Mobile tech can benefit business

Staff can increase sales with information at their fingertips, writes Gareth Cornish

Electronic point of sale (EPOS) systems have become ubiquitous throughout the Scottish on-trade, decreasing service times and increasing order efficiency.

Licensees have been able to provide a smoother, more efficient service as a result. But the hospitality industry is always looking for new cutting-edge solutions and this is now coming in the form of mobile point of sale (MPOS).

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While at first glance MPOS solutions may look like familiar consumer-grade tablets, in fact they are dedicated units that have been specifically designed to provide licensees with the mobility of a tablet and the powerful functionality of a stationary point of sale system.

Perhaps the most significant benefit is the ability for staff to carry the unit with them anywhere on the premises.

Orders can be taken instantly and additional information, such as details about items on the food menu, insight into the wines or beers stocked, or even how long a customer will wait before they receive their order, can be accessed easily.

The impact on customer service levels is important. Instead of having to refer back to the kitchen, staff can quickly find information about where ingredients were originally sourced and how food has been prepared, which is particularly useful for customers with food restrictions or allergies.

This information can also be stored on the MPOS and used when customers return.

The net effect is that employees are empowered, able to engage on a personal level with customers, and equipped with the means to drive additional sales.

Selecting the right MPOS solution will depend on the premises. Some bars, hotels and pubs are already using MPOS functionality on consumer devices including tablets and smartphones, but dedicated solutions will undoubtedly prove more reliable in the long term and they will include the very latest technology – there’s little point investing in a solution now that will be out of date in two years’ time, or which can’t be easily upgraded.

It would be worth involving staff in the process, because they will be using it on a day-to-day basis and finally, ensure it is an MPOS solution that can scale to meet future needs.

If a business is growing, the mobile point of sale must grow with it.

• Gareth Cornish is vice president, EMEA, at POS developer Posiflex.