Built soon after the end of World War I, Whelans Strathfield Hotel has been a family business for over ninety years. Now run by Mr. Brian Whelan, the hotel has recently been given a massive facelift to the tune of three million dollars.
With the renovations complete, it was time to overhaul the hotel’s POS environment, replacing it with a Toshiba TEC-based answer to the problems of stock and cash control.
Challenge: Tighter control and reliable equipment
According to Mr. Whelan, two of the greatest challenges facing publicans, or anyone operating a cash-based business for that matter, are stock control and cash control. So when it came time to replace the electronic cash registers used in the hotel’s bottle shop, public bar, lounge and bistro, he recognised it as the perfect opportunity to bring in a complete solution that would meet those challenges while also providing staff with a more user friendly and less error-prone system.
Solution: Toshiba TEC
Adopting a methodical and thorough approach, Mr. Whelan evaluated three different systems proposed to him by various retail POS solution providers. Of those, it was a Toshiba TEC hardware and third-party software solution put forward by a Toshiba TEC business partner that showed enormously more potential for business benefits than the others.
In late 2008, therefore, the hotel took delivery of its new retail POS environment, consisting of five Toshiba TEC WILLPOS A10 touch-screen POS terminals with two-line customer display, Toshiba TEC DRWST-51A heavy duty cash drawers, along with an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) system. “A key reason I went with Toshiba TEC is that it’s a reputable company that has, for as long as I can remember, had a strong background and history in manufacturing robust and reliable products, in particular, POS equipment.”
Taking control of stock and cash
In any cash-based industry, total control over cash is one of the greatest challenges facing any business owner. Through a combination of the third-party software, the WILLPOS A10s and DRWST-51A heavy duty cash drawers, cash control at the Strathfield Hotel has been taken to entirely new and higher levels of efficiency.
In the bar and lounge, three WILLPOS A10 terminals are configured with dual cash drawers, one each for both bartenders assigned to the terminal. Using RFID hardware technology, the software automatically identifies the
bartender currently using the POS terminal and activates only that drawer corresponding to the staff member.
In commenting on the importance of the RFID system and WILLPOS A10’s dual cash drawer capability, Mr. Whelan says: “First of all, bar personnel recognise that they’re each responsible for their own cash takings. As a result, they’re now being much more attentive, and for the business, it means significantly greater sales accuracy.
“I’m a great believer in taking advantage of improvements in security and control technology for the business,” he continues. “And any business that deals primarily in cash sales should be doing the same thing. With the Toshiba TEC POS terminals, I have the flexibility to bring in new technology
as it’s introduced to the market. This was one of the big attractions of the WILLPOS A10 terminal – its open design that allows us to bring in third-party products to enhance the overall solution.”
Keeping everything safe
Security of data is every as important in the hotel industry as in any other, and the WILLPOS A10’s internal hard disk provides Mr. Whelan with the assurance that the details of not one transaction will be lost due to power surges or outages.
“Some of the others systems I looked at used on-board memory to temporarily store transaction details,” he says. “If we had gone with one of those systems and something happened to the power, either to the hotel or one of the POS terminals, all the transactions stored in the memory are gone forever.
“With the WILLPOS A10s, as soon a transaction occurs the POS software immediately writes the data to the hard disk where it can then be retrieved by the back-office server. It’s just another one of the various features of the Toshiba TEC hardware that’s providing so crucial in helping me maintain
100 per cent accurate and up-to-date control over my stock and cash.”
Easier and quicker for staff
In contrast to the hotel’s previous electronic cash register systems, the software and Toshiba TEC hardware solution is providing bar and bottle shop staff with a much more precise and easily used POS interface. Taking advantage of the WILLPOS A10’s high contrast TFT (Thin Film Transistor) screen, the software displays an intuitive and easily read user interface.
When a customer orders a beer, for example, the bartender simply presses the on-screen ‘beer’ button, which then automatically displays a screen detailing all the possible beers, along with their service measures and types. “Aside from being a much quicker and more logical system,” Mr.
Whelan says, “it’s resulting in far greater accuracy and less instances of errors, which require cancellations and thereby delays in serving time.”
It’s on the subject of improved service that Mr. Whelan believes he is gaining a strong advantage over the old system. “This is the only pub located in Strathfield, and being directly opposite one of Sydney’s busiest bus depots and train stations, our peak periods can see bar staff being almost run off their feet keeping up with demand.
“The fact that the POS terminals, cash drawers and the RSAPOS software work so faultlessly, means we’re now providing our patrons with a better level of service than ever.”