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Cellar Door Bar - Hospitality Case Study

Better stock control for The Cellar Door with the Octepos hospitality EPOS system

Cellar Door BarHidden beneath the Aldwych, with the intriguing address of Zero Aldwych, the CellarDoor is an intimate bar in a space just big enough for cats “both feline and human” to swing. At first sight, no one would imagine that the mysterious staircase leads to a secret bar under ground. In this secret hideaway, friendly staff, including an Angel, serve divine cocktails, spirits, wines and beers to those in the know. Every night, a programme of jazz, cabaret and burlesque enlivens the stage from 9 pm in a stylish decor and quirky atmosphere. In homage to its previous incarnation as the most infamous gents in Theatreland, the bar still boasts the sexiest toilets in London.

Launched by the Babylon Bars Group just over three years ago, the establishment came into being equipped with an EPOS terminal that quickly turned out to be underspecified. Jay Stapleton, the new manager of the venue, remembers the situation. “The old one was unquestionably not up to the task. Indeed, it wouldn’t take any stock requirement, some data updates were wrong and, above all that, it worked heart-breakingly slowly. To monitor the stock level, we had to print all receipts and make our own manual calculations. Furthermore, we had provided membership service and there was no way to automate it as we wanted.” It was high time they invested into a cutting edge EPOS system.

Jay, in charge of that assignment, explains, “I surfed on Google search and I found Octepos, an EPOS company based in London. We had a meeting with Octepos managers who took their work seriously. We were confident they could deliver an integrated solution bespoke to the bar. ”

By October 2009, the Octepos team had configured a hospitality EPOS system dedicated to the venue. “They helped us to enter a massive amount of data into the EPOS system. It was no easy task due to our huge cocktails menu and the projects timing; the run up to Christmas being busy for both businesses. However, once all the data were loaded in the system, everything went back to normal. On the installation day, the staff attended an indepth focused training session. The Octepos support assistance team then helped me get a handle on the EPOS system and showed me how I could use each application of the EPOS software. Though it wasn’t easy at the start, we all got used to managing it after a short while. It’s intuitive enough and you quickly learn from using it,” says Jay.

In terms of the EPOS hardware, it was love at first sight, and the CellarDoor team remain enchanted by the hardware. “The equipment is really beautiful. The sleek design and orange enclosing frame are unbelievably in keeping with the style, atmosphere and colours of the bar,” he attests.

As far as the Touch EPOS Software is concerned, it systematically includes the Stock Management, Customer Account, Booking and Table Planner modules. The first one turned out to be a considerable advantage for the business, as Jay explains. “Our previous EPOS system didn’t enable us to control the ins and outs of our business. To date, back office reports show clearly what we have in stock. Consequently, we can easily update supply.”

Not on the scene every night, the manager also took advantage of the Octepos Touch Management Control (TMC). It allows him to analyse precise data on hourly sales, discounts, cancellations, voids, account payments and many more stats from the night before. “In my opinion, a second major benefit is the TMC. It gives me access to very accurate information about sales activities, such as when and by whom sales are being generated at any time. I can easily choose the reporting options and even though I trust the staff, the reports give me full transparency in any case of issue.”

The booking module enables businesses to manage allocation of date and time slots to their customers. Eager to profit from this application, Jay outlines the use it will be put to, “An agenda of coming events is published online, with people able to book tickets for any non-free entry evenings. In this regard, we seriously intend to link it to the booking module integrated inside the EPOS system.”

From the beginning, the CellarDoor team wanted to know their customers’ preferences, helping them treat members as distinguished guests. In this respect, they use the Customer Account module, as well as the Loyalty and Text Messaging extra services. “The system profiles every customer. We know exactly what they order, their habits of consumption and their frequency. It is now much easier for the team, we can target our loyal customers with specific promotions. For example, a customer who usually orders champagne will receive a special offer. We would also suggest that they consider membership. With their loyalty card, they can benefit from an abundance of delights such as receiving a free bottle of bubbles on their birthday, personal discounts and much more. We also communicate with them by email or text messaging in an easy way,” Jay continues.

The CellarDoor used to manage a wide range of payment channels, many of which were not simple to automate. Nevertheless, Jay explains they found a solution with the EPOS system, “First it was difficult to centralise several ways of payment. Customers can either pay both by cash and card in the bar or pre-book tickets online, via eTickets or Lastminute.com. However, the EPOS company, Octepos, helped us to import that specificity into the system. Now we get all payments in one big lump and we manually divide them in three sections.”

As with all Octepos hospitality EPOS systems, Octepos has an undertaking to give technical support in any case of issues arising. In this respect, Jay has happy memories, “Generally the system has been working smoothly. Until now, we have only encountered a very few problems. I remember one emergency on a Friday night. The bar was very busy, with sixty people enjoying live music and waiting for more cocktails. Suddenly something seemed to go wrong with the till. It would have been a nightmare to manage orders and payments manually all the night. When I called the Octepos support line, I had one of them ring me back almost instantly to assist me. Problem solved.”

In conclusion, Jay gave his general opinion on Octepos and the EPOS system, “They were brilliant and provided me with an EPOS system consistent with my business. I am very pleased with both the style and integrated functionality of it.” Visit Octepos Hospitality Epos Systems to find out more about how Octepos can help your business stay ahead of the competition.

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