Award winning chef and restaurateur Mitch Tonks, together with business partner and best friend, Mat Prowse, have steadily built a chain of speciality seafood restaurants and take away venues under the Rockfish brand since 2010.

In four locations on the South West coast – Brixham, Dartmouth, Plymouth and Torquay – and two more earmarked to open in the next 12 months, Rockfish is making waves.

Having tried a number of EPoS systems to help manage its transition from a single to multi-site operator, 18 months ago Mitch and Mat got hooked on Zonal and have never looked back.

Zonal’s Aztec EPoS system hosts a collection of business modules, ranging from finance, people management through to stock and promotions that enables operators to run an efficient and profitable business.

“We knew EPoS was essential to managing our business but the systems we tried were complicated, clunky and unresponsive.  Then we had a meeting with Zonal who we knew specialised in the hospitality sector and were blown away by their Aztec EPoS solution and industry knowledge,” said Mat.

“From installation to training and ongoing customer care we have never looked back.  To date, Aztec has been completely reliable and doesn’t fall down, which is such a comfort when managing peak holiday periods where we can serve up to 3,000 portions of seafood and fish & chips in a single day!

“The quality of Aztec’s reporting is excellent and has made the day-to-day running of our business easier, more structured and profitable.”

Family fun Rockfish and its sister operation for more ‘grown-up’ seafood palates, The Seahorse, Dartmouth benefit from Zonal’s Dimensions Management Reporting software which allows managers to create and circulate performance reports quickly and easily.

The business also uses Zonal’s Aztec stock control module, giving the ambitious restaurant operator tighter control of its stock, ordering and pricing.

Mat added: “Being able to keep track of our stock has been of great help, especially when planning for busy holiday periods, which has a significant impact on our business.  At present we use Aztec Stocks primarily for all our drinks and some of our food.  Working with fish is notoriously hard to manage from a stock perspective, just because it depends on the catch of the day, the seasonality and the size and yield of the fish, but working with Zonal and us having brought portioning in-house, we are confident that Aztec Stocks will enable us to manage this process more effectively.”

Rockfish is also seeing the benefit of Zonal’s Card Payment Services (ZCPS), which is fully integrated with Aztec.  ZCPS offers the ability for front of house staff to complete payment transactions at customers’ tables without returning to the POS terminal.  “Our staff have been very positive about Aztec as it’s so simple to use.  It’s flexible too and the fact they can use the chip n pin device to complete transactions has improved the quality and speed of the service we provide.”

Rockfish is now trialling Zonal’s digital signage system, AdMargin, which is designed to increase sales through dynamic and real-time advertising and promotions.  A play list control enables a simple schedule to be set up which is then applied to every display in the venue, whilst having the flexibility to adjust to the location, behaviours, hardware, screen size and other factors.  For Rockfish it means they can easily update their changing daily menu and prices simply and efficiently.

Mat explained: “Brixham is our first trial site and they have three HD screens showcasing the menu and that day’s landings of local fish from the adjacent market, plus on one screen we have our Rockfish videos and blogs.

“Working with Zonal has been a rewarding experience and nothing is too much trouble.  Having the singular EPoS platform on which we can build is proving to be the ideal solution.”

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