How the Right Technology Can Improve Your Café's Clientele Experiences

By Shan Balasuriya Posted Date: 2014-06-30

Business Technologies for Cafes

Access to the right technology can make running a café more rewarding for you as a proprietor and it can also serve to enhance your clientele's experiences, making them more likely to return and spread the word about your establishment.

EPOS systems - Enhance everyone's time

EPOS (Electronic Point of Sale) is an aspect of café proprietorship to look into when implementing technological solutions for your café's needs.

Admittedly, many small cafés have little need of EPOS systems, though if you're doing a healthy trade and you'd like to implement technological solutions that make life easier for yourself and enhance your clientele's experiences, it's something to look into further.

EPOS systems offer a wide range of benefits for café proprietors like yourself and their clientele, including:

  • More payment options for your customers
  • Enhanced security to aid your peace of mind

Data analytics to help you better understand your trade

Cloud Based EPOS Systems:

A custom made cloud based EPOS system or online point of sales system is another ideal way to implement EPOS into your business. A cloud based system has many advantages that can be beneficial to a small business such as a café. Some of these benefits are listed below:

  • Easy data access so you can manage your business on the move:
  • Capture important transactional and sales data that can be accessed and monitored in real-time as they happen.
  • You pay a monthly fee rather than a software licensing fee, and this usually includes upgraded software, backups and support.

With the right EPOS system for your small café it's amazing how much easier your café will be to run and it will likely also improve your clientele's experience in the process, resulting in enhanced customer loyalty and more word-of-mouth referrals. 

Solid Wi-Fi connection - As important as a good brew

As a café proprietor, chances are you often wish some of your customers would finish drinking their lattes and vacate the table so that someone else can sit down, but that is, as you surely know well, not the way café culture plays out and watching people spend an hour nursing the one cup of espresso as they watch videos on their laptop or chat on Facebook with their smartphones is par for the course of café proprietorship these days.

Starbucks - love them or hate them - teamed up with Google last year to improve their Wi-Fi connections at their 7,000+ US stores and whilst you're probably not in the position to team up with Google just yet, you need to take your café's Wi-Fi as seriously as you take your brewing skills - perhaps even more so.

Research shows that cafés with free Wi-Fi are increasing in numbers - 33,000 in 2010 to 54,000 in 2011 in the UK - and there are some excellent reasons why you should offer your clientele free Wi-Fi even though many people now have smartphone internet packages.

  • Increase customer satisfaction by providing better experiences
  • Keep them in your café longer to sell them more coffee
  • Increase your total number of customers with referrals and returns

A solid Wi-Fi connection is incredibly important and you'll likely find that the same connection and router you have at home aren't enough for your café establishment - you need something stronger.

Setting up a solid Wi-Fi connection in your café establishment is remarkably easy - contact your service provider to enquire about business packages - though there are a few things to consider.

  • You might need to purchase additional hardware
  • You need to keep your connection separate from public networks
  • You need to encrypt your connection with WPA2 security

Sure, there are going to be a few people who take forever to get through a cup of java, but for the most part you'll find that providing your clientele with a free, solid Wi-Fi connection offers many excellent benefits for your business.

 

Sound system - It's not just your choice of tunes that counts

It's not only your choice of tunes that pump through your sound system that makes your clientele return time and time again or clear out for good, but also your choice of sound system and how it's set up.

Unless you host events you don't need to go all out and purchase a state-of-the-art sound system, though you do need a system with hi-fi speakers that produce a clean, crisp sound so as to do whatever you play through them the justice it deserves.

Some café proprietors advocate a single-speaker sound system, but if you were to consider this idea - there are some excellent single-speaker sound systems on the market these days - bear in mind that a two-speaker system provides better sound and will help you spread sound equally throughout your establishment.

You need at least a two-speaker sound system for your café and if it's a small café don't go for something big - focus on sound quality not quantity. For a small financial outlay - a few hundred dollars or less - you can pick up something impressive with a sweet sound that your clientele won't be able to get enough of; however, it's not only the sound system you decide upon that counts but also where you place the speakers.

  • Never place speakers underneath tables
  • Mount speakers high on walls for a clear top end sound
  • Keep speakers out of corners otherwise they'll boom and hum 

Implementing the right technology can do wonders for your café's clientele experiences - even Starbucks is doing it.


About the Author:

Amanda Bruce is a freelance writer for Audio Visual Revolution, a company that was established in Australia in June 2008. They specialises in offering a wide range of hi-fi speakers and similar products.