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Square Introduces New Restaurant Takeout App

That moment when you're staring at your computer obsessing about lunch just got a little more exciting. Square may have just dropped Wallet from the app store, but also launched a new one called Square Order. This restaurant app allows you to browse merchants near you, find out estimated wait times, put in a takeout order, pay for it using the credit card linked to your account, enter a tip and receive a ping when your order is ready to be picked up.

via Square

Before you get too hungry (or hangry), we should let you know that Square's new Square Order app is only available in San Francisco and New York City. The iOS app is available for download now, with Android still in beta testing.

Currently, the takeout options are just a hint of what could come. The app allows users to suggest new restaurants, meaning that there may be quite a bit of change in that area. A reporter for the SF Weekly noted about 35 options at the time of her order, ranging from boutique bakeries to Whole Foods.

square order takeout

Similar on-demand food products have been emerging left and right in recent years, both in the app store and online. Various rapid delivery services, seating wait lists and others are trying to take a bite out of the food industry, so we'll be interested to see how Square Order fits into this tech space. Many of said apps haven't made it out of the Bay Area, but we'll be waiting (impatiently) for at least a few of them to launch in Southern California.

If you're based in the SF or NYC market and interested in getting your restaurant listed on Square Order, we'll be blogging about the setup process in another post soon.

Shopventory Now Supports Inventory Management Across Multiple Locations

We've been working on some fun updates in the secret laboratory for a few weeks now and we're excited to announce that Shopventory now fully supports inventory management for businesses with multiple locations. High fives all around!

With this new multiple location capability, you can now...

-Keep an eye on all your locations from one simple dashboard -Manage a central warehouse -Maintain inventory counts automatically for off-site pop-up shopsfestivals and weekend markets -Make inventory transfers between locations -Update inventory among locations with quick bulk upload spreadsheets customized for your business -Mix and match POS devices—Square at one store and PayPal Here at another? No problem.

We didn't stop at multiple locations—we also just released an update so you can  search and filter inventory while you edit, which we hope will save you some time. When setting an alerts, you can also create an alert based on location, item name, category name or quantity (or any combination) so that your alerts are truly the best for your business.

Our new Standard plan ($59/month) includes support for up to three locations. If you're interested in trying out any of these new features, give us a whirl for free by signing up here or upgrade by emailing us at help@shopventory.com.

With so many of our clients managing multiple locations and participating in off-site sales, we really hope you love this new feature. And if you have any suggestions to make it better, please let us know.

Our best ideas always come from you!

Square Releases Spanish Version of the Register App to Support Latino Businesses

Square recently announced the Spanish-language release of their popular Square Register app. Latino-owned businesses comprise 22.4% of Florida businesses, 20.7% of Texas businesses and 16.5% of California businesses, according to Square, so this was an important step to continue supporting these large, thriving business communities. square swipe

“Every entrepreneur and business owner should have access to tools and resources that inform their decisions and help them reach their goals,” said Square executive Ricardo Reyes. “Square’s powerful tools offer more than just a point of sale, they build on the experience for the business and its customers. Now Square is optimized for Latino businesses to serve their customers across the U.S.”

The Census Bureau reports that Hispanics are the most likely among American minorities to start and grow their own businesses—nearly twice the rate of the general population. We know first-hand how important this is for our own city of San Diego, where the Hispanic community compromises one-third of the population—that's one million people, including 50,000 Hispanic small business owners.

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Currently, Square is only available in the U.S., Canada and Japan, so we can't help but wonder if this release also moves Square into a position to launch in additional international markets as well.

Did you attend one of the launch events in San Francisco, Houston, Miami or Los Angeles? Let us know how it went in the comments!

San Diego Named Best Startup City in America by Forbes

Last week, Forbes published an article telling us what we San Diegans already know—San Diego is the best place to launch a startup in 2014! san diego

In a Radius analysis of 27 million U.S. businesses, author Tom Post drew unique insights about features in a city that are most advantageous to small business owners. Then he evaluated the 50 most populous cities in the country based on their ability to support those valuable resources. He ranked each city on the following criteria:

1. Small business as a percentage of total business.

2. Percentage of small businesses that accept credit cards.

3. Percentage of small businesses in high growth industries.

4. Percentage of small businesses with Facebook pages and websites.

5. Percentage of businesses with online reviews.

It's not surprising that San Diego would be named best startup city in America this year. The study found our home base metropolis in the top five of nearly every category, with a heavy concentration in high growth industries (software like ours included!), as well as a high likelihood of accepting credit cards (in part due to our friends Square and Paypal Here!). By the way, can you feel how proud we are?

Our local startup community is a supportive and thriving one thanks to organizations like EvonexusStartUp San Diego, CONNECT, Geek Girl Camp, startup weekends and various Meetup groups. In our own office, we share vital resources (and vital beers) with companies like TapHunter, Embarke and Membright, among others.

In the startup community, we love helping each other work through challenges as well as celebrating those little wins. This win feels like a big one for all of us—we're so excited that our city has been recognized in this way and we'd love to see more entrepreneurs join us out here in sunny San Diego.

What are some of the advantages and disadvantages for startups and small businesses in your community? Let us know in the comments!