The World of Hospitality Issue 41 2021 - Page 8


Technology that can help your hospitality business thrive

For any hospitality business , choosing the right POS system is an important decision . While this depends largely on individual business requirements , the solution has to offer the flexibility and reliability to ensure a business runs smoothly now and in the future . The current pandemic has simply brought these issues to the fore and has forced many hospitality businesses to review not only how they operate , but also how to pivot in such a way that the business can thrive in a challenging and at times unpredictable environment .
The wealth of options available in terms of POS technology is extensive . All too often the role of the printer is seen to simply print a receipt but , when used with intuitive software , it can provide a business with a variety of powerful tools . The right hardware can effectively reduce costs with future-proof solutions that enable a business to plan ahead , avoiding unnecessary expense by reducing the need for additional hardware investment as the business develops , not to mention having the technology readily available when required . Furthermore , the right hardware can add value to a business with unique featurerich solutions included free of charge with the printer .
One area which has undoubtedly highlighted the role of the printer during the current pandemic is online ordering . While it has certainly enabled many establishments to continue operating during lockdown , online ordering apps / web software can also provide the path to an additional future revenue stream thanks to an enhanced customer database . This offers the potential to attract repeat business via coupons and promotions alongside in-house dining post lockdown .
One of the most important considerations that any hospitality business has to ensure is accurate ordering , especially given stricter requirements for food labelling , allergies and bespoke customer orders . With the added increase in orders from multiple channels including restaurant , kiosk / self-service , drive through as well as online collection and delivery , an efficient and accurate ordering process becomes essential .
Printed orders vastly improve order accuracy . With a growing number of custom orders and order modifications , a printed order that can be sent directly from the POS system or online app to the kitchen , allows all staff members to see the customer ’ s requirements and effectively cuts down on errors .
Technology such as Star ’ s CloudPRNT™ , available on a range of Star printers , facilitates online ordering by eliminating the need for an additional tablet to send a received online order to the printer . Instead , the ordering service can communicate directly with the printer for online takeaway or collection orders from the restaurant web site . Aware that a large number of hospitality web sites are based on the WordPress platform , Star has developed a free of charge WooCommerce plug-in for simple integration .
Alternatively , if a tablet app is used for online ordering then a Bluetooth , WiFi or LAN printer can be connected to print the order in the kitchen as well as the receipt for pick up . Web and cloud enabled kitchen printers , capable of reliably accepting and queuing orders from multiple devices , become essential in this environment . As venues begin to open again , social distancing will no doubt remain important with order and pay at table apps or web sites taking on greater significance . These can also communicate directly with the printer for table orders , including those placed via a kiosk or self-service terminal as well as those placed by hotel guests ordering food and beverages from the room service menu on their mobile device .