Operators spoiled for choice with new tech

New technology promises to make life easier for the trade. SLTN looks at some of the options


FROM self-monitoring chillers to hi-tech point of sale systems, there’s no shortage of technology available to the contemporary licensee.

Pubs, bars and restaurants now have a number of hi-tech solutions to choose from, both front and back of house, which can provide a diverse range of benefits, from greater efficiency to cost savings.
Energy saving is one area that has received a much greater focus in recent years as operators look to cut their utility bills, and is also an area in which technology is able to provide assistance. Innserve, the drinks dispense company, claims that units such as its own InnEnergy device can save publicans money by reducing the energy consumed by their coolers.
Steve Lakin, the firm’s business support manager, said energy savings of between 30 and 35% are achievable on coolers, equating to between £170 and £600 per cooler per year.
Certain brands have become synonymous with technological innovation over the years, and perhaps none more than Apple.
Now IT companies are using Apple’s iPad to offer licensed businesses an alternative to traditional point of sale materials. One such company, Agilysys (Europe), has launched a new system that it says can replace traditional point of sale altogether.
The Meritage system allows a bar or restaurant to take food and drink orders on an Apple iPad, and payment through an iPod Touch Chip and PIN device.
Agilysys isn’t the only supplier looking to change how licensees handle their point of sale. J2 Retail Systems claims that its newest PC-based touchscreen till can reduce operators’ headaches by monitoring its own key components and identifying problems before they happen. This, the company argues, allows publicans or restaurateurs to dispose of standard fixed-fee maintenance contracts.
It’s not just the sale of goods that technology can help you with, however. New solutions are also available to help outlets better manage their ordering systems. One such solution, from iTradeNetwork, allows operators to order from their suppliers online.
Gary Squire, of drinks wholesaler Matthew Clark, said of the technology: “Over 70% of orders placed are out of office hours, undeniable evidence of the convenience online ordering brings to the market.”