17 July


Zonal serves up sizzling solutions

Summer can be a bumper time for pubs and restaurants with outdoor dining areas.  Let’s face it, there is nothing more appealing than savouring a refreshing drink and alfresco dining with friends and family in a pub garden when the sun is shining.

But, whilst outdoor areas can drive revenue, they can also present a challenge for operators.  Taking orders and processing payments outside, can be difficult if you don’t have access to the right technology.

This is where handheld mobile solutions really come into their own, giving front of house teams the necessary tools to take orders at the table without repeat visits to the bar or fixed EPoS terminals.

At Zonal, we have led the way in providing operators with business enhancing tools that are centred on EPoS, helping to boost overall trade, including outdoor dining.  Our innovative mobile technology has revolutionised the way orders are taken in hospitality businesses.

We have deployed over 14,000 units of our handheld offering, iServe, which delivers a cost-effective, reliable replacement to the traditional order pad or a cumbersome handheld device.  iServe gives staff the freedom to access Aztec EPoS functionality on an iPod or iPad, making it easy for staff to take orders, print and process payments from the beer garden, outdoor dining area or table.

This is vital, as we know that slow service is a key bugbear for consumers, with 69% citing this as a major frustration [source: GO Technology by CGA and Zonal].  And in our cash rich, but time poor world, where we hate to wait, food not arriving quickly enough is overwhelmingly top [72%], followed by not being able to pay quickly enough [53%] and orders being taken incorrectly [45%].

Using iServe allows orders to be processed faster and tables turned quicker, as it reduces visits to the bar and kitchen, which all takes time when catering outdoors, and allows team members to spend more time with their customer and ensures they help time-pressed customers to enjoy their food and drink as quickly as possible.

With full EPoS integration, serving staff can also increase spend per head through suggested ordering as offers, stock availability and pricing are all managed within the EPoS universe.  iServe also allows operators to improve customer service in the way they take payment, through an integrated approach which makes the payment process easier for both customers and team members.  For example, it facilitates a faster and smoother process for those customers who are using different types of payments and promotional vouchers.

If Wi-Fi coverage becomes an issue, particularly for outdoor dining, unlike other handheld solutions, iServe will notify the user but continue to operate for ordering. Once the connection is re-established, offline orders are submitted to the EPoS network.

For operators, especially those with large outdoor dining capabilities, it’s not simply a question of whether they should introduce mobile ordering for their teams, but when and what the best tool is for them to use.  Any solution has to be talking to your EPoS system, the central nervous system of your business.

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