Square Infiltrates Atlanta

Local restaurants adopt mobile payment technology
Mixed berry buttermilk ice cream at High Road

Photo courtesy of Facebook

In November 2012, Starbucks announced that 7,000 stores around the country would begin using Square, a mobile payment system. Since then, many coffee drinkers have enjoyed the perks that come with it, including the ability to pay using their cell phone and easy tracking of loyalty rewards. But it’s not only national chains that are adopting this technology; local businesses like High Road Craft Ice Cream & Sorbet and Octane’s PocketBar say they’re saving money and enhancing the customer experience by using Square to process credit card transactions.

High Road first utilized Square in 2011 when it started offering public tours and tastings for its Factory Store.

“Square was a great fit for us because we were only open to the public one day a week. We didn’t want to spend money on an expensive POS system, and we all had smartphones,” says Nicki Schroeder, High Road’s VP of Marketing.

Today, High Road uses Square at its retail location in the Sweet Auburn Curb Market as well.

“Our customers love that we can send them receipts via text and email—and that they can take advantage of reward programs,” she says. “Less tech-savvy customers are in awe when they first ‘sign with their fingertip’ and love to share the same newbie experience with their friends.”

But it was the simplicity and mobility of Square technology that first attracted PocketBar and Octane Coffee co-founder Diane Riffel to the product.

“Credit card processing can be hugely complicated, and most processors lock businesses into ridiculous contracts on top of ridiculously complicated fee structures,” Riffel says. “Square offers a very simple and secure mobile solution at a really affordable price for small and local businesses.”

PocketBar currently uses Square Reader, the simplest form of the technology, which allows businesses to process credit cards on the go. However, PocketBar will soon be implementing Square Register—a point of sale system that enables order tracking.

“There are a million things that small businesses will worry about, whether starting up or working toward growth, so we appreciate just how simple Square has been for us,” Riffel says.