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Rose & Crown Hotel gains competitive edge with Toshiba

Supplier: TOSHIBA TEC Australia
31 August, 2009

Located near the heart of Parramatta, the Rose and Crown Hotel has been transformed over the past several years, emerging as one of the area’s most popular and well run hotels. For business partners Peter Turner and Cherie Lenon, investing in major renovations, staff and local marketing is paying dividends. So too is the investment made in an innovative Toshiba TEC-based POS solution.

Challenge: A competitive edge through customer service

Over the years, The Rose and Crown was faced with increasingly stiff competition from clubs, licensed restaurants, cafes and, of course, other hotels. In order to ensure the hotel gained a leading edge over the competition, Peter and Cherie quickly recognised that improved operations and customer service demanded a powerful and flexible POS solution.

Solution: Toshiba TEC

Following an extensive search of the POS solution market, the two partners finally decided on a solution provided by a Toshiba TEC partner. Consisting of four Toshiba TEC WILLPOS A10 touch-screen terminals running third-party POS software and a back-office server, the solution has brought about dramatic business improvements from customer service right through to stock control.

Accurate stock control

With two of the networked WILLPOS A10s located in the hotel’s bar, and one each in the bottle shop and bistro, the details of every POS transaction are fed live to the back-office server. As a result, Peter and Cherie are now able to view accurate andup-to-the-minute transactions and stock levels. “This is absolutely essential for us,” Peter explains. “Our focus is on ensuring customers get what they ask for when they ask for it. And that applies just as much to the bistro as it does to the bottle shop and bar.

“With every transaction automatically updating the inventory records, we’re in the perfect position of being able to ensure stock levels are always maintained,” Peter continues. “This is in stark contrast to our old POS systems, which were standalone digital cash registers and, while they certainly helped to a certain degree, simply didn’t have what it takes to help keep the business running at an optimum level.”

But the reality of technology is that things can go wrong; and this is where the WILLPOS A10 once again delivers significant business benefit. “We had a situation where the server went off line for a while because of mains power problem,” Cherie says. “As soon as the Toshiba TEC terminals lost their network connection with the server, they automatically stored all transactions to the internal hard drive until the server came back on-line. Significantly, there was no interruption to service during this time.”

Speed and accuracy

Adding even more to the customer service improvements being achieved with the new POS system is the speed and accuracy of transactions. By taking advantage of the terminal’s advanced touch screen, the software provides staff with an intuitive and easy to use interface to all customer-facing POS operations. So intuitive, in fact, that according to Peter, it took barely minutes to show staff how it worked before they were all confident in its use.

“The software running on the terminals is incredibly easy to use and, importantly, helps us build a customer service edge over the competition,” Peter says. “For example, in the bistro we’re now able to take individual orders for any number of people sitting at a table and provide them to the kitchen as a single order. This ensures every person at the table is served
at the same time yet still able to pay individually with their order. “Interestingly, the majority of cafes, restaurants and hotels haven’t caught up with the need for this,” Peter continues. “For us, it’s yet another way in which we have improved our customer service and subsequently our business.”

Even in peak periods, during which Rose and Crown staff can be working for hours without a break, the new POS solution is helping them take it all in their stride. Cherie explains: “Regardless of how busy it gets at the bar, our staff can ring up the correct transaction with generally no more than one or two finger taps on the screen. Again, this ensures we’re maintaining accurate stock levels and keeping customers happy.”

A platform for growth

A big advantage for Peter and Cherie with the WILLPOS A10 is the additional hardware flexibility it offers. With the ability to add on extras such as card readers, RFID technology and customer facing displays, the business partners can easily extend the functionality of their terminals to meet new business demands and initiatives.

“We’re already taking advantage of the multi-line customerfacing displays,” Peter says. “So when an order is taken, the customer is able to check on their order and notify the staff immediately if there’s an error, virtually eliminating instances of wrong orders at the bar and especially the bistro at the initial point of order.

“As we go along,” Peter continues, “we’ll be implementing new features, all of which will be based on the Toshiba TEC terminals. For example, security cameras, advertising at the point of sale using customer facing LCD displays, improved staff accountability through using RFID, they’re all able to be done simply because we’ve invested in POS technology that can grow with our business. We need only add the components which are best suited to our needs.

“It all boils down to the fact that regardless of what industry you’re in, customers are expecting and demanding higher levels of customer service. To achieve that, you need technology. Technology that’s easy to use, flexible and reliable. This is precisely what we’re getting with Toshiba TEC.”