Time to tap into trade technology

The right EPOS system can help operators maximise profits

TIME waits for no-one. The Rolling Stones classic is pretty apt when it comes to electronic point of sale (EPOS) technology, which continues to move forward at a dizzying pace. And in the on-trade, pub operators and restaurateurs alike can benefit from keeping up with the latest advances in till and payment tech, according to EPOS firms.

Clive Consterdine, sales and marketing director at Edinburgh-based EPOS firm Zonal, told SLTN the right technology “can streamline operations, maximise profits and offer complete control over the customer data collected”.

He explained that the development of “integrated solutions” is “one of the biggest innovations” to hit the sector.

“The ability to integrate business modules and app technology with EPOS is seen by many pubs, bars and restaurants as vital,” he said.

“Stock availability, pricing, offers and order processing are all managed within the EPOS universe – and this information must be shared seamlessly to make them operationally viable.

“Also, through integrated technology, operators can learn more about their customers, their behaviour and purchasing preferences than ever before, giving them the data to target promotions to meet individual customers’ desires, rather than running costly blanket offers.”

The continuing shift away from cash payments to card makes the right EPOS system especially important in restaurants, reckons Consterdine.

“The need for speed when it comes to settling a bill is a main priority for many consumers, especially young adults, who want to leave the table quickly after eating,” he said.

Echoing this view, a spokeswoman for Posera said accepting non-cash payments offers “a tangible convenience for both customers and restaurateurs”.

“For venues, accepting cashless payments significantly speeds up closing of tables, cash handling procedures, and thus, operations – allowing staff to focus that time on great service and overall dining experiences,” she said.

The use of online reservation systems can also free up staff to focus on the more important things, such as customer service.

That’s the view taken by EPOS firm Tevalis, whose spokeswoman said the right reservation system can benefit an outlet in more ways than one.

“We’ve seen first-hand that operators can spend a lot of administration time on taking and managing bookings for their venue,” she said.

“This equates to cross bookings and unsatisfied customers, something which all restaurant teams want to avoid during those peak hours of service.

“Therefore, reservation systems are the answer to that problem; most importantly, reservation systems which can integrate seamlessly with your EPOS. This will offer an automated and connected system which can be managed and updated in seconds.

“From there, the team can assign bookings to tables in advance and clearly analyse all of their reservation activity.”

Consterdine of Zonal agreed, stating that the growth of cloud-based technology can feed into a modern online reservation system. He explained that, as well as allowing consumers to access real-time availability when making a reservation, it allows staff to use “any device, anywhere, with access to live information, such as fully-automated table management, so they can focus on delivering excellent customer service”.

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Top tech tips for the trade

Do your homework: research the marketplace to find a provider that specialises in the hospitality sector, with a strong track record that offers quality training and ongoing 24/7 support.

Integration: investing in EPOS that seamlessly integrates with business modules and app technology is key to success.

Flexibility: make sure your EPOS has the capability to flex and grow with your business.

– Zonal.