Easy order app for hospitality owner-operators

HAMISH MCNICOL
Last updated 05:00 16/01/2014

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Making a piece of cake a piece of cake to order is the premise of new point of sales system Posboss, a cloud-based solution for hospitality owner-operators.

Posboss was developed by Wellington mobile technology company Touchtech and local hospitality businessman Jonny McKenzie.

Touchtech director Robert Clark first had the idea of incorporating mobile devices in the industry in early 2012, but after a year of trialling, McKenzie was introduced with the idea hospitality needed a low cost and easy to use sales system.

Traditional point of sales (POS) technology was big and clunky, he said, but Posboss' vision was to create an app which could run on nothing more than a tablet and internet connection.

McKenzie said the resulting iPad app was developed to utilise some of Apple's "coolness" and usability, as well as being fast and cheap for businesses to use.

At a cost of $55 a month to subscribe Posboss would be predominantly targeted at owner-operators who were passionate about hospitality but perhaps not so business savvy.

Many new hospitality businesses failed within the first year because of this, but Posboss hoped to make monitoring and reporting easier.

"We will try and really help businesses be a lot more aware of how they're running their places.

"So you can make a lot more constructive decisions on how you're running your business."

The Posboss app effectively created a till out of an iPad, which connected to docket printers wirelessly and sent "real time" date to a manager's dashboard which could be accessed remotely on most devices.

In doing so managers or owners could monitor a store's sales as if they were on the shop floor, but from the comfort of home or elsewhere.

Clark said the remote dashboard system could be used to instantly change prices or make alterations to menu items, based on instant data of which products might be selling better or worse throughout any given day.

"So if you want to change your prices halfway through the afternoon it's easy to do that.

"It's a piece of cake to use this . . . the customers will figure out how to use it to their advantage."

As the product continued to develop Posboss would look to create an "alerts" system, which would send a note to a manager when a particular product might be running low, or when a huge spike in sales had hit.

McKenzie said there was nothing worse in hospitality than seeing your café suddenly becoming busy, but not having enough staff to handle the upswing.

"If you see a huge spike going you could actually call to see. This takes out the human error of phone calls and text messages and managers become a little more aware."

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Furthermore, the dashboard system which monitored a store's performance created live graphs and historical trends, which could be used for future price adjustments. This also allowed for better monitoring of wastage and other data.

"Prices just sort of go up because someone does it, no one really understands why," McKenzie said.

"You can actually make decisions smarter based on how your business is running, rather than how others are running."

Posboss has teamed up with Auckland's VendHQ, another online POS service provider.

It was already being used by companies throughout New Zealand, but the near-term goal was to roll it out more broadly across the country as well as Australia.

"We'll see where the world takes us," McKenzie said.

"We had our first guy from Spain email us the other day."

Hong Kong-based investment company Horizons Ventures, which has funded technology innovations such as Skype, Facebook, Waze, Summly and Spotify, had also taken an interest in Posboss during its tour of 82 New Zealand companies last year.

Posboss would meet the company again in 2015, McKenzie said.

For more information, see posbosshq.com.

- BusinessDay.co.nz

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