Specialist tenanted pub operator Brakspear has reopened Henley's Bull Inn as a flagship managed house, The Bull on Bell Street, and installed an EPOS solution from Intelligent Business Systems (IBS) for its front and back of house operations.
The £750,000 relaunch has been led by Brakspear business development manager Mat Aket, who says selecting a cloud-based IBS system was the logical choice having worked with the EPOS specialist at Geronimo Inns.
"We looked at a couple of solutions but IBS was the logical choice for us. Not just in terms of the quality of the combined POSLink and StockLink solution but also the flexibility and service support provided by the entire IBS team. You're not speaking to a call centre but rather people who know you and your business inside out when you contact them. I've worked with IBS before at Geronimo Inns. I also have an IBS solution in my own pub in Islington, London, which I ran full time for a couple of years before joining Brakspear," said Mat.
"The IBS solution's flexibility ticks all the right boxes from all our points of view. For example, I can programme and configure the back end from anywhere I want. The office. The actual pub. My home. The online capability transforms how we can work and access real-time information, no matter where you are."
"Tom Davies, our chief executive, was overseas during the Bull's soft launch and IBS set up a short cut so reports were sent direct to his iPhone while he was abroad."
"The biggest benefit from the end user's perspective is the solution's incredible functionality. The sheer scale and scope is very impressive. It can do anything you want and if it doesn't IBS will make sure it does. I wanted several additions to my business sheets so I could have the information presented as I wanted it and IBS was more than happy to oblige."
"When IBS's account manager Justin Atkinson was training our front of house staff they kept asking questions about what the system could do and the answers from Justin were always yes, yes, yes. It was funny listening to the conversation but it does illustrate one of the major reasons why we selected IBS," said Mat.
The Bull, which combines traditional pub and modern brasserie values, has a total of 190 covers and will serve food throughout the day. Mat wants to see how successful the managed pub is prior to looking to expand the opportunity further.
"If this venture into managed pubs is successful we can replicate it elsewhere," says Mat, who is confident that the Bull on Bell Street will quickly become a favourite among residents and visitors to Henley with its top quality food and drink, relaxed atmosphere and professional, attentive service.
IBS managing director Gareth Powell sees Brakspear's investment as a tribute to the EPOS specialists reputation in the pub restaurant and gastro pub sector and the flexibility offered by developing key touchscreen and online enterprise management products in-house.
"Our work with Geronimo Inns, and others like Peach Pubs and Bath Ales, has obviously influenced Brakspear's purchasing decision. Our solutions are fully tested and proven with some of the country's best food-based pub operators. At the same time, because we develop POSLink and StockLink in-house, we can tailor our solutions to the specific needs of clients. Although 90% comes out of the box, it is the extra 10% that makes all the difference between a good solution and an outstanding one," said Gareth Powell.
"Just as important, everything sits very neatly in the cloud and can be accessed in real-time anywhere in the world as we showed with the reports sent to Tom in Thailand."
IBS installed POSLink touchscreen technology and StockLink.net managed software, four terminals, kitchen printers and a kitchen video monitor for tracking food pathways from the kitchen to the service areas.