Keep calm and control the chaos

EPOS systems can help licensees to stay organised even when things are frantic

Systems continue to evolve, say firms. Is your EPOS doing everything it should be?

THE importance of being well organised ahead of the busy festive season can’t be overstated, and while getting food and drinks ranges just right is obviously all-important, ensuring the venue continues to run smoothly during the frantic month of December is a challenge in itself.

Fortunately, advances in technology mean licensees now have a range of different systems available to them to help streamline their operations.

Electronic point of sale (EPOS) technology, in particular, is said to have progressed considerably in recent years, with suppliers claiming that systems can now help to improve the experiences of operators and pub customers alike.

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Kirsti Lea of EPOS firm Cunninghams said it is now “vital” that bar and pub operators have an efficient EPOS system in place, “especially ahead of the peak festive season to maximise profits, efficiency and customer service levels”.

“A sophisticated EPOS system can completely transform your business by organising, controlling and analysing every part, from cash transactions to back end reporting, staff monitoring and inventory control,” said Lea.

This view was reinforced by Lesley Corr, European sales director at EPOS provider Posera, who said the best systems “can help increase efficiencies, enhance customer experience and provide an invaluable management tool for managerial staff”.

A sophisticated EPOS system can completely transform your business.

The benefits to busy outlets were said to be multi-faceted.

From a frontline perspective, handheld EPOS terminals allow staff to take customer orders and communicate them directly from the table to the bar or kitchen, speeding up service and ensuring that serving staff can stay on the floor. Fast, secure payment also makes the experience easier for customers.

However, the true advantages are reserved for the licensee, who can use their EPOS system to, among other things, monitor stock levels and keep track of the best-selling products in their outlet(s).

Having this type of information available at the touch of a button also makes tasks such as changing prices or menus a lot easier, while the latest, fully-integrated EPOS systems also factor in services such as online booking, customer feedback and loyalty schemes.

“By implementing the correct EPOS technology [operators] can enhance the customer’s dining experience, reduce wait times and increase spend,” said Corr at Posera.

Lea went one further, stating that the access to detailed sales information “takes away the guess work” for operators.

“Life becomes far simpler with EPOS,” she said. “With [a] system in place it becomes possible to track best-selling items, promotions, staff performance and peak sales times, allowing you to optimise your business flow effortlessly and maximise profits.”

As with any technology, EPOS systems continue to evolve over time, with the latest versions able to offer a greater range of services than ever before.

Therefore it’s always worthwhile for licensees to take a look at whether their system is delivering all the benefits it could be.

Lea said: “Hospitality is a fast moving industry; many older EPOS system are now outdated and are unable to provide the information that busy outlets require to keep pace with their competition.

“If you decide not to invest in your business the likelihood is that your competitors are.”