No avoiding tech in the on-trade

Advancements in technology offer real benefits to a pub’s operation


“THE ultimate promise of technology is to make us master of a world that we command by the push of a button.”

That assertion – made by academic Volker Grassmuck – in essence condenses what prudent operators in the on-trade are attempting to achieve with their in-outlet tech.

Whether it’s simply being able to take contactless payments quickly, or setting up a comprehensive online system that allows them to manage all aspects of their business from their laptops, licensees are increasingly reliant on technology – and efficient use of new software and systems can bring serious benefits to businesses, firms told SLTN.

Investing in a modern, up to date EPOS system is key to streamlining daily operations.

And with EPOS at the forefront of necessary trade tech, Lesley Corr, general manager of Posera, said: “Investing in a modern, up to date EPOS system is key to streamlining daily operations in any busy pub, bar and restaurant environment.”

And the biggest development within the area over the last year, according to Corr, has been the integration of EPOS technology with “online aggregators to accommodate online ordering” from firms, such as Uber Eats and Deliveroo, to provide an additional revenue stream for food-led outlets.

The importance of a quality EPOS system in outlets was underlined by Steven MacCloy, operations manager for Cash Control Equipment at Sims Automatics’ EPOS division.

“On a day-to-day operating basis, how well the EPOS system fits requirements plays a huge role [for licensees],” he said.

“How accurately the system reflects product lists and menus can make a huge difference for stock-taking as well as speed and efficiency in food preparation.”

Tech Tips

Speed – make sure that your EPOS provider understands your way of working so they can design the system to ensure that you spend more time serving customers rather than searching for buttons.

Payments – ensure that you have sufficient integrated payment terminals for quick customer service.

Understanding data – discuss your objectives with your EPOS provider so they can help you understand your sales data with a reporting system, maximise your turnover and help increase your profits through suggesting promotions or by adding customer facing advertising screens.

– ACR EPOS Systems.

The broadening role of EPOS and other software was also flagged as a significant development by Paul Steven, director of ACR EPOS Systems.

“Many of our customers are looking to utilise the internet to link web-based systems into their EPOS system,” he said.

“For example, we have recently installed a cloud reporting system for several of our customers so that the business owners are able to see how their outlets are doing in real time from anywhere. We are also integrating third party cloud systems for many of our customers so that they can have a seamless link between their property management system or online reservations system and their EPOS system.”

In order to keep up with the latest developments in the marketplace, and subsequently assist the running of their businesses, technology firms advised operators to review their tech setup.

Samantha Weller, marketing manager at Tevalis, said: “Every year, ask questions such as, ‘is this system allowing us to provide fast service or does it hinder the team? Does the POS and supporting solutions help provide profitability and help the team to up-sell? Do I have full transparency into business performance across all areas? Can I add new menus and update every system without being on site? Am I overstocking on certain items more often than I should be?’

“Technology should be assisting in all of these areas and much more, so if the answers for simple questions such as those do not work in your favour, it’s time to consider what other options may be available.”

Steven at ACR EPOS Systems, said: “The ambitious small start-up may require an upgrade after a year, but some established businesses may only require updated hardware or additional order taking tablets.

“We try to ensure that our customers have the most appropriate technology set-up to match their current and future business goals.”

Contactless is a vital part of the transactional customer journey for payments under £30.

When it comes to payment methods, operators have been advised to ensure their card payment technology is quick, easy and secure for maximum efficiency.

Zonal’s sales director, Tim Chapman, said: “Operators have to offer contactless and smartphone technology as standard to meet the demands of today’s consumers.

“However, when it comes to mobile payments, trust too is a key factor and recognised payment brands, such as PayPal and Apple Pay, are preferred by consumers who want to complete purchases faster, while keeping their financial information secure.”

Furthermore, within card payments, consumers are said to be increasingly looking to use contactless tech, according to Robert Clarke, EPOS business development director at Access Hospitality.

He said: “Contactless is a vital part of the transactional customer journey for payments under £30 in the pub, bar and restaurant sector and can provide an entry to stay, or return, for higher value transaction experiences.”