If you’re an event or entertainment operator, whether a food market, festival, stadium, or nightclub, you’re in the business of fun. So it’s critical your customers can enjoy every moment. This means that, in addition to everything else, you have to deliver a great POS experience. Your POS experience encompasses everything from taking your customer’s order to processing their payment and handing them their food or drink. But it doesn’t stop there.
If your POS experience is slow and clunky, you’re not only keeping your guests from the main event, but you’re also eating into the precious time you have to make as many sales as possible. Plus, given the notoriously short attention span of GenZ, it’s more important than ever that you get your customers out of the queue and back to enjoying themselves. A good event POS system will help you achieve this (and so much more). Read on to learn how.
The faster your event POS experience, the faster your customers can go back to enjoying themselves. Here are several ways your POS can help reduce queues.
Handheld terminals (mPOS)
Mobile point of sale (mPOS) is a great way of streamlining a busy bar. These sleek, all-in-one devices put the full POS, including menu items, stock information, and payments into the palm of your server’s hand. No more bottlenecks as staff queue up to use a single fixed ePOS or wait their turn to use the payment terminal. Plus, these devices are so light and cost-effective, that you could potentially give one to each server.
For Brian Galbraith of Hickory Food, this speed is a game-changer. “We have to make sure that transactions are as quick as possible,” Brian explained. “That’s why NOQ’s handheld terminals are so great; they make things quick. You place the order, you tap your card and ‘thank you very much’ – your drinks are there. What you’re not doing is faffing about on an iPad, and then the till as a separate element. You’re doing it in your hand. It’s just brilliant.”
The pandemic famously pioneered new ordering and payment methods, many of which (like QR codes) have stuck. Customers increasingly expect to be able to order and pay from anywhere so a good event POS experience must encompass digital ordering. It’s also worth your while since order volumes increase with the number of channels you have.
Edinburgh Street Food offers online ordering via a web portal accessed via a QR code, which now accounts for 74% of their sales. “QR code ordering really took off in the pandemic,” said Operation Manager, Stephen Busby. “Some people still prefer it, whereas others crave personal interactions either with a trader or a table server. It’s all about giving them the choice.”
Express mobile ordering
NOQ’s founding principle was to reduce queues. To achieve this, it launched an express-order portal, which lets customers buy ready-made items, such as cans of beer or packets of crisps from their phones. Once purchased, they can head to the bar and grab the item without having to queue.
Another powerful time-saver for customers is the ability to order from several traders in one go from their phones. A white-labelled web app can give your customers access to your entire food and beverage offering. They can browse, order, and pay for multiple items across multiple traders in a single transaction. Each trader receives their respective order, which is synced to their POS.
Your point of sale set-up has the power to take your customer experience to the next level. As the flywheel of your operations, it can sync with other functions such as ticketing and membership and provide data to ensure you deliver the experiences your customers want. Here are a few examples:
VIP and membership
Use your POS system to power your VIP or membership programme. Issue physical or digital membership cards or trigger premium experiences via attendees’ emails based on their ticket tier. You can automatically assign pre-paid menu items, site-wide discounts, and food and drink packages. You can even step things up a notch by delivering everything to their location. To streamline things further, you could also introduce a white-labelled native app that holds all their ticketing information and lets customers order and pay for food, drink, and merchandise via their phones. You can also use the app to drive more sales either with ‘frequently bought together’ prompts or by increasing engagement with polls and quizzes.
Membership is often a manual affair. For example, members might have to log into their online account to prove their membership status at the door. With our solution, they can simply present a QR code, which is scanned by the payment terminal to ascertain their status. If they don’t have an active membership, they can pay for their ticket using the same terminal.
By connecting your POS system to a loyalty programme, you can set up different schemes for each site or event. Assign a pre-defined number of points for every pound spent, and see how many points customers have accrued, how much they’ve spent on site, and how many times they’ve visited.
Data and reporting
With all your customer payments connected in a single system, you’ll be able to build a 360-degree view of their activity, from pre-event sales to onsite food, beverage, and merchandise purchases. You should also be able to access real-time insights from the palm of your hand. The NOQ Insights app, for example, lets event organisers, catering coordinators, and individual traders monitor their performance as it happens.
NOQ’s point of sale and payments solution was created specifically for the events and entertainment industry and continues to evolve in close collaboration with its customers. We are passionate about developing technology that ensures everyone can have a great time – including event operators. That’s why we’ve worked hard to ensure our payments are 40% faster than the industry average and why we’ve made it simple to manage multiple traders in a single interface and easily access your data when you need it.
“NOQ is a pleasure to have as a solution partner. What I like is the visibility of the team. They come to events, so they’re seeing it for themselves. They’re hands-on with the setup and hands-on with troubleshooting. A lot of market traders are technophobes. The fact that they’ve taken to the software so well proves that NOQ has created something simple. Credit to them for being able to achieve that because it isn’t easy.” – Matthew Blayer, Event Management Director, Event Live