How Aloha EPOS software helps a famous restaurant group encourage loyal customers

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Executive summary

The renowned Balans Soho Society group of restaurants and bars was launching its seventh restaurant, situated in Ealing, London.

With a definitely demanding that numbers many celebrity guests, Balans decided it would continue its long relationship with NFS Technology and use the Aloha EPOS software that has already proved successful at their other branches.

The decision has paid off – and Balans is particularly happy with the loyalty programme Aloha has enabled it to set up. Their loyalty customers are spending more than 40% more than their non-loyalty guests.

At a glance

Who? Balans Soho Society’s latest restaurant
Where? London
What? Aloha EPOS software from NFS
Why? Operational efficiency, great customer service, loyalty
When? 2019

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Balans Soho Society

Balan’s have always trendsetters. First started by business partners David Taylor and Prady Balan in the Seventies to sell sandwiches, the group is famous for hosting celebrity hangouts and providing scrumptious late-night dining.

Balans (which is now run by David Taylor) has grown to a group of seven restaurants across London and beyond, stretching from Soho to Stratford City. Attracting the savviest clientele, the Balans menu is big on breath-taking brunches, delicious Balan’s mains and exotic cocktails.

The challenge

Balans bills itself as a “haven for the convivial”, so when it decided to open a new restaurant in Ealing it was crucial to deliver the same exquisite standards of operational efficiency and customer service that have made its other six restaurants and bars a three-decade success.

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The results

The Ealing restaurant got off to a flying start, and is proving hugely popular with guests, supported by its Aloha EPOS software.

Kieran Crosby, Operations Director, Balans Soho Society, says: “The system does exactly what we need – we find working with NFS very smooth thanks to having a key account person allocated.”

The benefits for Balans

In addition to keeping operations streamlined and customer service effortless, Balans has had huge success using its Aloha EPOS software to implement effective loyalty schemes and offer gift cards that genuinely enhance their customer experience.

Balans is sure its restaurant management software has created an uplift – loyalty customers spend on average up to 42% more than their non-loyalty clients.

Kieran says: “We’ve created an online loyalty programme where our customers are in control of how they use it, and that’s really helping to drive repeat visits.”

Balans staff use Aloha Mobile for taking orders and payments from customers at tableside, using their iPads. It means their orders go direct to the kitchen for swift and accurate delivery, without any chance of human error creeping in to cause waste.

Aloha EPOS software integrates easily with kitchen automation to keep food production efficient, and its intuitive user interface means it’s easy for staff to get up and running on the system.

“Our FOH staff find Aloha very easy to use – the system is common in the restaurant industry and many have used it before, so they have familiarity with it.” – Kieran Crosby

Aloha is a long way beyond simple EPOS, and can now create a well-connected workflow within your restaurant and all the way through the customer journey from online reservations to seating, dining, paying and loyalty.

The software even monitors a restaurant’s social media reputation.
Like many users of Aloha, Balans likes the business insight provided by the system. For restaurant groups on multiple sites, it gives a real-time end-to-end view of operations, providing comprehensive reports that cover sales, labour and stock control, and also makes useful forecasts.

Why NFS?

NFS is proud to have a long-standing relationship with this prestigious restaurant group. It made Aloha a natural choice when Balans was preparing to open the new Ealing branch.

“We chose NFS because Aloha works well across the rest of our estate,” says Kieran.

“Aloha does exactly what it needs to do – and we find it very reliable. We’d recommend it.”

What’s next?

Balans expects that using Aloha Mobile will increase table turn, and drive up revenue and efficiency during the summer months.


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