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OXO Bar x NOQ: Doubling order speeds

Located in central Oxford, OXO Bar is a popular spot for students and enjoys a lively trade throughout the week, dishing out great cocktails at student-friendly prices. “It’s a volumes game,” explained Bar Manager Eljon Shehu. “We sell some of the cheapest cocktails in town and we need to do it as fast as possible.” When speed is everything, you need a POS provider capable of keeping up. To learn more about how NOQ helped OXO Bar double its order speeds we spoke with Bar Manager, Eljon Shehu. Read on to learn more.

Business Name
Joined NOQ Family
May 2023

The need for speed

Back in 2022, OXO Bar found themselves with a new POS provider they hadn’t asked for. Their existing provider had been bought out by a neobank that required all customers to switch their bank accounts to them. On top of that, the existing setup was becoming clunky. “There were just too many steps needed to make a transaction,” said Eljon. “The staff needed to take the order, put the items into the till and then, since the card reader wasn’t connected, they’d have to grab the card machine, manually key in the amount, and then hand it to the customer. On a busy student night, or a Friday or Saturday, those kinds of bottlenecks are the last thing you need.”

In search of a solution, Eljon Googled “companies for faster payments.” Several companies popped up but, once they reached the sales call stage, NOQ quickly stood out. “All the other companies were simply interested in showing us the front-end interface of their product,” explained Eljon. “But what about fees? How do they charge commission? Where do they keep their data? How easy is it to access their reporting? That’s what we were interested in. NOQ listened and gave us just that, providing all the information we needed right from the start.”

This highly personalised approach continued to impress OXO Bar when it came to the roll out. “NOQ were fantastic. They knew we wanted to get the system up and running in about three or four days. So they drove down from London, got the system installed, and didn’t leave until we’d uploaded the menus and everything was working exactly as we needed it to.”

Oxo Bar Inside

Streamlined POS with all-in-one terminals

The biggest change to OXO Bar’s operations was the introduction of NOQ’s sleek all-in-one terminals, which puts the entire POS functionality into the palm of the bartender’s hand. Now, they no longer have to move between multiple pieces of hardware, everything can be done in a single action. 

“With NOQ’s all-in-one terminals, staff can input the drinks order, pull up the total, and hand it to the customer, all in just a few taps,” said Eljon. “This makes things so much faster and, together with NOQ’s lightning-fast processing, we’ve doubled our order speeds, which is amazing.”

The all-in-one terminal also has the added benefit that staff only need to be trained on one piece of hardware. “Our student staff turnover is naturally very high,” said Eljon. “We’re often bringing in new staff at the start of every term. So it’s a huge advantage that we don’t have to train them to use both the till and a payment terminal. Onboarding is much faster and easier.”

Another thing which impressed the team was NOQ’s can-do attitude in ensuring the system fits the specific needs of its customers. “In a busy cocktail bar, staff often have wet hands,” explained Eljon. “For that reason, we’ve had a few issues with the buttons on the touch screen. We fed this back to NOQ and they’re now working on an update to space the buttons out. It’s amazing to have a partner that’s willing go the extra mile for you.”

oxo bar cocktail

Accessible reporting

NOQ’s reporting is also helpful for tracking staff shifts which makes payroll management much easier. “We can quickly see how many hours each staff member has worked and even track who’s selling the most,” said Eljon.

Access to data is key for any business these days. So OXO Bar was delighted with how simple and accessible NOQ’s reporting is. “Getting end-of-day reports emailed straight out to our bookkeeper has been super helpful,” said Eljon. “It’s super easy to find transactions and filter by item and bartender to monitor performance and see what’s selling.”

Remote access

NOQ provides OXO Bar with the ability to access its POS remotely. “Even when I’m at home, I can go in and view transactions as they’re happening,” said Eljon. “I can notify staff of an error in real-time, amend live payments, approve discounts, and even issue refunds from my sofa if I need to.” 

It’s also important to OXO Bar that it can restrict access to certain functionalities. In a student town, bartenders will likely be serving their friends and there’s always the temptation to charge ‘mates rates’. “Restricting access to discounts to trusted managers has helped keep unauthorised discounts under control, which is great,” concluded Eljon.

Service with a smile

Since that first point of contact, OXO Bar has been impressed by NOQ’s service. “In terms of personal service, NOQ has been brilliant,” said Eljon. “We have a WhatsApp group that we can contact pretty much day or night. They are always happy to help and often reply to queries straight away. If we encounter any issues or have any requests, the response is generally: Give us a couple of weeks and we’ll sort that for you. It’s so refreshing to work with a vendor who’s so committed to getting it right.”

The OXO Bar x NOQ partnership will continue to develop over the coming months as OXO Bar opens its first mobile bar. “As well as bringing the students to us, we want to bring OXO Bar to the students,” explained Eljon. “And NOQ will be perfect for this since we can take our all-in-one terminals with us, making this next step much easier for us. It’s a great way for us to expand our use of NOQ.”

Could we help you too?

We’d love the opportunity to explore if we could help you increase sales and improve efficiencies. Get in touch and we’ll set up a demo.

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