Counter intelligence

24 November, 2006
New point-of-sale technology is helping the Soho Sandwich Company keep track of account customers' bills, while also providing useful data on how the company is performing
Page 25 
Unlike traditional sandwich shops in high street environments, the philosophy of the Soho Sandwich Company is to meet the needs of companies. It has sites in Highgate Studios, a coffee shop in Hendon Library and the most recent acquisition, the Loughton sandwich café shop, on the ground floor of a multi-storey office block.
The firm supplies fresh New York deli-style gourmet sandwiches, salads, sushi and fresh fruit for wholesale, retail, corporate and private functions.With numerous corporate clients, the option to offer customers an account facility is an important part of the business. When the company started with its Highgate Studios site, it found it difficult to keep accurate records of customer accounts through its existing point-of-sale (POS) system. When the Loughton and Hendon sites were acquired the company consulted Aufait Systems, which recommended Datasym.POS software installed on Toshiba ST-70 touch-screen terminals."We were impressed by the flexibility and ease of use of the software," says Soho Sandwich's manager Adam Gilbert. "The compact, fanless and spill-proof terminals were ideal because we serve hot and cold food and drinks. They also fit well into our counter space."keeping trackWith the system in place, the firm is now able to track individual customer account balances easily and accurately. Gilbert explains: "It enables customer accounts to be pre-set on the system. All items are processed through the POS terminals. We use the system to send each customer a monthly report of all purchases, taken directly from the till, and can also provide customers with a summary of their account. "When a customer comes in to settle their account we print out two receipts from the terminals, which the customer signs. The customer keeps one and we keep the other. With account customers making up 50% of our business, this is an important facility."As well as managing customer accounts, the system provides multi-site sales information, which enables the company to look at sales and margins data and to see exactly what has been sold across different product lines. "The system is very easy to use, simple to add new items and I can change prices in a matter of minutes," says Gilbert.There is a facility in the new system to implement specific offers, promotions and meal deals and the facility to see which specials and promotions have been successful.



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