When husband and wife team Paul Herreen and Jo Plummer purchased The Dog Rocks Hotel in Victoria’s Geelong, their aim was to take a somewhat worse-for-wear hotel and make it one of the area’s most popular and sought after venues.
The enormous potential of the hotel, which was built in 1843, was soon realised by the pair when dedicated staff, extensive renovations and a Toshiba TEC POS solution combined to form a ‘country pub with a difference’.
Challenge: Establish total business control
High on Paul and Jo’s agenda for their hotel was a POS system that would provide them with the tools, information and versatility critical to establishing and maintaining a successful business. Paul, with his chef’s background and realisation of the fact that a POS system can mean the difference between success and failure, set POS functionality on par with kitchen, décor and service.
“You can have the best chef, service and atmosphere,” Paul says, “but if you don’t establish total business control, then you’re fighting an uphill battle. We needed a leading-edge POS system that would help us gain that total business control!”
Solution: Toshiba TEC
Towards the end of 2008, following extensive research into available solutions, Jo and Paul selected a Toshiba TEC partner to supply, implement and support an innovative POS system consisting of Toshiba TEC WILLPOS A10 touch-screen terminals and high performance software. From their perspective, they saw it as the ideal and complete solution designed specifically for the hospitality industry.
Succeed rather than struggle
In commenting on the hotel’s new POS system, Jo sates: “The Toshiba TEC terminals give us the ability to run sophisticated software that makes an enormous difference to our business. Where other hotels are running their bars and bistros with straightforward electronic cash registers, the Toshiba TEC and POS software combination is possibly the most important and useful business tool we have.”
With the WILLPOS A10s connected to the hotel’s network, Jo and Paul can access up-to-the-minute information from virtually any computer, even via a secure Internet connection. “Rather than going through manual stocktakes and limited cash register printouts just to find out even the most simple
facts, at any time we’re now able to view precise reports that tell us stock levels, sales figures for specified time periods or individual products, and even what dishes are proving to be most successful in the bistro,” Jo explains.
“Importantly, we have full visibility of cash takings across the entire business; and in a cash-based business this is absolutely critical.
“Given that our hotel is only one of several in the area,” Jo continues, “it’s that level of versatility that’s giving us the information we need to continually improve our business, provide a better experience for our patrons and succeed where others are struggling.”
Taking the spills
While the versatility of the software and Toshiba TEC hardware were two of the most decisive factors in their selection for use at The Dog Rocks Hotel, the robustness of the WILLPOS A10 touch-screen terminals also figured prominently in the decision process. Designed with a dustproof casing and silicon-sealed screen, the terminals are proving themselves more than capable of withstanding the rigours of a hotel environment.
“When the bar gets busy,” Jo says, ‘accidents happen and drinks get spilt. When this happens – and it does happen – the bar staff simply wipe the terminal clean and no-one has to worry about liquids getting inside the terminal.
“We had this solution installed because we saw it as the best system to help us run our business from the counter right through to the back office,” Jo continues. “If we’d gone with some of the other proposed solutions, which simply weren’t built to take the hotel environment, there’s no doubt in our minds that we would have spent far too much time dealing with system breakdowns and failures.
“Since we’ve had the Toshiba TEC terminals in place, there hasn’t be any instance of failure; and that means we’re able to focus our attention on what we do best – run a successful and popular hotel.”
Sold on “quality and service”
Of particular note is the fact that prior to selecting the Toshiba TEC-based solution for the hotel, Paul spent several weeks visiting numerous hotels and restaurants to see firsthand what others in the hospitality industry were using.
“I’ve always been a great believer in Toshiba quality,” Paul says, “but I wanted to hear from other hoteliers and restaurateurs what they thought.
"It became obvious fairly quickly that while some in the industry had a stated preference for third-party products, it was only the Toshiba TEC systems that had the quality of product and backup service that Jo and I were looking for.”
Adding further to the “quality of product and backup service” that were so important to Paul and Jo, it is the flexibility of the WILLPOS A10s that is set to provide them with even greater business efficiency…and profitability. Jo explains: “We’re not prepared to sit back. Our goal is to establish The Dog Rocks Hotel as a leading venue in the region.
“That means we have to constantly work on improving and enhancing what we offer our patrons. With the POS software and Toshiba TEC hardware, we’re assured of being able to introduce new features, such as wireless digital hand-held order pads, additional terminals, receipt printers and any
number of other customer service enhancements without any fuss at all.
“We’re in a highly competitive market, and our POS system is giving us the competitive edge!”