Strong demand for what your business delivers is a good problem to have. However in the hospitality space, popularity can be a double-edged sword, especially if front and back-of-house processes aren’t up to scratch.

Nowhere is this more evident to patrons then when it comes to order or pay for their meal. Initially attracted by famed dishes, exotic drinks or exciting locations, guests often find themselves at the wrong end of the line when trying to order a drink or pay the bill.

On a typical Saturday night it can take punters longer to queue and pay at the bar than it actually takes them to enjoy their drink.

Fast service keeps punters coming back

Serving classic, premium food and signature cocktails in popular venues at Bondi Beach and Surfer’s Paradise, Hurricane’s Grill certainly attracts a large crowd. So General Manager Dean Greenwood knew that he needed a fast and efficient service to keep the guests happy and the waiting time to a minimum.

“As a manager, my primary objective for the front-of-house team is to be able to equip them with the right tools they need to make the Hurricanes experience seamless for guests — from ordering right through to paying,” he said.

And in order to make this seamless experience a reality, the magic word is integration. It’s a technology that is becoming standard issue for hospitality venues, and it’s not hard to see why.

Accurate payments every time

At Hurricane’s Grill, the integrated payment system they’ve installed ensures the exact amount to be paid by a table is automatically transferred from the Waiterpad point-of-sale to the Tyro mobile payment terminal. With the push of a button, the exact billing amount appears on the screen making keying mistakes a thing of the past.

All that remains is for wait staff to take the terminal to the table for the guest to complete the payment. From tapping the card, it only takes three seconds to complete the transaction.

“It’s the final element of the night’s service, so being able to bring the EFTPOS terminal to the table, just like we bought the customer’s meal, is important in ensuring our guests feel looked after,” he said.

Reliable even in rush hour

While a fast payment solution is definitely a must-have for busy places, another challenge is maintaining that speed on mobile 3G terminals during peak times.

While venues in popular areas like Hurricanes enjoy the local buzz, the presence of thousands of smartphone users during the hectic holiday season and Christmas mean that network outages or slow speeds can be a frequent problem. At Bondi Beach, it’s not unheard of for the local 3G network to struggle to cope with demand even on regular weekends.

“For us, a dead or unresponsive EFTPOS terminal can be really inconvenient at busy times. Before we had Tyro, it wasn’t uncommon for staff to spend five to 10 minutes trying to get a transaction to go through, or waste time running around looking for a working terminal,” he said.

So making the switch to Tyro came with a critical benefit – terminals that ran off the venue’s own network, rather than 3G. On top of that, Tyro’s payment solution came with in-built redundancy a 3G back-up SIM card that could be activated at any time.

Staff-friendly tipping

Despite the obvious advantages, electronic payments haven’t always been a favourite with wait staff, as the tipping issue was often handled clumsily. The blunt and confronting way old EFTPOS terminals requested a customer tip, did not always provide the desired results.

More often than not, customers would accidently enter their PIN number instead of the tipping amount. Staff were left with more work, having to reverse the transaction and start again, and, more importantly, fewer tips.

After intensive consultations with restaurant owners, staff and frequent diners, Tyro developed a solution that is better tailored to wait staff and diners. Simple enhancements like clearer on-screen instructions and a step that confirms if a tip is to be added before the customer inserts their card have greatly improved the process for staff and diners.

“Since introducing Tyro, staff tips via EFTPOS have increased. It’s a win for our staff who have had to deal with a lot of changes since the PIN mandate was introduced last year,” he said.

The complete hospitality solution

Efficiency is the name of the game for first-class restaurants like Hurricanes. By partnering with TriniTEQ (manufacturers of the Waiterpad point of sale) and Tyro, they’ve been able to realise real efficiency gains. At the end of the day, the food and service is the hero of any great restaurant like Hurricanes, so it’s important the backstage tools and processes allow them to both shine.