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The integration game: the tech ecosystem behind many of the UK’s top restaurant groups

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In the fast-paced world of restaurants where competition is tough and the customer is king businesses can’t afford to leave anything to chance when it comes to their operations. Choosing a technology provider that offers a comprehensive package of intelligent, integrated solutions and that has a proven track record, therefore, isn’t just a sensible thing to do - it’s essential.

Step forward Tevalis. A leader in EPoS systems but also numerous other technology solutions, from hand-held ordering devices and kitchen management tools to self-service kiosks and digital menus, Tevalis provides the solutions that make today’s restaurants tick. Moreover, working in partnership with hospitality businesses and best-of-breed technology partners, the company has developed an innovative and intuitive ‘ecosystem’ that provides the flexibility, agility and scalability to meet the demands of virtually every hospitality operation.

The importance of integration

As customers become more demanding and their expectations rise, delivering service excellence has never been so important. Gone are the days when a restaurant’s contact with a customer began and ended in the dining room – from takeaway and delivery to sophisticated, targeted marketing, the number of potential consumer touchpoints has grown significantly in the past few years. Add to that the squeeze on margins and the necessity to ensure that F&B operations are managed as smoothly, efficiently and profitably as possible and it’s clear that getting the right tech provider on board is paramount.

Integration is the key. The ability to integrate the power of third-party applications – from delivery, accounting, and stock management to marketing, payments, and business analytics – into POS systems is an essential part of the restaurant technology piece and is why the Tevalis eco-system is so valuable. Not only does Tevalis integrate its On-Premise and cloud-based Enterprise solutions with best of the best systems from more than 100 partners it continues to be at the forefront of emerging innovations in technology and hospitality.

“We constantly scan the horizon for what is coming next: the next leapfrog or waterfall moment in hospitality tech to help our clients achieve even more,” says Tevalis CEO and founder James Cook.

Just as a restaurant’s kitchen needs close collaboration with its front of house teams to be the most effective, so too does a business need all of its operations to work in tandem, whether it be payment systems, reservation systems, accounting services, workforce management, property management systems (PMS), loyalty, delivery, mobile ordering, stock & sales exports, ticketing, and gift vouchers. Only then can it make the most of each individual tool, understand where efficiencies lie and identify potential problems.

Clover Felx full

A recent and highly successful integration for Tevalis is with Clover Flex, an increasingly-popular POS terminal and business management solution. The fully-featured Clover Flex/TevX hand-held order and payment solution makes it easier to connect with customers through all-in-one hand-held POS to take payments, track sales and conduct business in smarter ways.

The Tevalis hand-held ordering solution TevX, meanwhile, uses cross-platform technology, duplicating POS functionality for familiarity and easy navigation, combined with all the reliability and stability that’s needed from a hand-held device. Key advantages include easy device set up; higher levels of productivity; smoother payments; increased speed of service; and improved customer satisfaction - all things that help make a business stand out from the crowd.

Tevalis’ recent high-profile partnership with Boxpark is a shining example of how seamless integration can revolutionise a hospitality business. Prior to working with Tevalis, the food hall operator - which was founded as the world’s first shipping container-based pop-up dining and shopping destination in 2011 - used a number of different POS providers and therefore had no ability to integrate effectively. Tevalis has installed its POS system at Boxpark’s three large London sites - in Shoreditch, Croydon and Wembley - and is now working together with strategic partners to build a best in class technology experience for Boxpark’s many guests, including Dojo for payments and Mr Yum for mobile ordering.

Dojo Card Machine

Best in class tech

For another shining example of how Tevalis integrates seamlessly with other best-in-class tech solutions and the effectiveness of joined up thinking (and tech), look no further than Mollie’s Motel & Diner, winner of the Best Use of Technology award at The Cateys 2022.

Mollie’s, which has sites in Oxfordshire and Bristol and another due to open in Manchester next year, was recognised by industry peers for its revolutionary guest experience provided through its comprehensive hospitality technology ecosystem.

Tevalis provides the operationally focused EPoS integrated with a bespoke kitchen management system, drive-thru customer collection screens, grab & go online ordering, mobile handheld devices for staff to take orders and payments, and end-to-end stock management and reporting. It has also integrated with SevenRooms for restaurant reservations, Preoday for pay at table, and Deliverect for online orders, along with Mollie’s own mobile app, which enables online check-in, a digital room key, 24-hour online chat, control of the 50-inch smart TVs and pre-booking of EV charging bays.

Covid – a catalyst for change

There’s no denying that the Covid pandemic was a catalyst for change in hospitality, pushing the fast-forward button on several major strategic shifts, not least takeaway and delivery and order and pay at table. Having the right technology stack is central to both and those operators that invested in the technology are now reaping the rewards post-pandemic.

Delivery in particular was a lifeline for many operators during the pandemic with a number entering the world of off-premises dining for the first time. Highly competitive and fraught with logistical challenges, getting delivery right is challenging, especially when taking orders from multiple different delivery partners that can lead to errors and, ultimately, disgruntled customers.

Help is at hand for operators in the form of Deliverect, a key strategic partner for Tevalis in the online order for delivery space. Deliverect provides a centrally-managed system to streamline all delivery platforms, allowing operators to focus on one system for delivery orders instead of multiple channels. The system shows all the customer details for the order as well as what platform they have ordered through and even provides accurate reporting on each delivery platform’s performance and revenue for the client so that they can continually track the effectiveness of their decisions.

Order and pay at table was another boon for operators during the pandemic, allowing them to serve diners safely and efficiently. Many venues have opted to keep the technology in place, in most cases offering traditional restaurant service alongside pay at table for those that want it in order to speed up service for time-pushed customers and to help them operate with fewer front of house staff.

Tevalis integrates with a range of third-party ordering and payment apps including Mr Yum, me&u and QikServe. Mr Yum is Tevalis’ key strategic partner in the order and pay at table space. Web-driven to remove the potential barrier of customers having to download an app, Mr Yum allows guests to scan QR codes on the table and order and pay (there is also the option to order ahead remotely). The integration with Tevalis is fully featured, with menus synced automatically and orders posted through POS. 

Tevalis also offers its own solutions including the Tevalis digital eMenu platform, which gives guests full control over their ordering experience increasing accuracy, profitability and productivity among front of house teams.

Tech in a tough trading environment

While the restaurant industry has to some extent bounced back following the pandemic, the trading environment remains extremely tough with staffing shortages and rising energy and food costs creating unwanted pressures on the industry.

To stand any chance of success, operators need a helicopter view of their entire operation. Seamlessly integrating with Tevalis’ On-Premise POS layer, the Tevalis Enterprise Suite encompasses a collection of cloud-based apps including Stock Management, Centralised Management, Cash Management and Business Analytics.

Each module from the Enterprise Suite communicates every 15 minutes, giving operators transparency across all areas of the business even when off-site. The module offers more than 200 specific reports which can be filtered down for detailed analysis, plus operators can take advantage of automated reports and import historic sales data. The dashboard enables operators to access everything they need in one easy to view space – including data such as revenue generated, daily profit, revenue vs visits, best sellers by quantity or value, sales by session, sales by product type, and top performing sites. Also included is a live feed of what’s going through till points, allowing analysis of the performance of a business in real time.

Helping Kricket play the long game

A big fan of Tevalis’ Enterprise Suite – and particularly of the Centralised Management module – is Rik Campbell, co-founder of new wave Indian restaurant group Kricket. Centralised Management enables Kricket to have a centralised catalogue of all products for all sites, plus, with the ‘packages’ feature, managers can make estate-wide changes to menus/the PoS from any internet connected device.

“We certainly couldn’t have grown like we have if we didn’t have Tevalis’s Centralised Management solution... we can manage three sites from outside of the restaurant: we are adding new products and new recipes and it can all be done away from the restaurant, not directly on the till, so it saves a lot of time,” says Campbell.

Kricket – which operates three successful London restaurants as well as trendy Soho cocktail bar Soma - is also reaping the benefits of the Business Analytics module, which Campbell uses to run reports on every aspect of the business.

“As a business owner I spend a lot of time looking at the financials and Tevalis enables me to go into a lot of detail. With Business Analytics I can pull off hundreds of reports, from detailed sales breakdowns for each site to gross profit margins for each product, individual staff performance, peak times, historical data for budgeting and forecasts for the following year. The automated reporting tool is really great too: all our managers get reports key to their role about the previous day sent through to their mobile every morning so they can read it on the way to work.”

This series on Tevalis’ technology and how it works with some of the UK’s best-known restaurant brands continues next month. For more information on Tevalis and to read more detailed case studies head here.

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