OPINION: Foodservice sector must get smart with new innovations

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The ongoing development and rapid consumer adoption of smart technology continues to shape the way we live our everyday lives. It’s also transcending the foodservice market place, writes Chris Lyons of Systopia.

As you’d expect to hear from the founder of a technology company, I couldn’t do without my gadgets at home, but I’m also a keen advocate of innovation in the workplace as a way of promoting efficiency and working “smarter” – and for those organisations operating in the foodservices sector, I believe the recent developments in EPOS platforms are key.

Over the past 12 months, I have seen a growth in the move towards connected workspaces and the ability to provide secure services that support the customer journey, and EPOS has formed an important part of that.

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We are now seeing a more flexible approach to virtual solutions for multi-location environments, whilst open APIs are allowing EPOS to integrate seamlessly with technology being deployed in intelligent buildings.

This allows foodservices companies, facilities managers and employers to work more closely than ever before in order to deliver an efficient seamless user experience.

We are now also seeing forward-thinking foodservices providers prioritising flexible services to best fit their clients’ environments – whether that covers fixed systems, mobile or self-service.

Naturally, more companies want to reap the benefits of a managed services solution, which includes admin, reporting and data analysis, aimed at driving operational efficiency, reducing costs and helping them to understand their customers’ preferences.

In addition, the functionality of the EPOS systems continues to grow, which now typically includes choice of any payment technology as a standard, whilst self-service is becoming more prominent as end users demand a high street experience that focuses on convenience, choice and speed.

Throughout 2018, we have also seen a significant rise in the number of foodservices providers enquiring about the benefits of cloud-based systems compared to more traditional systems.

Firstly, if you are operating a cloud-based system there is less equipment and servers required on-site, which is important when space is at a premium, especially in major cities like London.

Organisations will also benefit from a central administration, so they can reduce resources and manage multiple sites from a single location.

In addition, we are able to offer an end-to-end managed service including design, build and support that is both futureproof and flexible.

It enables customers to simply add sites and services as required and uses the Iatest software and hardware for longevity with a guaranteed replacement policy every five years.

Many of our clients have said this provides them with added peace of mind when making any investment in new technology.

In conclusion, I firmly believe that it is vital for the foodservices sector to embrace the rise of the connected workspace and to be able to offer the right solution for every part of the customer journey – and the increasing functionality within EPOS systems will enable this.

The ability to capture data at every touch point will provide the business insight to enhance the end-user’s experience, boost revenue and work smarter, which is very important during a period of economic uncertainty.

Chris Lyons is managing director of Systopia, a leading order and payments solutions provider with operations in the UK and across the world.

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