Why you should consider an EPOS system

Why you should consider an EPOS system

15:07 1 Comment

Electronic Point of Sale (EPoS) is the hardware and accompanying software that allows you to process orders and payments and provides real-time reporting and stock management information. It can be used to process room payments in hotels and also food and beverages or even things like Spa treatments, helping you to keep track of stocks and control and track payments from different revenue centres.

If you run any loyalty schemes or a CRM (Customer Relationship Marketing) programmes and discounts and promotions, it offers you an organised solution to help you manage sales from various areas, from one point of sale.

In this way you can help to avoid double charging, providing greater accuracy for your customers when they settle their bill.

In order to streamline all aspects of your business, be that a hotel, restaurant or pub, you must have a reliable way of accepting and processing payments that will make it easy for your staff and your customers.

Bars and pubs in particular are having to find safer ways to serve customers, like providing table service, taking contactless payments, and using order and pay platforms. The result is that bars are having to run tighter shifts, and technology is being relied upon to run things more efficiently.

Restaurateurs find that using an EPOS linked handheld ordering device offers them a simple way of connecting to their tills. This can be hugely time-saving compared to the traditional pen and paper method of taking orders and can also help to keep track of orders and stock.

Benefits of using POS Systems in the Hospitality sector

With so much to juggle in running a hotel, investing in an EPOS system will offer many key benefits.

  • Integrate your ‘at table’, delivery and takeaway services

  • Track favourite orders to offer a personalised service to every customer

  • Use customisable floor plans to maximise the number of covers and track orders when customers switch tables

  • Digitally send orders directly to the kitchen, eliminating confusion and paper tickets

  • Integrate your sales data with your accounting software to easily keep track of everything

  • Access powerful sales reports on multiple devices so you can see what is and isn’t selling, and plan promotional campaigns accordingly

  • Use staff management tools to track employee activity and record hours worked

Think about also investing in an order and pay app. An order and pay app will enable you to set up click and collect, order at table, and delivery services. 

It's essential to compare the market and ensure you choose a system that works out as the best possible value for the needs of your business.

Key considerations when choosing and EPOS system include:

  • Fast order entry

  • Back-end functionality

  • Ease of use- how intuitive is it?

  • Till features (is there a training mode? Can you split bills? etc.)

  • Business management features (does the platform help with staff management? i.e rotas Does it help with sales forecasting, how does it integrate with delivery apps, and can it be used offline? )

  • Stock management features (how well does the brand monitor stock and inform purchase ordering? How easy it is to create product variants, barcodes and printing options?)

  • Business development (how well does each platform's feature list support scaleup?)

  • Usability (how easily can you set up and master each platform? Does it produce digital receipts, and does it have a one-touch till with instant product search and customer lookups?)

  • Pricing (what are the upfront costs and hidden fees? Can you get a free demo?)

  • Help and support (what support options are available if an issue arises? via phone, live chat or email? )

  • Customer score (how popular is each system with its existing user base?)

Cash registers for speed, efficiency and security

Did you know that the word “till” comes from the Anglo-Norman word “tylle” meaning “compartment” or Middle English “tillen” meaning “draw”. Originally a till was a drawer under the counter which stored cash.

It is important to use a cash register appropriate to your individual operation, allowing you to run efficiently and an EPOS system can help you to improve the service that you offer to your customers and guests. Features such as staff identification will also improve security and reduce the chance of theft occurring.

Keeping your numbers in line

These systems will also ultimately help you when it come to managing your tax returns and in talking to your accountant. The data will be easier to access, streamlining your financials.

Talking of streamlining the financials…if you want further advice and help from an accountancy firm that knows your business, then talk to us here at Carroll Accountants.

Don’t get hacked off by Cyber-crime!

Don’t get hacked off by Cyber-crime!

13:30 2 Comments

Don’t assume that just because you are a small to medium sized business, that you won’t be targeted by cyber criminals. The hotel, restaurant and hospitality and leisure sectors are possibly more vulnerable because of having small IT teams and a lack of knowledge around protection and best-practice.

Cyber criminals look for the easiest and fastest way to be successful. By attacking at the weakest link, or accessing via your supply chain, cyber criminals use small businesses as an entry point to move higher up the business ‘food-chain’.

More than half (54%) of SMEs in the UK had experienced some form of cyber-attack in 2022. Around 65,000 attempts to hack small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) occur in the UK every day, around 4,500 of which are successful.

Hospitality is targeted for two reasons

It has been found that those in the food and hospitality industry are 19% more likely than the average business to offer online payment options, and 11% more likely to use network connected devices. This combination means there are more possible entry points to better quality data sets.


It’s understood that 31% of all retail and hospitality businesses have experienced some form of security or data breach. And the majority – 89% – have experienced more than one attack per year. This suggests that those with vulnerable networks or processes are likely to be targeted again.


Many leisure sector businesses outsource services such as Payroll, employees benefit packages or ICT or network support. If the level of access a vendor or contractor has to your data or network, is not controlled properly breaches can happen, and do, frequently. You could become a victim of extortion, phishing attacks, social engineering or your website could get hacked.

 Humans are the weakest link

From a data security perspective, employees are one of the biggest risks to business. Research has shown that more that 90% of security breaches involve some degree of human error. They can pose a risk by:-

  • Clicking on bad links in emails

  • Visiting websites containing malicious software

  • Forgetting to close the access point created for a vendor or contractor

  • Using personal devices

So ensure account access is controlled and audited to identify potential issues. Use encryptions for all sensitive or confidential data. It is vital to have the right technologies in place to support them, such as firewalls.

Having up-to-date data backups and a disaster recovery plan will help recover and restore your business information.

  • Employees must be trained about cyber security risks. Information Technology team members should be encouraged to get cyber security certificates.

  • Hospitality organisations should invest in reliable hosting and CDNs.

  • End-to-end encryptions should be used on the PoS system. 

Security is everyone’s responsibility so here are 10 security tips to help you stay vigilant.

  1. Phising Emails- Don’t open emails from unknown sources. Think before you click on links or open attachments.

  2. Log off- when you’re away from your device and use a security screen to protect confidential information from prying eyes.

  3. Strong Passwords;- make them complex using at least 7 uppercase and lower case letters, symbols and numbers. Never write them down or share them. Don’t reuse passwords from other sites.

  4. Protect your stuff- keep your equipment locked up or take it with you. Report any loss immediately.

  5. Shred it- Don’t write passwords down and shred confidential waste

  6. Sharing & Storing- only use approved applications. Hackers use clouds to gain access to information.

  7. Back up – save your data and critical files regularly

  8. Secure Connection- when accessing work networks, use a secure WiFi not open to the public. The use of VPNs should be encouraged in hotels and hospitality organisations. 

  9. Updates- Keep your devices, browsers and apps up to date with the latest software and anti-virus protection

  • Report it- If it looks suspicious report it

Reporting breaches

If you suffer from a breach that poses a risk to people’s rights and freedoms, such as damage to reputation or financial loss, then you do need to report it to the Information Commission Office (IOC) within 72 hours of discovering the incident. The ICO has produced a guide which may be found on its website (link) https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/personal-data-breaches/

The Government’s Cyber Essentials scheme is a responsible way of demonstrating that you take the protection of any customer or supplier data seriously. Their details can be found at www.cyberessentials.ncsc.gov.uk

Get insurance cover

You can also get special cyber insurance to cover recovery costs in the event of an attack.