The White Hart - Hospitality Case Study
The White Hart selects Octepos for profit boosting stock system
Situated in the heart of old Headington, The White Hart pub has roots going back to the 17th century. At this time, Headington was the favourite destination for Oxford academics wishing to take a walk in the countryside. En route to the village, they had to pass close to the alehouse and rarely missed an opportunity to stop for refreshing ale. Today, The White Hart is a traditional, multi-roomed pub with a large walled beer garden out the back. Landlord Dan Smaje took ownership of the pub in October 2008, and it is again famous for its excellent selection of beers and wonderfully friendly staff.
Five months later, Dan noticed that his business was not running as tightly as expected and recognised two main areas for improvement. The first one was a lack of control on the stock movements, leading to recurrent overstock or stockout problems. “Stock takes were always ‘problematic’ and certain stock would be very up, whilst other stock was very down,” noted Dan.
The second area for improvement was an outdated and faulty till; difficult to operate it was a major cause of stress and wasted time. “The till we had was archaic, it was an old system and every button needed to double up as something else. This meant it was a slow, time consuming process for staff to use it, and even harder for our part timers who would often struggle to remember where things were”, remembers Dan.
Dan looked for a solution which would provide him much closer control over his business and resolve his two main issues; a swift, easy to use till, and an easy way to keep on the top of the pub’s stock movements. Dan chose the Octepos hospitality Epos solution. “When I met Octepos and they showed me the features of their system I was very impressed. Price-wise, it was in the same range as a standard touch screen till, but its additional functionality over other EPOS systems we looked at meant it exceeded my requirements, and I could see the additional features would be a big bonus to my business”.
The Octepos team customised an EPOS system unique to the needs of The White Hart. This included a Toshiba ST-A10 touch screen till, a thermal receipt printer, and a bar code scanner to aid stock management. Concerning the software package, Accounts, Loyalty, Bookings and Table Planner modules were implemented. Dan also decided to take advantage of the ETopUp solution, which is available from Octepos at no cost. He explains, “I was keen to maximise the bottom line of the business. The benefits from incremental revenue streams such as the mobile top-up market seemed too good an opportunity to pass up”.
Octepos’ ETopUp solution allows sale of “pay as you go” mobile phone credit from the touchscreen till. A free EPOS software module, mobile network operators then pay commission on sales to the business owner.
After six months, Dan felt The White Hart pub was running more effectively and closer to its potential. The Octepos touch EPOS system had helped it grow, with profit going up by 1.5% overnight. The system allowed the management team to control every stock variation and alter prices nearly simultaneously. This stronger control led them to reduce costs over the whole business, but their biggest saving has been on staff wages. By using the daily bar charts to show takings per hour, they have been able to reshuffle staffing around the trends to optimise working patterns without undermining service.
“It is a system I would definitely recommend to others; its ease of use, especially going into the back office to put on new products which I find it pretty easy, especially with little computer knowledge. If I do have any problems, I give the support engineer a call and they just talk me though it, and if they can’t talk me through it they just do it themselves using remote access though my broadband – so it’s all pretty simple!” concludes a delighted Dan.