Specialists said that, in addition to improved efficiency and productivity, there are other tangible benefits from investing in technology.
Shannon Arnold, director of marketing at Posera, said technology “streamlines every aspect of your operations”.
“This translates into better customer service, and higher profit margins due to lower labour costs, better control over food costs, and an increase in sales, thanks to loyalty programmes, gift card sales and integration with online reservation solutions,” said Arnold.
Cutting-edge technology can also help differentiate an outlet from its competitors, according to Zonal chief executive Stuart McLean.
“Business is fiercely competitive,” he said.
“And, with less money in punters’ pockets, those outlets that can provide the complete customer service experience – from booking to final bill – allied to great food and drink, will doubtless benefit from repeat spend and positive, word-of-mouth testimonials.”
An outlet’s technology could feasibly become as important as any other aspect of its offer.
Whether purchasing a system or upgrading existing technology, knowing what you require from an EPOS system is vital, said Arnold.
“Switching systems is a great opportunity to take advantage of new, advanced functionality,” she said.
“It’s also a great opportunity to be oversold; to be convinced to buy EPOS modules you might use someday – with an emphasis on the ‘might’.
“Software isn’t like car insurance: there’s no advantage to buying it just in case you need it.”
Staff training is another important consideration, said Arnold, in order to ensure that the transition between old and new systems is seamless.
“It doesn’t have to be fancy,” she said.
“But it does have to be complete. And accurate. And up to date.
“Although you’re making a transition to a new, improved EPOS – better technology, better functionality, better everything – the folks who use the EPOS should barely notice the change.”
And as technology becomes a bigger part of consumers’ everyday lives, McLean said an outlet’s tech could feasibly become as important as any other aspect of its offer.
“In an era when the consumer is king, the key is offering the choice that is right for them,” he said.
“I can envisage a day where consumers will be asking whether an outlet has the ‘right technology’ as well as good food and service before they decide whether or not to visit.”