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Back with a bang: how technology is helping the industry build back better

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Tevalis provides the tech that underpins some of the sector’s most progressive companies.

Kiosk New Flvmingo

The pandemic shook the hospitality sector to its core and has changed the way many operators run their businesses. While its effects were devastating, savvy operators have responded to marked shifts in consumer behaviour and the restaurant landscape by modifying their existing concepts and - in some cases - creating completely new ones.  

Take self-service for example. Only a handful of large brands had explored touchscreen kiosks and other self-service systems ahead of the pandemic but such technology is now a common feature of QSR and grab-and-go brands of all shapes of sizes, allowing operators to give customers an efficient ordering experience, saving on staff costs and increasing spend.

Kiosks can upsell better than humans, it turns out, with Tevalis’ self-service solutions programmed to offer sides and extras at optimum stages of the customer’s journey. Another benefit of the self-service model is that it frees up staff to focus on having meaningful interactions with customers.

With staffing tougher than ever, it’s perhaps no surprise that in 2020 the self-service kiosk market was valued at over £9 billion and is forecast to almost double in value to £17 billion by 2027.

Long-standing Tevalis client Vagabond is a pioneer of self-service technology, operating a string of modern wine bars that feature enomatic wine cabinets that customers can serve themselves from, paying for their drinks with pre-paid cards.

Vagabond Pos 2

Connecting the card system to Vagabond’s wider technology stack was tricky with its former EPOS supplier, but switching over to Tevalis has allowed the 11-site group to create a fully-integrated solution that’s far more streamlined. Key functionality includes an EPOS system capable of operating with Vagabond’s top-up cards and wine machines, handheld ordering throughout the venues, and in-depth stock management that can keep track of different measurements of over 100 different wines and food.

“Technology is part of our concept. We have worked with technology since day one because we depend on it for our wine machines,” says Vagabond. “After seeing loads of companies, we decided to go with Tevalis. We thought they were flexible in the right way.”

Entering a highly competitive market

Nascent prior to the pandemic but now a significant and rapidly growing part of the industry, the competitive socialising space has benefited from the post-Covid property market. The large sites that are necessary for some concepts are now more readily available and priced more realistically. The sector has also been given a boost by the trend of people drinking less and wanting experiences that aren’t driven by alcohol.

The list of activities that can now be enjoyed in an indoor leisure setting is a long one, including what could be termed traditional pursuits such as shuffleboard and darts alongside things most would have never considered doing as part of a night out, including axe throwing, cricket, and digital clay pigeon shooting. 

What sets these new entrants apart from the bingo halls and bowling alleys of yesteryear is that they tend to be tech-led and take their food and drink seriously, often teaming up with restaurant brands to deliver a superior experience.

Tevalis has helped some of the biggest names in the competitive socialising space grow their businesses, including adult-only immersive fairground concept Fairgame; adventure golf concept Puttshack UK; table tennis concept Bounce; darts concept Oche; and futuristic bingo concept Hijingo UK.

With a tailored Tevalis technology ecosystem now in place, the latter benefits from Tevalis’ robust POS, flexible TevX handheld ordering, Business Analytics, Stock Management, and Centralised Management. Its POS system is also integrated with Tevalis’ industry-leading partners Clover Flex, UseToggle, Atreemo, Acteol, Deliverect, and

Food hall monitoring

Reliant on big numbers, food halls were hit hard by the pandemic but have now bounced back, helped in no small part by the same favourable property market that has given the competitive socialising space a boost. Previously largely a London phenomenon, food halls are now opening across the UK. They’re not restricted to cities now either, with one having recently launched in the Surrey town of Epsom.

Food halls are driven by tech. Having the right system in place is perhaps even more critical than in a traditional restaurant setting because food is ordered from multiple vendors and food halls typically employ very few front-of-house staff, and in some cases, they even require their diners to collect their own food. With that in mind, a cutting-edge order and pay system is essential.

Unsurprisingly then, Tevalis works with several key players in the space including Timeout Market, Boxpark, Hello Oriental, Bonnie & Wild, and Manchester’s New Century, a forward-thinking venue that combines a live events venue, six independent food kitchens, a dance hall, and a central bar. Founded in 1963 but overhauled this year, New Century now benefits from a complete Tevalis Ecosystem. This includes its POS, intuitive TevX handheld ordering, Business Analytics, Stock Management, Centralised Management, and integrations with leading partners including Mr Yum for quick and easy mobile ordering; Dojo/Paymentsense for secure and fast payments; Xero for efficient accounting; and Fourth for effective workforce management.

Delivering the goods

The pandemic also forced many businesses to start branching out and bringing their brands directly into people’s homes, whether through traditional hot food delivery, meal kits, or merchandise. While some have quietly dropped these side hustles as the industry started to return to normal, others are sticking with them.

Consumer behaviour has changed. Many are keen to enjoy elements of the eating out experience at home, especially people that have limited access to restaurants, not least the many stuck at home with young children. Some of the best restaurants in the country are now offering their food nationwide in the form of meal kits and more casual venues are getting in on the act too, with Indian restaurant group Dishoom now offering a range of kits including its famed bacon naan.

Tevalis’ suite of tools that can help with delivery and other elements of off-premises sales include, but are not limited to, mobile order ahead, kitchen management, stock management, and customer management. But perhaps most importantly, Tevalis allows restaurants to work with all the key delivery platforms in a streamlined and intelligent way through integration with the connected food channel management platforms Deliverect and Line 10, which directly link with delivery giant Deliveroo.

An example of one of the many Tevalis clients that this integration is benefitting is Dirty Bones, an NYC-inspired brand offering creative comfort food and mind-blowing cocktails. Ricci Botterill, Head of Projects at Dirty Bones, explains the integration: “We were focussing on delivery and wanted to save time in getting products to the kitchen. The first thing we needed was an integration with our platforms for delivery: Tevalis introduced us to Deliverect.

“With Deliverect, we didn't need separate software integrations, which was great. It’s an aggregator which essentially talks with third-party delivery platforms. They take orders from those platforms and deliver them, collate them and send them off to travellers, which in turn pushes those products to our KMS screens. It's a seamless integration and delivery has gotten bigger from this for Dirty Bones.”

Repositioning your place in hospitality with Tevalis

Ongoing changes within the hospitality industry mean that the capability to make effective business decisions is more significant than ever. With the ever-changing market conditions in mind, Tevalis has created and built a brand-new tool to enable operators to see what’s really going on in their business: Insights.

Functions include forecasted sales, floorplan analysis, and a customisable dashboard, providing precise and detailed information based on accurate data and relevant metrics. As is the case with all Tevalis Enterprise modules, the Insights tool updates with a live-data feed.

With graphical analysis and live data, the Insights dashboard provides easy access to business performance information. The dashboard is completely customisable to a business’s needs, with options to create dashboards for individual users or multiple users, and global dashboards accessible by all. Fully configurable, this area displays relevant reports through charts and widgets with varying metrics for different figures.

The Insights tool also has a vital forecasting function that examines sales performance data alongside conditions such as weather, geo-locations, local and global events, and bank holidays. The model is accurate and swift, allowing operators to know which sites are likely to overperform or underperform on any given day.

Other key features include KPI analysis, sales mix analysis and floorplan analysis, which supply crucial data to proactively make decisions to boost your overall business efficiency.

For more information on Tevalis and to read more detailed case studies head here.

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