The Thali Café
Since its inception over 11 years ago The Thali Café has developed a unique ethical approach to serving fresh, sustainable meals at affordable prices. They never air freight anything, and they make sure their suppliers deliver their produce in the most efficient way possible. In recognition of these initiatives they have been awarded the Silver Food for Life Catering Mark by the Soil Association, an independent guarantee that what you find on their menu is fresh, free from controversial e-numbers and better for animal welfare.
Challenge – when margins are tight understanding Gross Profit (GP) is paramount
Jim Pizer owner of The Thali Café, explains the problem, "We believe that everyone regardless of their income should have access to good quality, wholesome food that has been sourced responsibly. However to support this ideal, we need to completely understand our business model, and central to this understanding is our margins."
Unfortunately The Thali Café's existing system lacked the functionality required to provide this information and, according to Jim, estimating gross margins was largely guesswork.
"We needed to replace our incumbent system with one that would drill down to the costs of each dish and match that against our selling price and sales volume. From this we would know the gross margin of everything that we sold and could adjust our pricing, buying processes and marketing activities accordingly."
Solution – An EPoS system that offered more than just a till, but a complete restaurant business management tool
The Thali Café has ambitious plans to increase the number of its outlets and therefore needed an EPoS system that would not only satisfy the demands of the business today, but also have the potential to grow with the company in the future. To achieve this objective the owners put together a rigorous list of requirements that they demanded from such a solution. In addition to the features described above they also wanted options for stock control, loyalty card programmes, take-away ordering and sophisticated business reporting.
Jim comments, "After researching the market and following up on recommendations from other restaurant owners, we finally decided that a system from UK manufacturer pointOne ticked all our boxes."
We now have a clear understanding of our GP, essential for managing a restaurant business, we can query each cost, question whether the margin is where we want it to be, and encourage staff to upsell on higher margin items.
Results – Understanding GP has led to a 4% improvement on profits, and a 7% cost saving
James Barrett, Financial Director at The Thali Café comments on the results so far, "Since installing pointOne it has had a revolutionary impact on our business; we now have clarity on all our critical business numbers. It has given us greater overall control, tightened up our staff costs and has enabled us to fully understand where we make money. For example, staffing is a key number to get under control as it is by far the largest cost of our business, so we can now look at this number every day and fine tune employee scheduling, staff KPIs and salaries as required."
Jim Pizer summarises The Thali Café's experience of using pointOne, "The system has been good value for money, and as it is in continuous development, new features are being added to support our business as we grow. We intend to look at the Loyalty module for a student scheme and investigate how their new 'promote' package will help us retain our existing customers and build new business in the future."
Less wastage, more control, increased profits
The restaurant now has a tighter control on stock and is able to accurately record alcohol and drinks purchases and sales, raise purchase orders, react to supplier prices changes and pull down GP reports so they can see exactly what they make on each dish.
This combined with pointOne's Head Office, allows them to control the business from a single location enabling them to access live sales data, control cash, check staff clocking in/out and view business reports in real-time.
How pointOne helps clarify your margin
- Provides accurate real-time data on sales
- Determines itemised costs
- Allows visibility on staff scheduling & costs
- Clarifies stock and wastage
- Accesses business data from single location
- Enables upselling on higher margin products
- Improves profitability
Key business benefits of a pointOne EPoS solution:
- Easy to use modern tills
- An automated stock control system
- Easy to understand management information
- Ability to add an integrated database of all members/customers
- Options for delivering loyalty schemes such as discounts at the bar for members or corporate users
- Ability to manage and run open bar tabs when hosting guests
- Ability to 'customise' drink and food orders to customers specific requirements
- Able to audit the activities of each member of staff