Advances in tech set to aid on-trade

EPOS is becoming far more than just a point of sale for businesses

A STEADY rate of development in technology means licensees and hospitality firms now have more electronic point of sale (EPOS) systems to choose from than ever before.

With so many options available, choosing the right tech for an individual business can be tricky.

However, help is at hand from EPOS firms, who say there are a number of factors for operators to consider before investing in EPOS – and a number of benefits the right system can bring to a business.

Samantha Weller, commercial manager at Tevalis, said EPOS can no longer be considered just point of sale equipment – it can bring benefits to various facets of a business.

“It has now very much become an integral aspect of any food and drink operation and the teams working within them,” said Weller.

“So, it’s very important that the chosen technology should not only provide licensees with solutions that meet their exact requirements, but it should also provide them with cloud-based management tools such as stock management and business reporting.

“Collectively, this is guaranteed to drive an operator’s business forward in both service and in analysis, setting them up for continued success and growth.”

The last few years have seen a massive expansion in the use of technology in the hospitality industry, and it’s important venues stay up to date with what customers expect.

“Technologies such as online reservations are becoming more popular, as well as handheld digital ordering that makes the floor service much more efficient and enjoyable for the customer,” said Chris Newte at ICR Touch.

“Self service kiosks or mobile applications have started to emerge, allowing businesses to speed up sales and reduce staff.

“In traditional pubs, Chip & PIN now has much more of a presence than it did two to three years ago. This is mainly due to the speed and ease of contactless payments.

“We are already seeing the more savvy business owners using their online revenue reporting tools to track stock, manage staff and use new insights to run their business more efficiently.”

Two thirds of 25 to 34 year olds say they would spend more on drinks if they could order from their phones.

With mobile phones such an integral part of peoples’ lives, it is no surprise that the use of phone apps has spread into the pub trade, and EPOS firms said these programmes – which allow customers to book tables and even order food and drinks – can increase customer retention.

Clive Consterdine, marketing manager at Zonal, said the results of a recent survey conducted by the company and CGA indicated that 67% of 25 to 34 year olds would spend more on drinks if they could order from their phones, rather than queue at the bar.

He added: “As a result, operators are looking for smartly branded apps that deliver tangible benefits for their customers, from making a reservation to ordering and paying for food and drink ‘virtually’, to personalised offers and rewards, that in turn drive revenue in a more convenient, fun and appealing way.”

Similarly, handheld EPOS terminals are proving to be increasingly popular in bars and restaurants.

Lesley Corr, European sales director at Posera, said the units, which allow orders to be automatically processed from the moment they are given, “streamline the operation on the ‘floor’ by completely automating the process”.

And with so many different systems out there to choose from, with varying tiers of service, Newte of ICR Touch said licensees should consider what is important to their businesses, and what features they may benefit from – such as kitchen management display systems.

“Finally, make sure you compare programming and ongoing support to ensure that you will keep trading in the middle of a busy Friday night trade,” said Newte.

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EPOS dos and don’ts


1. Don’t view your EPOS in isolation; integration is key and it should be part of the overall technology infrastructure.

2. Do take a holistic approach to investing in technology and only invest in solutions that will add real value and insight.

3. Do make sure you invest in a flexible system that can adapt and grow with your business, so that additional applications such as loyalty or mobile ordering can be bolted on when demand arises.

4. Do make sure your chosen supplier offers professional project management, training and has service support teams in place.

5. Don’t be afraid to mix your teams up. No longer can IT, marketing, digital and operations teams sit in silos; they need to be joined up if they are to maximise the potential of the technology on offer.

– Supplied by Zonal.