EPOS POINT OF SALE
HOSPITALITY SOFTWARE
– How can it really benefit
your business in 2020?

Making The Right Choices

Hospitality businesses need dedicated software to help with the specialised tasks associated with the hospitality outlet.
We look at the different options available to businesses owners looking to furnish their outlet with EPOS tills and software that will enhance the business.

EPOS Till Bare Bones

Learn more about the basics of EPOS tills and the role they can play in a successful business

A Dedicated Kitchen Printer

How a printer for food orders in the kitchen can save time and money in your eatery

Kitchen Orders Display

Do away with paper printing and lost orders with a display in the kitchen food prep area

Back Office Benefits

Free yourself up to do more of the things you like with cloud based back office software

Other Useful Hospitality Software

Software can be liberating for your hospitality outlet lifting it from the mundane

Hand Held Ordering Devices

Making serving staff mobile within the outlet creates a much better customer experience

Lets Talk Customer Loyalty

Loyalty means customers returning to spend money in your business outlet

Give Your Hospitality Outlet The Edge

It’s a hard time for hospitality – increase your chances of success with add on modules

What is an hospitalty business?

We often hear words without understanding the full meaning. When we say hospitality it really refers to hospitality outlets as an industry. So using an umbrella term to cover lots of different outlets is easier than listing them all as that would definitely become tedious. Mainly people would understand the term Retail as being shops or outlets on a high street or shopping centre scenario. Although there are many different types of shops in villages, towns and cities across the UK they all in essence carry out the same kind of service to shoppers.

The umbrella term for hospitality units could cover anything from a hotel or restaurant to a small cafe or burger van. Pubs, bistros, coffee shops and nightclubs are all hospitality outlets but then so too are sporting venues and visitor attractions. In fact visitor attractions may be both retail and hospitality combined. Confused? I’m not surprised hospitality can then also be broken down into further sectors of business.

A report entitled The economic contribution of the UK hospitality industry by Oxford Economics enlightens us by summarising that “The hospitality industry includes enterprises that provide accommodation, meals and drinks in venues outside of the home. “

The hospitality industry has individual sectors showing there are many different businesses with many different ways of operating. The main way of telling if your business comes under the hospitality banner is to ask do you offer drinks and meals to customers? If the answer is yes then are a hospitality business.

Hospitality and retail outlets differ in the way they serve customers. If you are a small shop selling products or a simple cafe with a small menu then chances are your EPOS systems could be similar.

You will have simple products and prices, staff sign ons a receipt printer and cash drawer. This may be as complex as your till system needs to be. Although even small businesses can benefit from cloud back office software so they can see what’s happening even when they are not there. 

Look at your hospitality business in depth and expand on this basic till by evaluating your systems and the needs of your business. For a hospitality business it is essential to focus on EPOS point of sale software for hospitality. This means you will be able to manage your business more effectively and it will grow and thrive exactly how you need the business to.

Hospitality EPOS systems offer the basics that any till system would need. Start off with the EPOS software that runs your till, handles sales information, gives stock control and manages staff on a day to day basis. This will be the point where your customers orders are entered and handled and where transactions are finalised. It is basically a ready reckoner of all that happens with regards to stock, sales and staff input within your business. Additionally you can improve the management of your business by having a back office solution integrated.

EPOS Till Bare Bones

Front Of House POS Solution

Front of house EPOS software is the bare bones of any till system. It can be as simple or as complex as your business needs. It’s no good having all the bells and whistles if your business doesn’t need it – that could just impede you. Conversely if your business is much more complex in it’s set up and operation then EPOS could make you less bogged down.

You could look upon the EPOS till as a glorified cash register in that it will allow you to input sales, take money and issue receipts. That is a very simplistic view and is like comparing a computer to a card filing system. Some business owners buy an EPOS system and don’t ever really use its full potential. That may be down to lack of training or understanding or it may be that the EPOS installer wasn’t very helpful after they had been paid their money. Whatever the reason it is a real shame that they never fully comprehend what a brilliant business tool the EPOS till can be.

So laying more meat on the bones – the EPOS can benefit your business in many ways. It can improve security, speed up sales, encourage more sales, keep an eye on staff, handle your stock control and create sales reports on the till itself. Read on to learn more about point of sale software.

Touchscreen EPOS

The EPOS will most probably have a colourful touch screen where staff will input sales. These screens are made to be robust and handle the greasy, wet, hot environments that are prevalent in most hospitality environments. The actual till casing will be rugged enough to stand being used for long days in a busy environment. Likewise the till printer and cash drawer will be made to work in a harsh hospitality setting. 

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Speed Up Sales

The till screen will be set up to show your products for sale in a layout that staff can access easily. This is where sales can be handled much more quickly and so improve the customer experience each and every time. Hospitality is a high turnover business with regard to staff and so the EPOS needs to be intuitive and easy to use with lots of inbuilt security for the business owner. The touchscreen needs to be able to lead staff through a natural sales process in as short a time as possible. 

Staff can overlap sales so ensuring no-one is stood around whilst customers are left waiting. One member of staff may enter a few drinks and then pour those out whilst a colleague continues to add the next customers orders into the till system. When they sign back on the EPOS the order they are processing will be ready to add to or finalise.

Encourage More Sales

The hospitality POS system can prompt staff to ask questions as they sell the food or drinks to customers. This could be adding side dishes or encouraging larger meals and more drinks to add revenue to each sale opportunity. It’s easy for staff to forget when working under pressure so get the till to give them a nudge with a clear prompt on the screen. Things such as do you want extra chips with that? Or do you want to upgrade to a bottle of wine for £5 extra? This can add valuable revenue to your existing customers orders. 

The prompts can also be used to ask for important information such as allergies or over 18’s sales of alcohol. Staff do not have an excuse to not ask the question as it appears right in front of them and needs a response to close the prompt window.

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Improve Security & Keep An Eye On Staff

Talking of staff the EPOS will register which member of staff handled each transaction on the till. Staff will sign on with a number or a small key fob (dallas key) which is unique to them and so will show on the audit who puts through the sales each transaction. Obviously this can be open to misuse as staff can borrow keys or use someone else’s sign in number. A fingerprint reader is useful in this case – a reader is attached to the side of the till and staff have to touch to enable the till.

Staff can also clock in to work through the EPOS system thereby allowing the business owner to keep an eye on attendance and timekeeping. If you have cloud based back office software you can keep an eye on staff movements even when you are away from the outlet.

Handle Stock Control

The EPOS till will handle stock control as sales are entered and paid for. You will be able to see how much product you have sold and at what price. Simple stock control will allow you to handle data that shows you what products have been sold and what remains available. Stock control can be much more complex than that and some businesses need to know what stock they have used more specifically. This could be the case with a cocktail bar where the owners need to know how much of each spirit and mixer is used in every drink. Or the business owner may wish to carry out detailed stock analysis and stock counts throughout the year. Stock control can also simplify the supplier stock ordering within your business via your EPOS system.

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Sales Reports

Report data can be pulled up on your till system directly for you to view and give you an up to date status as you need it. It will show on the easy to read touchscreen. Data can be printed off in the form of Z reads on the till roll paper directly at the till point. Obviously for larger or more intense reporting you wouldn’t want to print and read on a till roll size piece of paper. The POS solution can be linked to back office software to enable the business owner to handle the reports more easily. The back office software is often available on a computer within an office or managers area. This will allow for a more methodical approach to printing off reports and analysing data. Reports keep you well informed about what is happening in your business each and every day.

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WHY WAIT? ACT TODAY!

Can your hospitality business afford to be without EPOS?
Enrich your business with a good EPOS till and some hospitality specific software

A Dedicated Kitchen Printer

The till receipt printer could be set up to print out a receipt, which staff can then take to the kitchen with customers food orders. This can be time consuming and also there is a risk of orders going missing between the till point and the chef. This is obviously not good for staff relationships as things may become volatile when customers start to complain. A way to avoid this is to have a dedicated kitchen printer (and many hospitality outlets do). 

The kitchen printer which is sometimes known as the KP will be sited in the kitchen area normally at a food service point. It will be easily accessible for kitchen staff to monitor and process any orders that come from the front of house area of the business. A ticket will then be removed and hung up where the staff can prepare the meal to the customers order and then call the waiting staff to take to the table. So as orders go through the till they can be processed within a short time by kitchen staff.

Or A Kitchen Management Display

There are also more modern ways of handling food orders in the busy kitchen. Moving away from paper, which can easily drop out of the printer out of sight of staff or get damaged in some way in the kitchen is a sensible solution. Food orders will be processed onto a screen in the kitchen area directly from the till, so ensuring the order is visible to all members of staff. Progress of the meal, allergies and extras can all be seen very easily not just by kitchen staff but also by waiters and supervisors.

This gives a much more productive method of handling orders from the EPOS till. Order management becomes more streamlined and effective, customers are kept happy and staff are less stressed. Communication is obviously improved by using a display of this kind and staff waste less time running back and forward to the kitchen to relay messages.

Back Office Software Benefits

Basically a back office system allows you to collate all the important data and information that your till records each and every day into readable reports that really mean something to you. This is invaluable for the busy business owner who doesn’t want to spend every waking hour within the outlet, itself.

Even though you may not want to be omnipresent in your hospitality outlet you will still want to know what is going on each shift or trading day. It is a very negligent business owner who leaves it all to chance. If staff are aware that you can check on sales throughout the day and see exactly what is happening at the till point they are less likely to take advantage of you not being there.

Back office cloud based software gives you the ability to look at the information from your EPOS on your device as long as you have access to the internet. That could even be at the poolside with a cheeky drink and relaxing book, if you want!

The back office software not only allows you freedom from the outlet it can also allow you to be a better manager of your business. You can easily see information from your EPOS both as it happens and from historic data. So real time reporting (as it happens) shows you exactly what is happening in your business as it occurs. You can see how many sales are going through the till on the device as you view. You can make sure that there is enough stock if you suddenly have a run on the special offers you have set up within your pub or bar or restaurant. You can make orders, change prices even change keyboard layouts all from your remote position. 

Historical data reports allow you to check past sales, stock movements and work with them to keep all your business information up to date. It’s not just all boring reams of facts and figures. The back office software can show you the data in colourful pictorial graphs that you can drill down to get any specific data that you wish. And because the reports are stored in the cloud they are easily accessible you don’t need to keep going to the business outlet to print out audit information on the till roll printer or office printer.

The cloud based back office software can be used for multi site businesses, too. So you can make changes to one outlet or all of them at once. You can see all the data from all of your sites on your device as it happens – it’s almost like being in two places at once! 

Reports can be exported to pdf or excel for your manipulation or printed off as required. The data can even link to accounts software to streamline your entire sales data operations from till side to submitting to HMRC.

If used correctly, the back office software can become an invaluable business tool for the modern hospitality owner. The cloud software makes it easier to run your business and still have time to enjoy or take on a new challenge.

Other Useful EPOS Point Of Sale Software For Hospitality

Armed with a good hospitality epos system and some back office software your hospitality outlet will be able to operate and manage day to day. However, in the competitive and busy hospitality industry it is always beneficial to keep up with changes to improve the business or make operations easier. Gaining an edge over your competitors (even high street names) can keep customers visiting and spending their money within your outlet. There are lots of things you can do to keep valuable sales pouring in. Some of these are simple practical things like quiz nights or themed dining or even having promotional products for sale. Some require a little more thought and organisation. For instance introducing a loyalty scheme to your outlet to encourage repeat visits and increased sales. By the way there’s a really informative article about hosting a quiz night from the Morning Advertiser to give you some ideas.

You may want to be able to offer ordering and payments at the table to speed up processes and keep customers happy. Alternatively you may want to offer table reservations or takeaway collection to your customers. These things can all be done with the help of EPOS software especially designed for the hospitality industry.

With this in mind there is more hospitality EPOS software that businesses owners might wish to consider over and above the front of house and back office software options. 

Handheld Ordering Devices

These nifty devices can also be known as electronic waiter pads, and that describes them perfectly. The device is rather like a chunky mobile phone, which can be used away from the till in your hospitality outlet. Staff are not just stuck behind a till point waiting for customers to approach and order. This makes staff more proactive and visible and ultimately more attentive to customers. Customers can come in and get comfortable at a table instead of queuing at the bar or food servery area. This allows for a more relaxed feel and can promote increased sales. Customers have more time to decide what they want to eat and staff can prompt diners to add extras to their meal in a less hectic environment. 

Once the order is placed by the waiting staff it goes directly to the kitchen for staff to prepare the meal for the customer. There is no waiting around , no staff running off to the kitchen or backwards and forwards to the till. The handheld ordering device has sent the information to the kitchen and also to the till. Because all the information is handled electronically there is less room for error than with written orders. Allergies and cooking instructions or changes to the specified dish can be communicated directly and simply to the food preparation staff so everyone remains in control.

The electronic waiter pad is easy to see and use, the menu choices are clearly available and require little input to place an order. A prompt can be raised, just as on the till so encouraging staff to engage with customers offering choices and extras resulting in more sales. If items are low in stock or no longer available servers will be able to see in an instance and advise diners accordingly. It really does save time and effort for staff members and inconvenience for customers. 

Pay at table is available with most handheld devices so diners can stay relaxed and calm whilst staff do all the work. They don’t need to get up and queue at the bar or till point and can enjoy their visit much more.

And if your customers are happy and have been looked after they will come back again and again. This Hubspot blog highlights some interesting figures about customer loyalty and has a free download on how to build customer loyalty for your business. Their blogs are always really informative and they produce some smashing guidance. It’s worth having a look or signing up for their regular emails.

Lets Talk Customer Loyalty

The modern customer loves to feel valued and important that’s why so many high street stores have loyalty schemes – because they work. A good loyalty scheme will help you to focus on your customers and ultimately encourage them to keep coming back to spend with your business.

Your scheme will allow you to target customers based on actual sales information that your EPOS has collected. You can then create a voucher to entice the customer to visit again and spend money. Ideas that businesses often use are a free drink on your birthday or £5 off when you next visit. You may set a standard so the fiver is off a minimum spend of £30 for instance. So the customer feels they are getting something worthwhile but your business is making a profit, too.

Loyalty schemes are often used to reward customers for being loyal (obviously!). So for every pound they spend in your business they want something back from you as a perk. It is best to keep this easy to understand so 1 point per £1 spent is an easy and obvious standard. Although you could make it more appealing to your customers by using a different tally idea such as once you buy 5 coffees you get 1 free. The main aim is to get the customers to use their loyalty cards and to visit more often than they normally would because they want the perks you are offering.

Some businesses offer a loyalty card as a way of enticing customers to become VIP’s. This means they will be offered exclusive discounts, invitations to special events or news about new products. Some customers will even pay to be part of one of these schemes.

These loyalty schemes can be set up using the EPOS software. The loyalty reward schemes mainly started off in retail sectors but are also recognised and expected by customers to hospitality outlets, too. Most customers love a bargain and look forward to receiving their money off vouchers.

Loyalty card schemes allow you to keep track of and analyze sales within your outlet. You can start to determine when is the best time for promotions or sale events. You could also use the loyalty rewards as a way to reduce slow moving items. This might be get a free ice cream with every main meal or a free bottle of soft drink with every pudding. The ice cream and drinks stock has been sitting around for a while as you bought them on promotion and they didn’t sell. So now you are not writing off stock but are handing over a benefit to your customers.

Give Your Hospitality Outlet The Edge


There are many other additional options that business owners may wish to consider as part of their epos point of sale software for hospitality outlets. These include table reservations, order collection management and live menu boards, which can all add a professional edge to your business outlet. 

Integrated Card Payments

Whilst you are here we couldn’t forget to mention integrated payments with your EPOS till. This means simply that your till and card machine terminal are linked. But what it means for business is speedier transactions at the till for customers. It also allows staff to push forward with service. And to keep you the business owner happy cashing up and tallying the till to the pdq terminal couldn’t be simpler. It is definitely the way forward for busy modern hospitality outlets. Read our blog to see more benefits.

Reservations can be made even when you are closed with customers using an easy interface on the website. This is linked directly to your EPOS booking system and so is available for you to handle table layouts for each shift. This is linked by real time technology so if a table is reserved by waiting staff it will not be available online and vice versa. So all staff will know what is happening and can give a more streamlined service.

Customer information is stored from the reservation onto the till so staff can welcome the customer using their name to create a more professional feel. And because it’s all done online there is a reduction in paper used. Customers will get automatic confirmation there and then so they can just look forward to a lovely night out. 

Collection management software can handle customers orders from point of order to the final meal. Once a customer has placed their order they will get updates telling them how long it will be and what stage of preparation it is at. So they can relax in the knowledge that their food won’t be long in coming.

Especially useful in takeaway outlets, leisure parks and canteens the order information will be displayed on a visible screen. So staff are not interrupted with customers asking when their order will be ready – they can get on with serving or preparing food.

Customers are kept happy and queues are kept to a minimum so ensuring a smoother and more competent service.

A customer display is a feature of an EPOS till. It shows the customer what items are inputted and displays what change is being given as it happens on the till. Large customer displays or wall mounted screens can be used to advertise to your customers whilst they are waiting.

These screens are very visible and can be used to promote anything at all.  The advertising displays can tell customers in an effective manner about the special offers you are running. Colourful and well thought out displays can encourage more sales at the till point. The information you display can be about theme nights or special offers or ticketed events.  All the information is current and relevant giving your customers more choices and more opportunity to spend money in your business.

 

You may feel that your business doesn’t need all this software to be effective and prosperous. But as we all move forward into the future the reliance on software is going to increase and you don’t want to get left behind in the fight to win customers. As you can see from this article the hospitality industry needs dedicated software to enable business to progress. So whatever choices you make for your hospitality software always seek advice from a reputable supplier who will be happy to assist.

 

If you would like more information on any particular software and more detailed benefits for your business please email us
sales@breezytech.co.uk
we’re happy to help you get the best EPOS solution for your outlet.

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