EPOS central to service


Technology must continue to evolve to meet customer expectations, firms say

CUSTOMER service is key in the on-trade and if staff are to deliver and maintain high standards, they need the right tools for the job.
EPOS is one such tool, which can play a key role in delivering smooth and efficient service.
And the ever-evolving nature of the technology used in the systems can help keep operators and staff at the top of their game in the service stakes, according to EPOS firms.
Robin Knox, director at Intelligent Point of Sale, a firm which specialises in providing EPOS software for a range of devices including tablet computers and till points, said EPOS systems have “long been recognised as an essential part of business”.
“The data provided by a properly configured POS (point of sale) unit allows for easy monitoring of key performance indicators such as sales, cash control, spend per head, labour percentage, waste and stockholding level,” said Knox.
For operators in the market for a new system, Knox suggested examining all costs associated with the system while warning against false economies.
“Don’t buy at the bottom end of the market, often budget systems are less developed with fewer or charged updates,” he said, adding that the frequency with which operators will need to upgrade their system is “dependent upon the nature of the POS system in place”.
Knox highlighted cloud-based systems – a method which allows multiple devices to interact with data stored remotely – as one way in which operators can reduce the need to upgrade.
“If you are currently using a cloud-based POS system with a SaaS (software as a service) subscription model then this should include regular free software updates so the need to upgrade may arise only when the operating system is outdated,” said Knox.
“Other incumbent systems may require replacement more frequently and this can be costly, personally I would budget to fully replace all hardware once every four to six years.”
Utilising cloud-based systems at the till point is one of the latest innovations in EPOS, but it won’t be the last, according to Stuart McLean of Zonal Retail Data Systems.
McLean said EPOS firms and on-trade operators must continue to innovate if they are to meet customer expectations.
“Technology has moved on apace since Zonal launched its first till system over 35 years ago, but consumers are telling us we still need to do more to exceed their expectations,” he said.
“With frustrations around speed of service the number one gripe for [Scottish consumers], operators must go further to streamline efficiencies and use technology to improve the overall customer experience.”
Joint research conducted by Zonal and data firm CGA Peach found that Scottish consumers “hate waiting” when both ordering and paying for food. The survey also found that one third of consumers (34%) would be interested in using their mobile devices to speed up ordering, rising to more than half (54%) among 18 to 24 year olds.
McLean said the research makes it clear that Scottish consumers “won’t wait”.
“Competition is fierce, and people know that if their restaurant or pub doesn’t give them speed and convenience, there are plenty of others who will,” he added.
“Guests also want a more personalised approach that taps into their likes and needs, and operators need to use technology to satisfy this demand.
“The brands that identify the systems and processes to achieve that will be the ones that win the race.”