Technological developments in electronic point of sale (EPOS) systems mean improved service and real-time stock monitoring can now be achieved while operators and staff are on the move.
Suppliers say the changing nature of technology also allows everything from contactless payments to ordering on virtual ‘cloud’ systems, which can enhance customer service.
Scott Kimm, director of SCRS Scotland, said the developments can give licensees, managers and staff greater flexibility and control.
“Web-based office programmes are the new way for customers to be able to view live reports and do full stock control,” he said. “As this is all ‘cloud’ based it means the manager can get this information from anywhere in the world.”
Kimm’s views were echoed by Paul Steven, director of ACR Retail Systems, who said: “I think these days an EPOS system is far more than a piece of equipment to put your cash in. An EPOS system is used to control labour hours, labour costs, stock management and far more; an EPOS system is basically the controls behind your business.”
Robin Knox, director and co-founder of Intelligent Point of Sale, claimed payment by mobile phone, key fob or even sticker could soon be “the norm”.
“Contactless payment is just beginning to filter into the Scottish on-trade,” said Knox. “It’s an ideal solution for frequent, low value payments such as a round of drinks.”
The benefits of the technology will see it becoming more widely adopted, said Knox.
“The queue-busting benefits of this technology mean that a pub can increase customer satisfaction by decreasing wait times at the bar, potentially increasing spend per head and return business,” he said.
Stuart Coetzee, business development manager at TISSL, said remote payment methods can help boost food and drink sales.
“The most significant development in EPOS affecting the hospitality trade is without doubt ordering and payment by mobile,” he said. “Mobile EPOS solutions are great tools for slick service, faster table-turn and up-selling.”
Shannon Arnold of Posera Software, which supplies the Maitre’D system, said: “For speed of service, tablet-based EPOS is an obvious solution, as table-side ordering allows waiting staff to take more orders in less time and spend more time servicing customers on the floor instead of running back and forth to an EPOS system.”
Zonal chief executive Stuart McLean said: “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. Guests also want a personal approach that taps into their likes and needs, and operators need to use technology, such as contactless payment, to satisfy this demand.”