Restaurant Matters Issue 2

Putting Your Restaurant in the Palm of Your Hand

Today’s restaurant owner needs quick, easy-to-access real-time information about how the business is running. Gone are the days when a daily, weekly or even a monthly analysis would suffice. Food costs, labour costs, which menu items are being most ordered, which are least popular… the successful restauranteur needs that kind of information, not at the end of the day, or the end of the week, but right NOW.

It’s for this purpose that NFS has introduced Pulse Real Time. Used in conjunction with Aloha restaurant Point of Sale (POS) software, it enables owners to manage their restaurants, not just in real time, but also remotely, with information delivered to the user’s smart phone or tablet, wherever they are.

In short, Pulse Real Time will revolutionise the way you manage your restaurant.

Pulse will also simplify the data you need. Information can often be long-winded and difficult to assimilate for the person on the go, with so much else to think about. Pulse gives access to restaurant metrics, social media management and more, supplying the information in brief for on-the-spot, quick decisions and actions.

Consider Its Benefits:

  • By converting POS data into actionable information, immediate decisions can be made to enhance the bottom line.
  • Delivers details of net sales by hour, day part, category or order.
  • With increased visibility and control, multi-site consolidation and customisation reporting allows extensive drill-down analysis by site, region or concept.
  • The ability to track feedback about your restaurant from Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and other channels in one consolidated view means you are able to monitor your brand’s social identity and the satisfaction of your customers.
  • With anytime, anywhere access, you spend less time on administration, more time serving customers and improving employee satisfaction.
  • Messages can be sent to employees via a messaging platform between Pulse users.
    Sales and labour costs can be forecast for the remainder of a current day, even taking into account weather forecasts for the day.
  • Sales comparisons can be made with same day last week or even last year.
  • Remotely view details available of individual customers who have just sat down to eat, or just paid.
  • Management is automatically alerted to issues requiring attention.
  • If you have ever felt worried about relinquishing control when you have to leave your restaurant for any period of time, then worry no more. With Pulse Real Time critical decisions ca be made from anywhere. Wherever you are, it puts your restaurant in the palm of your hand.

Putting Aloha to Work

How Aloha Helps FegoCaffé Keep Ahead of the Game

Fego Caffé began in South Africa and opened its first UK coffee shop in 2003. The business has been evolving and growing steadily ever since. Today, Fego Caffé has six outlets in an around London at Ascot, Cobham, Gerrards Cross, Marlow, Sunningdale and St. John’s Wood. Two years ago, Aloha point of sale software from NFS Technology Group was installed at five of the sites.

As Head of Catering Operations, David Brunner is based at the Fego Caffé head office in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, but regularly tours branches to involve himself with staff training, menus, etc.

“The Fego Caffé concept works because it stays current,” says David. “Without deviating from the original model to always serve the perfect espresso-based coffees and freshly-prepared food, we are continually evolving to stay ahead of the game. Aloha helps us do this.

“For example, we regularly update our menus. Aloha enables us to make changes to the tills, menus, etc without having to drive to each site to do so.“

“We also need to be able to view the performance of labour and sales without having to go into each site or having to wait for managers to fax, email or call the figures through to us. Aloha allows us to do this remotely.“

“Day to day, Aloha looks after labour as staff clock in and out through the till. Most of the communication between the kitchen and the front of house is processed through the till, so ordering is another area that falls under Aloha’s control. Aloha also allows us to look at food and drink sales and how they are split, which gives us a better insight into what we are selling. And it helps us to view sales, voids, staff food and comps in an easy and logical way.“

At the moment, Fego Caffé is running a simple loyalty card system, based on offering a free coffee after a regular customer has bought five. In the future this is also something that might be integrated into the Aloha set-up.

Back-up is also an important aspect of using Aloha at Fego Caffé.

“We needed back up mostly when we had teething problems with menu changes,” says David. “The help we had from NFS was first class.“

Fego Caffé’s success in the UK is due in part to a formula that offers freshly prepared, generous helpings in a full service environment, relatively rare in the fast-paced fast food environment where meals are either pre-made, self service offerings at the cheaper end of the market, or expensive sit down service.

Staff at Fego Caffé know that they can rely on Aloha playing its role in the background to help them achieve and maintain those aims.

Bringing the Spirit of The 1950s Right Up to Date

Although the theme of Ed’s Easy Diners is mid-20th Century, it’s the latest in 21st Century technology that helps the restaurants maintain their reputation for speedy service of good traditional American food.

The UK’s first Ed’s Easy Diner opened its doors in London’s Soho 26 years ago, bringing the culture of 1950s America to London. Today, as well as five diners in London alone, Ed’s has another 13 branches throughout the UK. With the exception of one site in Birmingham Selfridges, Aloha Point of Sale software is installed at all of them.

Reuben Todd is Group Operations Director. Although based in London, he spendsmost of his time on the road, from where the business is monitored.

It was the ability to use hand-held order takers that first attracted him to Aloha. Diners of the 1950s, on which Ed’s is based, might have used waiters with pads and pencils, but the use of today’s electronic hand-held devices, taking orders from customers and relaying them wirelessly to the kitchen, has proved a much faster and more efficient service, allowing servers time to concentrate on guest rather than at a POS terminal.

We have been using Aloha for eight years,” says Reuben. “The hand-held devices speed up service and thus the customer experience, helping us to achieve a return on our investment.“

“On a daily basis, staff at the Ed’s Easy Diner sites use Aloha for all basic EPOS functions, including clocking in and out. EPOS data is controlled by exporting it into Fourth cloud-based cost control systems.“

“We also use Aloha to run a our loyalty system, which helps us reward our many loyal customers, and in the future we plan to use the software solution to introduce integrated credit card systems.“

For Ed’s Easy Diner, where customers can sit at a counter, listen to golden-oldies on the juke box and watch their food being prepared in the open kitchen right in front of them, the atmosphere is definitely retro. “But with the help of Aloha’s up-to-the-minute software, we can keep our focus on our customers and let the EPOS system do the job it is meant to do,” says Reuben

The Importance of Back-up and Training

Located in Central London, Salt Yard is an award-winning bar and restaurant serving modern tapas inspired by the flavours and produce of Spain and Italy, complemented by charcuterie and cheese boards with a wide selection of wines and sherries. For them, one big advantage of Aloha has proved to be its support desk and training.

“We first saw Aloha at a trade show and found it very impressive,” says Laura Christie, Operations Manager for the Salt Yard Group. “We installed it eight years ago and today the solution is used to run cash-ups and stock control. We also like the way it integrates with our own systems.

“The product is very reliable, but we use the NFS support desk for anything from day-to-day issues to overhauling system. The service is really good, friendly and helpful, always with prompt call backs.“

Salt Yard prides itself on its flexibility for customers who can enjoy a full spread of tapas, or come in simply for a glass of red wine and a plate of cheese. Point of Sale software that takes care of cashflow and stock, enabling staff to concentrate on their customers has to be a winner for a restaurant like this – and Aloha fits the bill perfectly.

Trials and Training

Restaurant Guard trial

Many of our customers have already discovered how adding Restaurant Guard to Aloha Point of Sale software saves thousand of pounds by preventing scams. Why not try it for yourself now, with a no obligation, two-month free trial. More information

Aloha special training offer

The Aloha restaurant Point of Sale software is renowned for its ease of use. But, to make the most of it, special training is recommended. Now, for new clients only, when you buy three days training we’re offering one day free (value of £595). More information.

Now Let’s Hear From You

  • How are you using Aloha?
  • How can your experiences help other users?
  • How can the experience of others help you?
  • What would you like to know more about?
  • Do you have any useful hints and tips on the use of Aloha?

Let us have your feedback, and we’ll feature your stories and comments in future issues of this newsletter.

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