Very happy to report having set-up David from iZi ristorante italiano in St Maarten with a new cloud-based POS system from Lavu.com!
The new POS is software-as-a-service, which means he doesn’t need local servers anymore to record transactions. No Windows server to maintain. No software to update nor backup and restore. All data is safely in the cloud. In case of internet disruptions, the software has an offline mode that will record transactions and upload everything once the connection is restored.
Lavu POS 4.0
The expensive stand-alone (often Windows XP!) terminals that served as cash terminals or server stations can all go. The software runs as an app on iPads or iPad minis, that are easy to carry around by the waiters or set-up as a register using protective stands. The stands can also be securely bolted to counters or furniture to complicate stealing. But in case of (weather) damage, theft or malfunction, David just gets a new iPad, logs in with his Apple ID, downloads the app and after 10 minutes the new iPad is ready for business. He can then go claim the stolen equipment…
The result is a modern POS system that works alongside existing payment terminals from Sint Maarten banks for Maestro debit and credit cards. Apple Pay and Google Wallet can easily be added with a snap-on accessory on the iPad, when desired or needed.
Menus are easily created and added using the online Lavu control panel and price changes take literally 10 seconds. Waiters can stimulated to push certain menu items and receive a part from the profits. For instance, 5% of all Summerlicious menus they sell or 10% of the wine bottles but not wine by the glass.
It was a pleasure creating the website for the best place on St Maarten to get Buffalo Wings. Talking with Victor gave a lot of energy to help set-up a website where people can find menus, see photos of the dishes, get to know the product line that Buffalo Wings SXM has to offer and find a clear location and opening hours of the restaurant. This is a rare thing on St Maarten and something that more venues should do for their prospective visitors and guests.
Buffalo Wings Restaurant | Bar | Sports
After having established himself as the go-to place for buffalo wings and creating 24 homemade sauces to match any style, flavor or texture you might be in the mood for, Victor is expanding his product line with delicious burgers, wraps, arepas and Venezuelan parilla. But he also wants to let people make their own famous buffalo wings by selling deep frozen, marinated, ready to cook wings and ribs for backyard or poolside birthday BBQs, family gatherings, company cookouts or beach picnics.
The website was set-up on WordPress.com for reliable hosting with high uptimes, automatic WordPress software upgrades, great security features, free SSL certificates with each domain and best-in-class antispam functions to fool contact form spammers.
I integrated Google My Business and Search Console, so that Victor has a good understanding of how people end up on the website or what they searched for to get there. This will help him create better focused social media ads and which promotions were successful and which not.
The Port of St Maarten has made their Microsoft SQL database of the arrival times of cruise ships in Point Blanche publicly available. That is really great! Lots of businesses, shops and operators depend on knowing if and when a cruise ship arrives. Planning, scheduling, supplies, stock and personnel are all influenced by the presence of a cruise ship or two. High season, which is approaching fast, even brings three, four or occasionally even seven (!) cruise ship to the port of Sint Maarten.
Interestingly though, they did not create an easy to remember hostname for their web server (just an IP address) and they forgot to configure the IIS web server properly, so that visitors are automatically forwarded to the proper web page. (The root page shows the default IIS 8.0 landing page instead of the schedule picker page.)
Though I can live with it, I find it a bit sloppy and I decided to create a subdomain on my domain that points to their server using an easy to remember name:
I’m very proud to show you the new website for the Nature Foundation of St Maarten!
The old self-hosted WordPress.org site is still live and used but totally reworked. I made an export and imported it into a staging site on WordPress.com. Once satisfied, I exported that, cleaned up the self-hosted site by deleting all pages and importing the export file. Once the same theme was set, all that was left to do was customization.
Three focus areas are highlighted:
Pages were put into one of these areas and (blog) posts also categorized into the same. This way, their work is visibly contribution to at least one of their focus areas. By going in and manually tagging blog posts, search engines and AI can (in the future) gain a lot of semantic information from the posts and pages, hopefully resulting in more organic traffic.
Divi theme was removed in favor of a free lightweight theme. Plugins were optimized or removed to make the site load faster. Backups are scheduled weekly and security increased, for self hosted WordPress sites are a common target for automated scans and hijacking. Eventually, I recommend the Nature Foundation move to WordPress.com and avoid having to do maintenance on software at a slightly higher cost. But it saves them from having to find a webmaster and either pay him or ask to do it “pro bono”.