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"We were looking for a vendor able to provide a scalable cloud hosted EPOS system as well as the infrastructure to carry out configuration, implementation and ongoing help desk and maintenance.  MCR has the skills and resources we need." Richard Bull, IT Director, BaxterStorey

The Client

Leading independent food service provider for business and industry, BaxterStorey, has clients in the UK and Europe across Financial Services, Legal, Manufacturing and Sports & Leisure.  Its diverse offer ranges from delicatessen to traditional staff restaurants, fine dining and hospitality.

 BaxterStorey solutions are custom-made, matching individual client needs, budgets and facilities, from a cafe-bar in small, single-site business through to multi-site enterprises with multiple food service outlets. Moving away from a 'contract catering' style towards more of a high-street retail offer, BaxterStorey adds value through the development of innovative services and promotional programmes that increase usage.

The Challenge

Across the many businesses to which it provides catering solutions, BaxterStorey had some EPOS challenges and decided to carry out a full review of its strategy.  Clients had a 'mixed bag' of cash registers and old EPOS terminals and the software landscape was similarly disjointed.  Without a joined-up software strategy, BaxterStorey found it difficult to report on consolidated performance or to efficiently manage data across the business.

BaxterStorey was keen to add value to client operations by introducing customer-facing solutions and supporting the multiple ways in which food ordering and payment now take place (contactless cards, cashless cards, click and collect via QR codes on mobiles, mobile wallets and mobile loyalty programmes). 

The decision was made to upgrade old tills or outdated EPOS with new hardware running a state-of-the-art hospitality management solution that would deliver all these new functions to BaxterStorey clients and their staff or customers.  With an anticipated requirement of 650 - 900 terminals over a 3-year period, BaxterStorey looked for a vendor able to provide a scalable EPOS system as well as project-manage any development.  It also required system configuration and implementation backed up by ongoing support via a Help Desk and field engineers. 

The Process

The selected system had to be future-proofed and able to integrate with emerging technologies including mobile payment solutions.  Specific requirements included a hosted back office function enabling the configuration, management and supervision of data across a wide area network of EPOS terminals, real-time sales reporting and the ability to process Chip & PIN and Contactless transactions. The chosen software solution also needed to support integrated Cashless payments, Loyalty & Promotions and on-line ordering.

BaxterStorey narrowed down its selection to two vendors and invited each to run a concurrent pilot. The site chosen for MCR was a large financial institutions' head office. The MCR solution ran on six tills in the restaurant and three in the staff shop; all equipped with barcode scanners and integrated contactless Chip & PIN. The pilot lasted for six weeks and generated positive feedback from staff who quickly took to the new system, and from customers who enjoyed the flexibility and speed of paying by cards including contactless. Takings at the site increased following the installation. MCR was then asked to install at the second pilot site, a London City law firm. Results were similarly pleasing and MCR was awarded the BaxterStorey contract. 

The Benefits

  • Sales have increased at all sites following installation of the new solution;
  • Hardware reliability has been good and till security has increased;
  • Site managers, Operations Managers and Head Office users now all have real-time reporting access;
  • The central administrator controls all new products added to the system, making sure there is no duplication.  Site managers have the flexibility to set their own  product pricing and design their own till screens;
  • Flexible screen formats plus barcode scanning make the POS system fast and easy to use;
  • Integrated Chip & PIN speeds up service and gives customers more card payment options including contactless and ApplePay;
  • BaxterStorey's central administrator now monitors and reports on open priced items being entered into the tills.  As a result, their use has reduced dramatically.

The Solution

Rollout of the MCR solution - spanning the back-office and front-office, encompassing the Symphony Enterprise and SymPOS programs - is now well advanced and implemented in 50+ locations.

Functionality includes:

  • Data Management across the EPOS estate
  • Real-time Reporting across the business
  • Robust, flexible, fast and easy to use J2 225 Touchscreen POS terminals
  • Integrated Chip & PIN & Contactless Payments
  • Loyalty and Promotions
  • Cashless Payment
  • Mobile Wallet Options
  • Click & Collect (on-line ordering)

Staff find the new POS solution easy to use.  Screen layouts are flexible and, when combined with bar-code scanning, make for fast transaction processing. The new integrated payment options give customers more choice, are more convenient and are proving popular.

While every site offers similar core products (sandwiches, main meals, desserts and beverages), product details and pricing vary by location and by day. Products and prices can now be managed by a central administrator, leaving some flexibility for local pricing; this flexibility was a key factor in BaxterStorey's selection of MCR.  

MCR Symphony Enterprise is designed for multi-site and multi-brand organisations that require complete control over all aspects of the maintenance and management of their EPOS systems estate. All data, products, screens and prices are managed through Symphony Enterprise.

At BaxterStorey, each site manager now has access to real-time, up-to-the-minute information. Operations managers can access the reports they require business-wide and head office users can generate intelligence on all sites. The business is now benefiting from 'joined-up' information and product duplication has been eliminated in a way that was not achievable before.

Integrated Loyalty functionality with SymPAY has now gone live at a first site. Cashless payment processing and pre-ordering are being rolled out at two sites, again managed by SymPAY.

When it came to recommending hardware, MCR turned to its long-term partner AURES Technologies. MCR's preferred terminal of choice is the J2 225, now branded 'Nino'. Based on many years' experience, MCR finds this machine reliable and robust. It likes the flexibility that comes from solid state drives (SSDs) and views the J2 225 as a neat, compact and sensibly-priced machine.

MCR has carried out further developments for BaxterStorey clients to include WorldPay integration, based around Ingenico devices connected to the EPOS terminals not to mention Click and Collect processing using smartphone QR codes. 

As more BaxterStorey clients plan to go live with the new solution, functions such as customer Loyalty are particularly appealing. Many clients plan to introduce targeted promotions and monitor their customer spending habits in order to increase spend and visit frequency.