A good point-of-sale system does more than process payments.
It can be the artery of your business through which everything flows – so you don’t miss a beat.
So whether you’re running a coffee shop or restaurant, a pub or a food truck, your point of sale (POS - or EPOS as it evolves) can help you identify what’s working and what’s not, informing you of the best adjustments you can make to grow your business.
A traditional point-of-sale system (POS) is often a stand-alone device simply for processing payments. You would calculate the amount to pay using a till or register and then key in the amount on a separate terminal to take your customer’s payment.
An electronic point-of-sale system (EPOS) is the evolution of the traditional POS system using integrated software that captures and transports the data throughout your business.
So in a café or restaurant setting, an EPOS system could link the order to the kitchen or bar, split the bill when customers want to pay separately, handle the tips, take the payment, email, text or print the receipt and feed into the central reporting system.
All giving you insights that can inform you of your busiest times, your best-selling items (and worst!), how many staff you need on and when, and even set alerts to warn you when you’re running low on crucial ingredients.
“It's really important for me that I can focus on the business, and the way for me to focus on the business is to really understand it.
“And the best way for me to really understand my business is to have access to very good quality rich data. That's how we make decisions on things like even the number of staff that we're going to have on.”
Stephen Kennedy, owner – Copper + Straw
An EPOS system from Elavon will help you run your business when – and how – you need it most. Talk to us to find out more or read on.
“The best EPOS system for a growing small business is one that helps you to help your customers,” says Eric Horgan, Head of Product for Elavon Europe.
“Improving your customer experience and properly adding value to your team will drive sales and promote loyalty while also saving you time, money and effort,” he adds.
An EPOS system can bring every aspect of your business together more easily than mixing caster sugar into egg whites.
It will also give you vital data-driven insights to help you grow your business.
What can an EPOS system do for my business?
“Understanding the patterns and preferences of your customers helps you provide the best service and experience for them, which in return builds loyalty to keep them coming back to you,” says Eric Horgan, Head of Product for Elavon Europe.
Take orders that are pre-set on your menu or adjust them to meet your customers’ needs.
Although an EPOS system is sophisticated, it’s surprisingly easy to set up and use, quickly allowing you to:
Tailored to your business. A food truck, a café, a pub or a restaurant all want happy staff and happy customers, but the detail of how that’s achieved will vary in each setting… you can tailor an EPOS to fit your business model perfectly.
Build customer profiles.
Your EPOS can allow you to build customer profiles to help you hone a winning customer experience.
Capture customer contact information for marketing.
View all past orders by customer for up-selling and cross-selling.
Download customer lists to identify trends in purchasing history.
Issue and track store credit by customer.
Encourage loyalty with promotions, discounts and bundles.
Our EPOS allows you to offer your customers a range of discounts which you can set parameters for. Such as a minimum purchase, frequency of visit or purchases that form a linked bundle, such as a meal deal.
Rewards can be a designated amount or a percentage of an order.
Loyalty rewards are available once you look up the customer by phone, name or email, making it an easy step in the customer journey.
Promotions, discounts and bundles are great for bringing customers into your business, but complications at the register can turn good sentiment bad. With our EPOS system, promotions are easy to build, apply and track, including:
Item and order level discounts.
Discounts by category.
Discounts for loyalty programmes.
Data-driven decision making.
Our EPOS system makes it possible for you to generate individual customer metrics, including days since last visit, number of visits plus total and average spend. The customer profile tool can be used for your loyalty programme.
Customer metrics are key to providing a next-level service.
By having easy access to customer history, your staff can consider that data at the checkout to cross-sell other products or make other product recommendations.
These kinds of personalised experiences can boost customer loyalty, growing your customer loyalty, return visits and word-of-mouth reputation building.
Create high-level to granular reports.
You can see transactional history, such as past orders, number of visits and total spend, pull a list of the top items you’re selling by gross revenue and generate reports to show top categories by revenue and top suppliers by sales.
From these you can interpret and use this data to inform future decisions – such as inventory ordering, your business times to help with staff rotas and see what motivates your customers to buy.
Your EPOS from Elavon can provide the following reports:
Sales reports by product, category, tag, supplier or employee.
Sales or payment type summary.
Gift card use.
Receipts and transactional reporting.
An accurate and balanced inventory is a basic requirement of keeping your business running efficiently. Frequent items being out of stock are a sure way to damage the customer experience and hit your customer loyalty hard.
So to avoid inventory chaos hitting your bottom line through margins and cash flow, our EPOS system supports effective inventory management. It allows you to spot discrepancies, deficits and opportunities to improvement.
Having your front of house and stocks and storeroom linked means you never risk over-selling and under delivering to your customers, while also making management of the inventory, as it impacts your menu, far easier for your staff.
Monitoring, in real time, which items on your menu are gaining in popularity allows you to quickly pivot to capitalise on high-earning moments.
Our EPOS system can help you identify top-selling items and those products you haven’t sold in a while.
It also allows you to use customer-buying histories to see who may best respond to promotions for overstocked items, based on their past preferences and purchases.
Inventory management tools on our EPOS system can do far more than track numbers. They can speed up inventory processing tasks, with features like automatic barcode generation and batch product editing. You can also:
Set up products with multi-level variations.
Create categories for your products.
Bulk upload products into your inventory.
Create and track gift card sales.
Clear visibility of your inventory means you can improve your product offerings and take advantage of trends and opportunities to drive sales.
Talk to us about the features and levels of packages available. Premium features include:
Automated purchase orders.
When face with stacked discounts and multiple payment methods, an older POS system could trip you up when faced with so many nuances. A more robust EPOS system that’s tailored to your specific business needs has functions to handle the many ways you do business – and then some!
Flexible order management.
The ability to share and sync information is one of the biggest benefits of an integrated EPOS system. It can work across multiple sites and be accessed from anywhere.
Premium features include:
Order splitting and merging, making it easy to consolidate transactions to meet customers’ needs.
Assigning table positions to items.
Automatic serice charge.
The need to serve customers on the go means online ordering is increasing and is a trend that’s only expected to grow.
Through a streamlined mobile-friendly website, you can offer the same menu you do in-house.
Once an online order is placed, your staff will receive an in-app notification, and from there, they can choose to accept or reject if necessary.
Online orders can be set up to complete bypass the front of house, if necessary, and go straight to the kitchen.
And during busy times, you can pause online ordering to allow your staff to catch up or adjust fulfilment times.
Being able to let your customer pay how they want to can only enhance the customer experience. So you need to be able to handle anything from contactless payments to digital wallets - which are the fastest growing payment type, allowing your customers to pay using smart devices, such as their phone or watch.
In hospitality environments no-touch payments have become an industry standard and customer expectation. Through our EPOS system you instantly have a range of contactless payment options, from digital wallets in smart devices to cards than be waved or tapped near a card reader, as well as integrated into an online ordering site to sync with the rest of the system. Customers receipts are also flexible – printable, emailable or sent as a text.
Online and mobile payments are an integral part of today’s business operations, providing opportunities that match your customers’ preferences. With QR codes on your tables, your customers can scan, order and pay at the table through a mobile-optimised webpage.
Gift card management.
Being able to offer your customers gift cards can boost revenue. Especially around key holidays that bring people together or can be celebrated with food – Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and anniversaries.
With our EPOS system, not only will you have access to gift card management but customer branding support for physical and digital cards as well.
No additional or repeated fees for selling or using gift cards, so the transaction fee of loading the card is not duplicated when it is spent.
Gifts cards can be compatible for digital wallets for devices on both iOS and Android operating systems, along with automatic balance updates.
You’re in control. Gift cards can be used once or reloaded, and a detailed history of all gift card sales and transactions is available for viewing within your EPOS system.
Returns, Refunds and exchanges.
Refunds can be stressful, but tools within our EPOS system can greatly improve this experience for both your staff and your customer.
The return or refund process can be expedited by setting rules on the forms of a refund. Transaction search tools also provide ways to make returns without a receipt, thanks to customer information filters such as name, phone number or order number.
Partial and mixed payments.
Splitting the bill is a common ask, as is bringing tables of bills together. In the past, your team would have had to manually divide bills, which is both time consuming and prone to human error.
Our EPOS system makes it easy to pay the bill in full, or offer bill-splitting by fraction, custom amount or by person. You even have the option to close one part of a tab while keeping the rest open if one member of the party needs to leave early.
Customers occasionally want to pay with more than one form of payment – like paying part in cash, part through gift card, credit card or even store credit. Our EPOS system makes that easy too.
Managing your employees is critical to the successful growth of your business. However, it can quickly become a pain point for most business owners owing the time and effort required. Our EPOS system, fortunately, provides access to advanced staffing tools to help save time and reduce headaches. Some of the tools available include:
Clock-in/clock-out feature with timesheet reporting.
Multi-location employee support.
Employee role management with multiple user types.
Tip and gratuity reporting.
Employee sales by product reporting.
Estimated wage reporting.
Hourly rate tracking.
Smart time-capturing tools.
As our EPOS system has cloud functionality, you can review timecards records from anywhere.
With timesheet reports, you can sort by staff member or period, which is helpful information to help you support employees who struggle with time management.
While your team is a major asset to your business, they are also one of the largest costs. Our EPOS system generates labour cost reports which measure gross hourly wage against revenue. This can help you find ways to tighten your labour budget to identify if you need to hire staff. It also makes it easier to set up weekly schedules and allows you to block off time for specific staff members.
By analysing sales reports and time clock histories, you can recognise employees who are excelling in your business and identify those who may need additional support.
With functions and tools that help you to run your business more efficiently and keep all members of your team connected.
Connecting your customers’ orders to the kitchen and bar.
Our EPOS can send and print orders in various locations. For instance, if a table of guests order food and drinks at the same time, their server can send the food orders to the kitchen, while the drinks order goes to the bar. Large restaurants could even send dessert or salad orders to the specific prep areas, and online orders can bypass the front of house and be printed directly in the kitchen.
The software also allows all members of the team to view order voids. This can be helpful if a customer changes their mind or if it needs to be updated or cancelled.
House accounts and open tabs.
If it fits your business model, house accounts and open tabs are great ways to appeal to repeat customers.
A house account lets your customer carry a prepaid balance or open a tab to use for a day’s-long period before settling their bill.
You can set up parameters, so the account never goes into the negative and doesn’t exceed its balance limit. Our EPOS system comes with tools to create statements to send to customers and online payment options are also available.
Happy hour or early bird dining will go a lot more smoothly with the automatic discount feature of our EPOS system, which takes a percentage off a product within a specified time slot. Simply enter in the start and end times for discounted drinks and dishes, then let our EPOS system do the work for you.
What will an EPOS system cost me?
EPOS systems from Elavon can range from ready to go out of the box to specifically tailored to your every business. Packages and bundles are available.
Adopting the latest technologies saves time and resources allowing you to better serve your customers and build lasting, loyal relationships which will help take your business to the next level.
If you’re looking or an affordable EPOS system to streamline your operations, increase profits, enhance your customer experience and grow your business, contact us to find out more.