The business, operated by Chester Race Company Ltd (CRCL), turned to hospitality solutions provider, Agilysys (Europe) Limited, earlier this year. Whilst demonstrably successful, Chester Racecourse could see its growth and profitability potential were being reined in by inefficiencies. It resolved to automate the many processes across the venue that were still manual - and therefore often slow, labour-intensive and inaccurate - and to identify cost-savings.
The Racecourse now has a large estate of some 120 electronic points-of-sale (EPoS). The InfoGenesis™
“We can now build the business we want because we have the right technology in place. We can introduce efficiencies, reduce costs and lift our sales,” says Jonathan (Jon) Davis, Head of Business Services at Chester Racecourse.
Continues Jon: “Whilst Restaurant 1539 had EPoS, the racecourse, bars and corporate hospitality areas were still using cash registers. Procurement and stock control were driven by manual product counts and stock sheet completion. The end-of-month close-down was particularly laborious, counting stock to extract the information Accounts needed to produce management reports. On event days, cash reconciliation was lengthy and sometimes inaccurate.”
With the new solution installed in August 2011, a number of measurable gains are already being achieved across the business:
InfoGenesis on touchscreen EPoS has speeded up customer service, increasing spend
The new POS solution is quicker to operate and is improving customer service. Average bar spend is up, and more gains are expected here. “Staff love the system. Because it produces accurate figures, they can check out faster at the end of their shift, so they’re getting home earlier and we’re saving on staff costs.”
Inventory and stock management have been transformed by Eatec® by Agilysys, enabling the Racecourse to control stock, structure pricing levels and negotiate supplier contracts
“Eatec has been fantastic in managing suppliers and stock. When our season finished, it was vital to control incoming stock so we weren’t left with a huge surplus. Thanks to the Eatec solution, we did this really well.” The venue is currently putting its food & beverage purchasing out to tender. “Using information from Eatec, we know exactly what we’ve paid and what we want to pay, and how to structure pricing to get our required gross profit. Without Eatec, we couldn’t have done this.”
Reporting is providing visibility and control, helping the venue to prepare for its next season
“Using the reports from the Agilysys solution on our ‘pinch points’, we’re planning next season’s staffing. Getting staff in later and away earlier will save us thousands of pounds. We didn’t have this knowledge and control before but we can now confidently plan future operations based on hard facts.”
Cash Manager has improved reporting accuracy and speed of race-day cash reconciliation
“Cash Manager tracks our revenue, its location in our process, and manages the flow of revenue into the Cash Office meaning we reconcile money a lot quicker and much more accurately. By getting any cash or card differences resolved before staff go home we can be confident that everything balances.”
Concludes Jon Davis: “We’re seeing huge benefits all round. It’s still early days but with the core technologies in place we definitely expect to have brighter figures next season. Things will only get better and better.”
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