Mobile

Groupon targets checkout, launches Breadcrumb iPad point-of-sale service

It’s not just about daily deals anymore: Soon you may be using Groupon’s new iPad register service Breadcrumb to check out of restaurants.

After acquiring the iPad point-of-sale (POS) company Breadcrumb back in May for an undisclosed sum, Groupon is today following through with that purchase by launching Breadcrumb across the U.S. for restaurants.

By doing so, Groupon is continuing its move towards becoming a mobile payment player to take on the likes of Square, Intuit, and PayPal. It’s also directly competing with other dedicated POS companies like Shopkeep. Groupon also launched Groupon Payments in September, which lets consumers charge credit card purchases via an accessory on their smartphone.

“Coming over to Groupon made a whole lot of sense,” said Seth Harris, Breadcrumb founder and now General Manager at Groupon, in an interview with VentureBeat. He thought that Groupon had all of the resources to realize his dream of Breadcrumb’s potential, and he’s also a believer in Groupon as a mobile payment entrant, saying the company has the “opportunity to be a major player in the world’s local commerce operating system.”

Just like every other newfangled point-of-sale solution, Breadcrumb aims to simplify the lives of restaurant owners. In addition to serving as a modern checkout solution, Breadcrumb can easily rearrange tables, split checks, and take special requests from customers. And since it’s the focal point for sales data, it can also generate reports in real-time.

Pricing starts at just $99 a month, though you’ll still have to provide your own iPad, receipt printer, and cash drawers. Groupon will also provide training on-site for businesses in New York City and San Francisco.

While a major step up from older point-of-sale systems, which generally require clunky and expensive hardware, Harris says Breadcrumb differentiates itself from other POS solutions because it focuses on the needs of hospitality businesses. His experience in the restaurant business — starting out as a bartender and eventually moving up to general manager — was one of the inspirations for Breadcrumb’s floorplan feature for keeping track of tables and orders.

For now, Harris says he’s focused on spreading the word on Breadcrumb in the U.S. Groupon’s new mobile payment plays could be a good thing for the company. Its troubled stock saw a 14 percent uptick when Groupon Payments was announced. After opening at $20 a share in its IPO last fall, Groupon is today trading at just $5.03.


Mobile developer or publisher? VentureBeat is studying mobile marketing automation. Fill out our 5-minute survey, and we'll share the data with you.