The challenges of running a successful bar or restaurant are very different from other forms of retail environments, but an effective (Electronic Point-of-Sale) EPoS system can help drive your business to the next level with minimal investment and a very quick payback. John Henry, CBE’s Sales Director, highlights 5 Great Benefits of an EPoS System for a Restaurant or Bar:
1) Speed and accuracy
Your Epos system can seamlessly link in to your kitchen for printing and food automation. This will make sure that every order ends up in the kitchen is 100% accurate. So if the customer has specified that the dressing is served on the side or to ‘hold the onions’, this is what will be delivered. It’s hard to over-estimate how important this can be in delivering great customer satisfaction.
And in a food to go environment, customer-facing screens can act as a ‘virtual receipt’, as the customer clearly sees what’s been charged for and what buttons the waiter has pressed. This verifies the order before the final bill even arrives – something that increases customer satisfaction levels to a very significant degree.
It’s also worth stating that a contemporary EPoS system can be configured to match YOUR specific requirements. The days of off-the-shelf systems with minimum flexibility are long gone – and good riddance to them! Today’s systems work with equal effectiveness for the cashier, the waiter (through great screen interactivity and intuitive interfaces) and the management (through better and timelier reporting).
A typical EPoS system in not capable of being all things to all men, so it’s essential that it has the capacity to be integrated into other systems within the business. This can include anything from kitchen automation to your online reservation system or a click and collect system for your takeaway offering.
It should also be able to link seamlessly with credit card payment at the table, for example, or with a loyalty application or gift voucher platform.
3) Staff management
If you source the optimum EPoS system, it will have full loss prevention suite, making sure that all elements of your staff’s interaction with cash is completely above board. But don’t believe for a moment that it’s all about ‘checking up’ on your staff. It can also reward your staff for hitting their upselling targets – anything from pushing the Wine of the Month to the Dessert of the Day.
And by letting your staff take an order just as easily at a table as at a cash point, you can dramatically increase speed of service, which is important at any time of day, but especially so when customers are on a time deadline, such as at lunchtime. A further benefit in managing your staff is that it can facilitate easy rota management and scheduling, which can also tap into the payroll system of your HR department.
4) Reporting with an EPoS System for a Restaurant or Bar
The great benefit of modern cloud-based systems is that reports are available to local or regional management in real time, which greatly enhances the quality of decision-making and future planning in areas such as stock and inventory, staff performance, branch comparison and margin control.
It can also be extremely beneficial in helping you to analyse your customer trends. For example, you can easily find out who wants to be contacted via SMS or email, or what sort of promotional offers they respond to.
There’s a wide proliferation of tablet-style devices on the market which have a limited ability to interact with your IT system or EPoS system. But better still are the durable touchscreen devices which are specifically built for purpose, and come with IP ratings for water, dust etc. – perfect for a pub or restaurant environment where liquid spillages are commonplace.
There is an initial capital outlay for this dedicated hardware, of course, but when their durability and longevity are taken into account, the lifetime cost of ownership is significantly lower than their rival tablet devices.
And by opting for bespoke hardware, of course, you future-proof yourself against obsolescence, as your devices can adapt to any emerging technologies in your sector.