Far from taking it easy, bar, café and restaurant group Loungers has been growing at quite a pace since its foundation 16 years ago.
Demand for its laid back winning formula of providing great food and drink in relaxed, comfortable surroundings, has seen Loungers extend its reach beyond its Bristol heartland to more than 120 venues nationwide under its Lounge and Cosy Club brands. A further 25 sites have been earmarked for this year.
With such ambitious expansion plans, Loungers required a technology partner focused on the hospitality sector that could respond to the needs of an increasingly complex business. So, in stepped Zonal.
Loungers Central Operations Manager, Alex Marsh, said:
“We have a very simple formula, where orders are taken at the bar, but with our rapid growth we needed to take more control of our operating costs and reporting systems.
“The Zonal team not only had relevant sector experience, but their Aztec EPoS system gave us the integrated solution we were seeking. It offers a range of modules, giving us detailed and timely reports, with up to the minute performance data for each site.”
One of the key modules that Loungers opted for is Zonal’s Acquire, an intuitive end-to-end online purchasing management system which fully integrates with Zonal’s stock solution, giving powerful real-time stock info at the point of order. Furthermore, Acquire helps achieve efficiencies in every part of the business. Head office benefits from central control over suppliers, product catalogues and availability, reporting and invoice reconciliation. Site teams benefit from more efficient, accurate ordering and stock control, with the convenience of being able to order online 24/7 from any mobile technology. And for suppliers, full integration offers massive order processing efficiencies.
Initially, alongside Acquire, Loungers opted to implement their wet products into the stock module within Aztec, but since the autumn of 2017 the business has implemented food too.
“The wet side was easy to implement and almost immediately we saw a several percentage point uplift in our wet sales gross margins, so it has more than paid for itself.
“The food element has taken time, as the devil’s in the detail. The more accurate the data you input from the outset, the better the picture you paint of your business.”
For Alex and his project team, they put in the groundwork by covering all aspects of the food business from yield to recipes. “I’m not going to lie, it was a painstaking task, but the effort has paid off,” added Alex.
Zonal provides a solution for each step of the eating and drinking journey, find out how we can help your business by contacting us here.