However well-planned, the start-up of a restaurant business can be a random affair. Take, for example, the purchase of tills. You buy one from one supplier, then another from somewhere else. Then you expand. You buy new tills for the new premises, but the new equipment isn’t compatible with the old.

You need a way to seamlessly unify different aspects of your business. I’s the reason why so many are turning to Aloha restaurant epos software from NFS Hospitality.

Aloha is more than a replacement for a till or cash register. It has evolved into a powerful solution that optimises restaurant management and actively increases revenues. The point of sale software suite offers smooth integration between stock control, labour management, loyalty and gift cards, head office management, table reservations and guest management, tableside ordering and mobile payment systems.

It’s the reason why the London-based Euphorium Bakery sees Aloha as the guiding force behind their current expansion plans.

Euphorium Bakery opened for business in 1999 with a simple shop in London’s Islington area. They quickly became famous for making and baking as much as possible fresh from scratch every day, and customers raved about their outstanding cakes and pastries. Today, Euphorium Bakery have seven shops, and are planning more than 30 more. And Aloha is playing a major role in that plan.

“When we started to expand, we randomly bought tills from different suppliers for different shops,” said Operations Director Andrew Green. “But it soon became obvious that we needed to formalise the system, especially in the light of our plans to expand into a multi-site operation.”

“Currently Aloha is installed only in our flagship shop in Islington’s Upper Street. But the system will soon be installed in all our other shops, as well as in the new branches we plan to open.”

“It’s going to mark the way forward in reducing paperwork. Traditionally, our managers have written reports on paper and put them into envelopes which are collected by our delivery drivers each morning, and eventually get back to head office. The information is then put into spreadsheets. With Aloha rolled out across all shops, this will happen electronically and automatically, giving us cash-up data in real time.”

“The speed with which we will soon be able to get the flow of management information disseminated across all branches and the convenience of being able to make changes globally will mark a major step forward for our business.”

Andrew also has a keen eye on the ease with which Aloha handles loyalty cards. Like others before him, he understands that driving in-store traffic is a top priority for restaurant operators of all sizes. Having the right technology to manage marketing programs helps to grow revenue by attracting new customers and stimulating repeat business. Aloha Stored Value and Aloha Loyalty applications help marketing and operations teams promote their brands to customers, driving profitable repeat business and convenient access to their brand.

Here are three golden rules that NFS give to anyone considering the use of loyalty cards for the first time.

Plans that are overly-restrictive or hard to understand are less likely to succeed or give the customer enough of an incentive to visit the establishment.
Make sure to train employees on the programs available, so that they can easily convey details to customers with enthusiasm and excitement.

Initially, loyalty programs do not promote themselves, so it is important to invest in the proper collateral, such as point of purchase material and advertising.

“We have used loyalty cards in the past,” said Andrew. “Previously, we used rubber stamps on cards – the old buy nine, get one free routine. But with the Aloha loyalty card facility we plan to offer plastic cards with which we can give credit, award points and build up a customer database. It will become part of our social networking community marketing plans.”

Like many before them (and no doubt many more to come), Euphorium Bakery have been quick to discover that Aloha point of sale software is a powerful solution that optimises restaurant or bar management and actively increases revenues.

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