date information available whenever you check in on performance.
Now that you know the best ways to get in front of new customers and keep their attention for the long term, get out in your mixed-use community and start shaking some hands. Your POS system is in your back pocket when business calls.
Arryved POS works with restaurants, bars, breweries, tasting rooms, music halls, food trucks, ax-throwing spots, and more to make service easy and create unforgettable guest experiences. Check out this savvy small business POS system by requesting a free, custom demo!