Over 150 years ago, one of the oldest fish & chip restaurants was established in London’s Covent Garden. While the diners can still enjoy the original recipes, the team behind The Rock & Sole Plaicehave never underestimated the importance of driving efficiency through modern technology.
In today’s world of restaurant management, it is imperative to work with reliable partners to help address the needs of your business. 3S POS has worked with the Managing Director of Rock & Sole Plaice, Ahmet Ziyaeddin, to deliver a system that helps the staff manage multiple dining areas with ease, bring down labour costs and speed up customer service using the reliable EPOS suite.
In a recent interview, Ziyaeddin explained: “We’ve been a customer of 3S POS now for just over one year and in that time we have experienced a level of customer service and level of support that we have never experienced in this field before. 3S POS has delivered exactly what was promised. If it was needed, further development [was carried out] to fine-tune the system to our needs. 3S POS have persisted until they have achieved the result, and they’ve been very quick and diligent in their manner.”
Integrated technology installed at this buzzing fast-casual dining spot includes the intuitive 3S POS Software, integrated with the OrderPad for fast table-side ordering and Pay-at-Table technology with its partner PaymentSense.
One System for Complete Control
For fast-casual restaurants such as Rock & Sole, that serves such a large number of customers daily, the most important aspect for the management team as gaining control of the site’s operations using one reliable system. The 3S POS team successfully installed the feature-rich EPOS software to help the onsite team manage everything, from sales to stock and HR.
The restaurant’s MD commented during our interview: “This has really stepped up another level for us; I can review the productivity of individuals working in specific areas, I can see data in real-time and reports can be generated on all different aspects of my business, and I can hone in on that pretty quickly.”
Supporting Customer Service Excellence
The Rock & Sole Plaice has been serving customers for around 150 years and is currently featured in over 4,000 travel guide books. Over the generations, the restaurant has welcomed Londoners as well as new visitors to experience the very best traditional fish & chips that London has to offer. The restaurant has four distinct dining areas and one of the technology solutions 3S POS have installed on site was the intuitive OrderPad.
As Ahmet pointed out, this technology has proved indispensable in delivering the great customer service the restaurant is known for. He commented: “The element we really feel we can’t work without now is the tablet (OrderPad). Over the course of a day, especially in a restaurant which turns over the number of orders that we do, this adds up to an extra member of staff being required. It’s very, very time efficient for us.”
Fast & Efficient Payments
In a busy restaurant environment, many waiting staff experience pressure to deliver a fast service without comprising on efficiency. Today, restaurant technology is in place to help overcome these obstacles and support the efficient operations. As the 3S POS System is seamlessly integrated with PaymentSense Connect, we are able to give the waiting staff ability to perform functions such as split bill payments without having to go back to the EPOS till, we were able to achieve just that.
Ziyaeddin was quick to point this out during our interview, explaining: “The current new boom for us would be the PDQ machines’ ability to issue receipts for the table directly to the customer without my staff having to do two journeys to the table.”
A System that Delivers Tangible Results
We work very closely with our customers to understand their operational needs, and our main goal is to install a system that delivers the right results. By choosing the 3S POS Hospitality EPOS Suite, The Rock & Sole Plaice have seen a dramatic improvement in three key areas: service speed, order-taking accuracy and cost savings in their labour budget. On top of that, the restaurant management team are now able to access to important business data and use business reporting tools that will help the restaurant become even more efficient.
In his final interview comment, Ziyaeddin explained his motivations for recommending 3S POS to other businesses as technology partner: “I would recommend 3S POS and already have done to several of my colleagues in the field. What we found differentiates 3S POS, and why I feel such confidence recommending them, is they strive to improve your system every day. You can tangibly feel their motivation to help you achieve the results you are looking for.”
The best and most talented candidates are confident in their bargaining power and want to have some degree of job flexibility. Some will ask for four-day weeks, reduced hours or remote working. Others will just want the flexibility to stay at home and look after their sick kids when the need arises and not feel guilty about it.
Increasingly, employees don't want to be tied to their desks, so switched-on employers are focusing more on what gets done by staff – using and developing key performance indicators – instead of measuring performance by how long people spend at work. Rather than 'clocking in' and 'out' each day, employers can afford employees some freedom and flexibility, providing they deliver on their targets.
2. Mentoring and Training
Staff want to know that they are progressing and developing through their role. The scope for personal and professional development through further training is one of the most sought-after qualities candidates look for in an employer.
Training and developing staff need not mean a lot of time spent away from important tasks or sending them on expensive management courses. There are many informal, cost effective ways to develop people and let them know they are valued. This might include launching an internal mentoring / development programme or simply educating management to take a more active interest in their staff's careers.
3. Salary Packaging
Staff don't just want work flexibility but pay flexibility too. Salary packaging can provide that, allowing employees to take certain benefits paid for out of pre-tax income – such as cars, personal computers and superannuation.
4. Positive Reputation
Employers who experience a high staff turnover will need to look deeper into their organisation and examine the reasons why this is the case.
Do you provide employees with an enjoyable working environment or is it tense and stressful?
Is there a strong sense of team in the organisation or is everyone simply doing their own thing?
Do certain personalities take away from a great working atmosphere, rather than contributing to it?
Frequently in business our reputation precedes us – so it is worth asking the question: If I didn't work here already, would I want to? Treating employees with kindness, appreciation and respect typically yields a response of hard work, dedication and commitment.
5. Clear Development Pathways
For high achieving professionals, the opportunity to develop both personally and professionally is crucial for job satisfaction. They want to invest their talent in an organisation that can help progress their career and expand their skill set in return for their hard work.
Do you offer on-going training and development?
Do you have clear pathways for growth and promotion?
Can you offer your executives tasks that are both challenging and rewarding?
Creating a culture of continual learning and progression helps to both engage existing employees and enhance your reputation to others as an attractive employer – especially for high level executive or senior leadership roles.
Renewable energy has become a global focus over the past few years. Around 100 countries, have set renewable energy targets, including the UK. In Europe, the aim is to acquire 20% of the total energy supply from renewable sources.
The drawbacks of using fossil fuels have become more evident over the past century. The need for developing renewable energy sources is greater now, more than ever, as fossil fuels will be depleted in the next 50 to 60 years.
Businesses are the largest consumers of energy, using 56% of the UK’s electricity. If more businesses switch to renewables, a significant difference could be made to the environment. As well as being the quickest way to cut your carbon footprint, or becoming carbon neutral, renewable energy can be a very cost-effective option - you can get paid for going green.
If your system is eligible, you’ll receive quarterly payments over the course of 20 years. You can find more information on the scheme and how to apply via Ofgem's website.
Feed-in Tariffs (FIT)
Another government scheme created to promote the uptake of renewable energy. It’s open to both homes and businesses, with eligible installations including: solar PV, wind and hydro. Under the scheme, participating electricity suppliers are required to pay eligible generators and exporters.
Despite heavy cuts to the scheme at the beginning of 2016, joining can still be beneficial. Learn more about FIT and eligibility criteria.
Renewable Energy Sources
Biomass energy accounts for roughly 85% of the country’s renewable energy**, and is simply the burning or fermentation of organic material, such as straw, wood or other crops.
As well as on a national scale, biomass systems can also be installed in individual homes and business. Common installations include stove burners for heating rooms, connected with back boilers for heating water. Initial installation can be costly but with around £800 available per year in savings, it should eventually even out.
Find out more about the pros and cons of biomass energy here.
One of the main benefits is the ability to generate free, green electricity for use at your site, meaning that you require less energy from the grid during daytime hours. Savings can equal thousands a year (depending on your normal bill).
If your business does not own or long-term lease its premises but you still want to cut your carbon footprint, switching to a green energy supplier might be the best option for you.
Squeaky is one supplier which provide electricity through entirely renewable sources. Its platform allows businesses to buy directly from generators in a cost-effective way, delivering a better deal for both parties.
All its electricity supply contracts are secured through Europe’s largest renewable generator, so it will only ever provide power from 100% clean sources. Importantly, prices are very similar to regular suppliers.
Save money and cut your carbon footprint
Whether the aim is to cut your carbon footprint, to save money or both, renewable energy is one of the key ways to help your business achieve its goals.
Posted By By Peter Backman, P&G Professional’s Expert Advisory Council,
05 October 2018
The eating out market – not only restaurants, but pubs, eating at work and other occasions too – had been going through a period of sustained growth until the end of 2016. And because the market was growing, competition increased dramatically (an average of 600 restaurants were being added each year by small chains alone). So long as customers were happy to eat out more often, this competition was not a problem. In 2017, however, belts were tightened and people became reluctant to eat out. This heightened the absolute need for all operators – large and small, high end and value-driven – to make their outlets stand out. A need that remains crucial today.
To survive in the current climate, attention to detail is absolutely paramount. Customers expect, and rightly so, to feel valued. Everything should be centred around creating the best customer experience. Excellent food and service almost goes without saying but hygiene is of equal importance. At a basic level, operators have an incremental duty to protect consumers’ health, with safe food practices and hygiene standards. That focus should extend to both front-of-house and back-of-house.
Customers expect a clean, safe environment and the government’s “scores on the doors” hygiene rating scheme has given them transparency. With 75% of respondents in a recent survey from the Food Service Standards Agency saying they are aware of the scheme and almost 40% claiming the rating would influence their decision to eat at a restaurant, I would argue there is no excuse not to have five stars. Anything less is likely to be bad for business.
Beyond doubt, customers are becoming ever more aware of the need for high levels of hygiene. The latest figures from the ONS show over 50%, answering spontaneously, are now aware of hygiene standards.
It’s not only about first impressions, but lasting impressions too. Gleaming white table cloths and sparkling cutlery may impress a customer initially. But in reality, people shouldn’t notice such things, they should be commonplace, and expected. Cleanliness is not only about what the tables look like and how clean the floors are, but more importantly, the area that doesn’t get talked about. Recently I took my family to a restaurant that shall remain nameless. The menu was great, the service was excellent, but that came to nothing when we visited the toilets. Out of five cubicles only one was fit to use. Unacceptable certainly, but uncommon, I’m afraid not.
Keeping the bathroom clean doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple to use professional products, like those in the P&G Professional range, get the job done the first time, creating an inviting environment for customers. Highlighting the cleaning products used in public areas can also build credibility. Professional formulas of brands like Fairy, Flash and Febreze are known and trusted by consumers.
Negative impressions are important, not only because they upset customers but influence how people view the back of house operations which are never seen. An unclean front of house leaves questions about what dangers may lurk unseen in the corners of the kitchen, further undermining customers’ trust in the restaurant.
Cleanliness is important for its own sake and for what it tells customers about an establishment. In today’s ultra-competitive market, in which no customer can ever be lost, successful operators are those that continue to play one of the easiest cards – making a positive impression based on food, service and appearances. They make their restaurant truly welcoming and send customers on their way with a positive lasting impression.
Peter Backman is a member of P&G Professional’s Expert Advisory Council. With many years of experience as a consultant and analyst, his expertise and knowledge extends across the whole eating out market, and its supply chain - in the UK, Europe, the USA and the Middle East. He enlightens senior management in operating companies, their suppliers and investors, and his views are constantly sought by the media, trade associations and other organisations active in the eating out and hospitality markets.
Posted By Caroline Brown – Commercial Manager, Regency Security Group,
02 October 2018
With the number of licensed security staff falling throughout the UK and the number of licensed venues continue to increase, as a security company you need to work smarter. Regency Security are keeping their finger on the pulse when it comes to addressing these challenges.
The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is the organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry, reporting to the Home Secretary.
The Licensed Door Supervisor industry has grown over the past few years, with demand growing faster than ever before to supply both licensed staff and real time key reporting metrics. In September 2018 there were a total of 231,530 door supervisor licenses granted by the SIA. That sounds a lot, but when you consider the number of licensed premises in the UK, it’s a stretch!
Home Office National Statistics Published October 2017
there were 211,500 premises licences, a 1% increase of 1,100 compared with 31 March 2016
there were 14,300 club premises certificates, a 3% decrease of 400 compared with 31 March 2016
there were 689,600 personal licences, a 6% increase of 41,700 compared with 31 March 2016
there were 88,000 premises licences with late night refreshment, a 0.1% decrease of 100 compared with 31 March 2016
there were 8,000 premises with 24-hour alcohol licences, the same as at 31 March 2016
A report released August last year, supported by FSOA (The Football Safety Officers Association) and the UKCMA (United Kingdom Crowd Management Association) showed that since 2013 there has been a 40% drop in SIA licenses being renewed. The six key reasons cited for the difficulty in retaining security workers were poor rates of pay; irregular work patterns; the casual nature of the workforce; competition; the cost of qualifications; and the availability of qualified staff. The report also suggested the event security sector “seems to be struggling with financial viability, which is impacting on pay and training budgets.”
The Regency Security Group are committed to working with our security personnel and clients to make a career in the private security sector an appealing prospect.
New initiatives have been developed to introduce people to the security industry, including schemes to support the financing of individual SIA licenses and the introduction of additional free inhouse training courses. Regency Security are also working hard on developing relationships with charities to support different schemes to get people back into work.
When it comes to continues development, technology has certainly been a key driver. Earlier this year we have invested in our own Regency Management System. The software development allows ‘Instant Notifications of Bluelights’ for venues, a standard feature for all our clients. Direct from the Head Supervisor of a venue, a notification can be cascaded down to key individuals within seconds of any reported incident.
In conclusion, recruitment and training of skilled personnel is a key priority within Regency Security, as correctly licensed and trained staff will have a positive impact in keeping licensed premises safe for everyone to enjoy.
Posted By By Liz Smith-Mills, Member of the P&G Professional Advisory Council ,
07 September 2018
Updated: 12 September 2018
Hotels are under increasing pressure to make efficiencies, whist still maintaining quality standards. Working in the hospitality industry for over 35 years, one of the most effective changes observed to drive both cost savings and improve customer satisfaction is switching from outsourcing to an On-Premise Laundry (OPL). Some installations have provided hospitality businesses with long term advantages, including improving customer feedback, maintaining high standards of quality and reducing operational costs.
The benefits can be noticed immediately and maintained in the long term. Depending on the hotel’s size and occupancy, funding outlaid on OPL equipment can see a return on investment relatively quickly, some breaking even in 14 months. Hoteliers have reported increased satisfaction from both staff and guests, as well as cost savings across the business.
With labour costs now accounting for 35 per cent of operating costs in many hospitality businesses, choosing the right cleaning equipment can help to improve productivity of your housekeeping staff. Simple to use systems reduce the downtime required in cleaning.
Equipment, such as the Ariel Professional Cleaning System use simple numbering in their programming technology to ensure the correct solutions are used every time. Language barriers can be overcome as images clearly show how to use the system. Selection of the correct detergent through programmes for laundry loads, will reduce the need for re-wash and therefore improve employee productivity, as less time is needed to complete laundry tasks.
Well-designed systems, like those from P&G Professional, activated by the push of a button, make it easy for employees to choose the appropriate detergents and programs for all laundry needs.
Controlling the chemicals used in cleaning not only prevents chemical over-usage and waste, but reduces the frequency with which products need to be purchased. Savings can continue long term and have a sustained impact on the bottom line. Towels and linens that are washed less frequently last longer. As linen replacement accounts for 17 per cent of laundry costs, it’s important for organisations to look at solutions that reduce these costs. Prolonging life to stock creates longer term savings, as the frequency of product replacement is reduced.
As water is a necessity for all laundry operations, ensuring it is used effectively is more imperative than ever. Turning to simple, trusted and effective laundry detergent and equipment improves businesses operations, reduce utilities costs, and has a beneficial effect on the bottom line. Quality laundry detergents remove stains the first time, preventing the need for rewashing. Ensuring laundry is cleaned in one wash, will prolong the life of chemicals, reduce packaging of products and cut down on the transportation required compared to ready-to-use products, helping business in their sustainability efforts.
Overall business success
Cleaning is a necessity for all businesses but sometimes the importance is often overlooked. Hospitality businesses can often underestimate the value of clean and the impact that properly cleaning linens and towels can have on their bottom line. Linen and towel quality does not go unnoticed by customers and can make the difference between creating a great first impression, leaving a lasting quality experience, and failure to meet expectations.
In our increasingly digital world, guests are sharing their opinions and reviews on multiple online and social platforms more than ever. 72 per cent of people will look specifically for mentions of cleaning and hygiene practices on social media and review websites.* Guests leaving hotels with positive experiences are likely to return. It’s important to cultivate these customer relationships and meet expectations to build loyalty.
Beyond cleaning efficiency and cost savings, On-Premise Laundry systems help establishments deliver a timely quality service guests have come to expect. Efficiently cleaned linens and towels that are fresh, soft, and fluffy provide guests with a comfortable ‘away from home experience’. It falls to hotel professionals and nominated suppliers working together to meet customers’ needs and ensure they return time after time.
Liz Smith-Mills is an Expert Advisory Council member for P&G Professional. With over 35 years’ experience in the hospitality sector, she has worked predominantly in 4 and 5 star properties in hotel departments, specialising in housekeeping, training, mystery guest inspections and assisting with new openings.
Posted By By Renee Buchanan, Global Communications Manager, P&G Professional,
24 August 2018
Following a successful webinar held recently featuring industry experts including Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality CEO, John Guthrie, Employment Policy Adviser at UKHospitality, and Bob Cotton, OBE, former CEO of the British Hospitality Association, the future for hospitality in a post-Brexit economy continues to be front of mind. With growing insecurity across the entire marketplace, businesses must not only prepare for change, but be willing to adapt to succeed.
The questions posed now are how, and when, will these changes take place. The UK hospitality industry has benefited from and relied upon a labour force supplemented from overseas. What happens if many EU workers decide to leave? Despite the uncertainty, this is where the flexibility and resilience of the UK hospitality market must be drawn upon.
To make their business the best it can be, I believe owners and operators must focus on engaging with staff at every level of the business, especially the unsung heroes: the kitchen porters, cleaning staff, and housekeepers. These employees are integral to the hospitality business; hotels can’t provide a great guest experience without clean rooms, and restaurants can’t expect positive reviews without clean plates. Small details can make all the difference in creating a positive guest experience, and your unsung heroes play a key role in execution. Creating opportunities to help staff feel appreciated can help retain current talent and reduce turnover, as well as keep creating those memorable guest experiences, which are valuable to all.
One way to do this is through investment in training and skill development. Building skills and knowledge can help employees feel confident and help empower them in their day-to-day activities to create unforgettable customer service. Confident employees are those who feel knowledgeable, who instinctively know how to make guests feel special, and who consistently do the right thing. Implement and regularly review a simple training program that enables employees to understand and improve, and reward learning with recognition and perks. Using trusted brands such as Flash Professional can help make learning easier with its simplicity. Providing materials in multiple formats can help employees learn at their own pace – online videos, written procedures and wall charts are examples of different formats that cater to a variety of learning styles.
Of course, there will inevitably be challenges. For example, employee turnover is part of the business, but making jobs easier and more rewarding through training, helping employees feel more confident and empowered, and rewarding employees with recognition and positive reinforcement can help those unsung heroes remain valued employees for years to come.
Your unsung heroes are more valuable than ever. Therefore, investing in their development will lead to increased confidence, increased performance and ultimately increased guest satisfaction.
Renee Buchanan is the Global Communications Manager with Procter & Gamble Professional. She holds over 25 years at P&G with expertise in Marketing & PR across Professional, Family Care, Household Care and Baby Care.
Hiring brilliant talent for any job can be a challenge. Retaining good staff can be even more difficult during Brexit for UK’s hospitality industry, as a high proportion of workers come from EU and overseas.
During the recent annual UK Hospitality ‘Shaping the Future’ event, many restaurant & hotel industry leaders expressed their concerns over potential staff shortage.
In 2017, the BHA published a Labour Migration Report, predicting a shortage of 60,000 hospitality workers per year. In regions such as London, up to 75% of workers come from EU, in some hospitality roles.
In response to these statistics, we have come up with some top tips for balancing workforce retention with workplace wellbeing.
Recognise & reward
As a restaurant owner or manager, having a reliable system to track employee performance can be very practical. According to research by the IRF, higher levels of motivation translate into 53% reduction in workforce turnover.
You can use data from your EPOS such as attendance metrics and sales figures to set targets and reward those who have surpassed your expectations. Incentives can be offered to staff to provide motivation for performing their role, however these needn’t be expensive or complicated. Small gestures such as gift cards, free lunches or an extra day off will show your appreciation.
Keep on top of employee records such as personal details, training dates and visas, even for just one location. Most good EPOS systems will have an HR module, so you can use this functionality to save valuable time and manage everything from one system.
Keep communication open and support whenever possible. The Home Office has recently published a toolkit for employers to support the EU Settlement Scheme. You can view all these valuable resources here.
According to findings in the YouGov survey, skills shortage was one of the main concerns raised among the respondents (15%) as a result of Brexit.
Investing into professional training and leadership opportunities for employees will motivate them to stay with their employer, as they will naturally want to progress in their careers. Technology platforms such as Flow Hospitality will integrate with EPOS and allow you to deliver training programmes.
Provide opportunities for communication to help understand and tackle issues early on before they escalate. The annual 30 Best Places to Work in Hospitality awards have released staff survey results that illustrate the importance of company culture in fostering a happy workplace.
After all, businesses that put their people first will be rewarded with passionate and commited staff to drive their success. Investing in the right technology tools to support you with the above challenges is also crucial.
If you’re a hospitality business and you’re looking for an all-in-one EPOS system, contact the 3S POS team to arrange a demo.
Posted By 3S POS,
26 June 2018
Updated: 08 August 2018
Go beyond fleeting trends with a must-have business management toolkit that is here to stay - a reliable and feature-rich POS system.
Investment in a smart and innovative system will unify front of house, back office and kitchen operations. Specialist software features offer complete command of all areas of the business. Modern POS, or EPOS, systems are adept at streamlining a multitude of hospitality operations – from QSR to fine dining. So how do you choose the best for your business? Let’s take a look at the must-have management EPOS features and their proven benefits.
Sales Management Tools
What this feature does: EPOS systems can provide granular sales data with a full breakdown of transactions by date, location and specific tills. Many EPOS systems offer real-time reporting and integrations with popular business accounting tools such as Sage and Xero.
Key benefits: Data trends are reflected in sales reports, providing opportunities to refine your operational strategies accordingly. Remote access means you can view sales figures on the go and accounting software integrations save valuable time.
Customer Relationship Management & Loyalty
What this feature does: EPOS systems now connect businesses with your customers on a whole new level. By building your own CRM database you'll have access to valuable customer data. Built-in features help you manage your email marketing campaigns, customise offers and personalise promotions based on customer behaviour.
Why you need it: Turning your attention to customer loyalty is paramount in hospitality - and technology is here to help. Tracking spending habits will help adapt promotions for a seamless omni-channel customer experience. According to Como, developer of white-label loyalty apps, using a customer engagement platform can increase customer spending by up to 41%.
We asked Michal Levitan, VP of Business Development at Como, how businesses can gain a better understanding of their customers:
"Integration between point of sale software loyalty apps provides businesses with powerful insights in their EPOS system that allow them to know their customers, personalise their experience and grow visits and spend."
Staff & Rota Management
What this feature does: Hospitality businesses tend to have a high staff turnover so keeping track of your staff is essential. You can do this with ease using an EPOS system, even across multiple locations. A smart EPOS system will also give you insights into performance and HR budgets with granular business reports. The more sophisticated EPOS systems provide an array of customisation options, so the system is configured to your exact requirements.
What this feature does: One of the most important tools, however often overlooked, is stock management. This type of EPOS feature will help you keep one centralised product catalogue. You can manage stock across many locations, keep organised product categorisation. Smart EPOS systems even allow you to set up management alerts and one-click re-ordering when an item is running low.
Why you need it: We spoke with Maher Al Hajjar, Operations Director of the popular cafe franchise, Caffé Concerto Group, to understand how using an advanced EPOS system supported business expansion:
"The [3S POS EPOS] Enterprise Stock Control module allowed our branch managers and chefs to have tight control on their stock levels and costs, whilst the Purchase Order Manager gave them the flexibility to order directly from suppliers offering the best and freshest produce. As an enterprise system, our procurement teams in head office are able to monitor and manage all branch activities to minimise stock costs and wastage at all times.”
Below: Example attendance tracker within an EPOS system
Key benefits: Build an organised staff database, set shift patterns, track attendance and send staff notifications - all from one system. The obvious benefits would be increased productivity and better communication with your staff.
Posted By Robert Holland, HotelPartner,
14 June 2018
Updated: 08 August 2018
by Robert Holland, Managing Director UK & Ireland, HotelPartner
In case I hadn’t mentioned before, I used to own a small chain of restaurants in SW London called Dish Dash. I still live in the area and I am always pleased when I meet couples who had one of their initial dates in one of my restaurants. Our moto was “Eat together, for the pleasure is in the company” and we attracted a lot of couples as well as groups of diners. On many a busy night I would notice how a waitress could spend 20 mins splitting the bill and then taking the payment from a table of 10 individuals. This was just one table and the time that was lost that could have been spent providing service to other customers, turning tables and upselling, was significant. So I used to make sure that when it came to turning my tables I was there to take payments at the bar in the back so the table could quickly be reset for the waiting diners. Nowadays the process has been shortened by “tapping” when the amount is less than £30, but it can still take up precious time.
At the end of a meal, when it comes to asking for a bill, a magical night can be ruined by a 15 minute delay in waiting for the bill and then for the PED to be available to complete your payment. Apparently, my generation are more patient than the millennials who have even less tolerance for these delays; and a recent survey by Worldpay indicated that 67% of diners do not want to wait more than 5 minutes to complete this transaction. Worldpay have now introduced a new PED that can communicate directly with an EPOS in order to allow a server to retrieve a bill and complete a transaction without the need to go back and forth to the terminal.
City Pub Group have gone a step further and added a payment option to their City Club App which is now used by more than 10,000 customers across the 35 strong chain. They have also adopted the App as a staff recognition and rewards scheme. Using FlyPay, App users can see, split and settle their bills at the table, reducing the wait time and payroll cost required by previous processes, they can also open tabs rather than leaving a credit card behind the bar which is now illegal. Whilst this technology is still relatively new, they are also encouraging users to download and engage with the App by offering rewards and letting them know through push notifications when they are close by one of the sister pubs so that they attract strong guest loyalty. Eventually they plan to use the App to facilitate “order at table”.
Kyle Gibson, Digital Marketing Manager at City Pub Group told me, “Since introducing the app in January 2018 we have seen consistent growth in our install base, gaining over 1,000 new members each month. App usage now accounts for 5% of revenue, and we anticipate the proportion of payments made via the app only continuing to grow over the coming months. More and more of our regular customers are coming to rely on the payment and loyalty functionality, with the app being opened over 36k times in May alone.”
Whilst this App based technology has been adopted by some of the larger groups, it is great to see some smaller chains also adopting it and creating more loyalty and brand awareness through the users. I for one would rather pay my bill and leave at the end of the meal rather than waiting for a member of staff to come and “process me”.