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How affordable tech can make running a café remarkably efficient

Posted by the Wi5 Team15th July 2019Opinion

Gabo Rojas – Tech Product Manager Wi5

Joining Wi5 from Flyt after the company’s £22m takeover by Just Eat, Gabo is an industry expert in online payments and POS (Point of Sale) systems.

How do you run an efficient and profitable café when your competitors number in the thousands? According to the BBC, the number of cafés in the UK has more than doubled in the last ten years. This means you have to differentiate your business and craft a memorable customer experience to survive.

It’s not all burnt milk and spilled beans. The good news is technology can help you optimise your customer service and operations in all sorts of ways. Here are our tips to eliminate the busy-work, so you can spend more time making a name for yourself and your brand.

HR software

HR automation is a fantastic place to start. Studies suggest that over half of enterprise businesses are now automating their payroll, time off and attendance processes, and that nearly one hundred percent of them were in favour of more automation in the future.

All-in-one software can free managers of repetitive HR tasks, leaving them with more time to focus on employee satisfaction. Loyal customers may rave about your chocolate cake on Twitter, but your staff are also important ambassadors for your café chain. So, ensuring that your HR process is clear, intuitive and consistently managed is a must.

Financial management software

In the same way that HR can take up valuable work hours, financial management has the potential to eat away at a café manager’s workday. With 82 percent of small businesses failing thanks to cash-flow issues, it’s a necessary evil – but, it can be made more efficient.

Accounting software like Xero features dashboards that offer an instant overview of your business’s cash flow, while automating time-consuming jobs like invoicing. It’s a simple technological fix that means the difference between being in the red or the black.

Modern point-of-sale (POS) systems

A huge part of the customer experience equation takes place at the point of sale. With digital ordering growing by about 23 percent a year, it’s clear that many customers have embraced technology. 81 percent of restaurants have taken notice of this trend, so investigating your options is key when it comes to remaining competitive.

Increased order accuracy is an added benefit that comes with a digital POS system, making life easier for both customers and staff. With the ability to retain data on the preferences of individual visitors, it’s a fast-track to optimising customer experience.

Mobile Order & Pay

Or, why not integrate your POS system with a major upgrade? Get people ordering by mobile and see your sales soar. Based on this study, in-store transactions by mobile increase by 2.4 percent, and are nearly 25 percent more frequent, meaning mobile is perfect for encouraging ‘add-on’ spending.

Of course, you might have already looked into developing a business-specific mobile ordering app. But, it’s a costly process that often takes up more time than it’s worth. More up-to-date options do exist. Wi5’s Mobile Order & Pay solution allows customers to order and pay right from the browser as it is integrated into your Wi-Fi splash page. It eliminates the need for app downloads or lengthy periods of development and troubleshooting.

Barriers to sale? Removed. Revenue? Boosted.

Focusing on the experience

Technology can work behind the scenes and be at the forefront of the experience you’re offering. HR and financial tech gives your staff peace of mind and improves employee satisfaction, while a modern POS system or pay solution sets your café apart by offering a stress-free, personalised order and pay process for customers.

Running a successful café will always come with challenges. But, by using technology that keeps you ahead of the curve, you’ll save yourself valuable time. Time that can be spent on driving customer loyalty or building brand recognition, or… well, simply enjoying that well-deserved cuppa.

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