The hotel industry is a highly competitive field, with businesses needing to provide guests with an excellent experience at every opportunity. Without the right tools, it can be difficult to keep track of stock, monitor prices and keep tabs on purchases in real time. An EPOS system can make all the difference when it comes to ensuring everything is running smoothly behind the scenes. Read on to learn more about what an EPOS system is and why you need one as a hotel owner or manager.
What is an EPOS system?
EPOS stands for ‘electronic point of sale’, and it is the software that most businesses use for running their point of sale (POS) systems. EPOS systems are used to track sales and expenses, as well as managing stock levels, employee hours and even customer loyalty programmes. When it comes to hotels, an EPOS system can be used to track sales, inventory and room bookings, as well as enabling guests to use room service, pay for their stay or buy dinner in your hotel restaurant. Once guests have completed their stay, an EPOS system can be used to produce reports on best selling items, profit margins and total guest spend. This information can be incredibly useful to hotel owners, managers and staff members who want to know how their business is performing.
How does an EPOS system benefit hotel businesses?
Hotels are often under a lot of pressure to keep up with demand, especially during busy times like holidays, weddings and conferences. An EPOS system can help you track sales, manage inventory and keep track of room reservations, all at the touch of a button. This can be incredibly beneficial for hotel managers who want a better overview of their business.
If you’re considering an EPOS system, it’s likely your hotel has separate revenue centres under its roof. Sales don’t just happen in one place, and guests will be making use of your hotel bar, restaurant, spa and room service. All of these types of transactions will have been processed in different places, but with a hotel EPOS system, you can link them into one system. You can even go a step further and integrate your EPOS with your PMS system, so purchases can be charged straight to the guest’s room.
All these purchases are also recorded digitally in your EPOS back office, and data can be viewed from anywhere with an internet connection. You’ll be able to use this data to report on sales and inventory, as well as contribute to business planning and marketing. You’ll also be able to make remote changes when necessary, such as adjusting prices during slow seasons or adjusting food item prices based on the cost of ingredients.
Additionally, an EPOS system can help you monitor customer loyalty programmes, including tracking points and rewards in real time. This can be incredibly helpful for hotels, as it creates a sense of community among guests and encourages them to return again in the future.
Features of a hotel EPOS system
EPOS systems can do more than just process transactions. They can integrate seamlessly with your existing hotel technology to keep your property running smoothly, as well as offering a host of other useful features. Here’s what you should be looking out for:
Accept all payment options
With the pandemic, contactless payment services and mobile wallets have seen a sharp upswing. Your guests will expect to be able to pay through their chosen method, so make sure you have an up to date card reader that allows Apple Pay and Google Pay as well as contactless payments. Your property will never miss a sale, and your customers can check out with their preferred payment method.
Improve your guest loyalty
Your EPOS system should enable you to gather and organize guest information effectively. The database will store information about what a guest purchased and when, which you may use for marketing purposes. Combine your hotel’s EPOS with your hotel CRM, email marketing, and other platforms to get a complete picture of a guest’s preferences.
The system should also let you programme your EPOS with custom product promotions, offers and upselling opportunities.
Instead of spending time ordering inventory, keeping an eye on supplies, and monitoring sales, your hotel EPOS system should make this easy for you. You can set up custom recipes for each of your hotels dishes or drinks, and set up alerts when it’s time to put in reorders.
Analyze and track your sales
EPOS systems can tell you how well your hotel is doing financially in real-time. Many are equipped with daily reports to assess your sales, customer behaviour, and even employee productivity. Compare your sales with the month, quarter, or same-time last year.
Tips for choosing an EPOS system for your hotel
It’s important to be aware of your options so you can choose the best system for your business. Here are a few things to consider when choosing an EPOS system for your hotel:
- Is it easy to use? The system needs to be easy enough to use so your staff members can pick it up quickly. Check if your provider offers training, and if so, how many hours.
- Do you have the right infrastructure in place?
- What are the costs involved? Some providers may have hidden costs or lock you into long term contracts that don’t work for your business. Before you sign any contracts, check for the terms and any additional fees you’ll have to pay.
- Is there customer support in place? The hotel business is 24/7, so it’s important your EPOS partner provides round the clock support and doesn’t shut down at 5pm. If you have technical difficulties, you want to be able to talk to someone over email or phone.
- Will it integrate with your other business systems?
- Is it scalable? The pandemic struck many hospitality businesses, and the adaptability of their EPOS system became a critical component to survival. Search for a partner that offers online ordering, delivery, and other complementary services that you may want to implement as your hotel business grows.
- Is there customer testimonial evidence? It’s always a good idea to check Trustpilot or Google for reviews from previous customers, as these will give you an idea of the quality of the system as well as the customer service levels.
Is investing in an EPOS system worth it?
An EPOS system can be a significant investment, but it is also a valuable tool for any hotel owner or manager. This system can help you track sales, manage inventory and keep track of room reservations and customer loyalty programmes in real time. This has the potential to save you time and energy, as you will have up-to-date information at your fingertips. It can also help you identify problem areas and take steps to improve the service you offer to guests. While an EPOS system can come at a cost, it is definitely worth it if you are in the hospitality industry.
Interested in getting a hotel EPOS system?
Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org for your free demo on what Gardiff EPOS could do for you and your business.