Innovating for service

Despite inflation biting, Captiva POS has stuck to its guns in supporting the food service industry with a clear pricing model for its software and hardware

Catherine Buckley of Cinammon Restaurants, in Ballsbridge and Ed Carty, chief executive, Captiva POS

As the festive season approaches, the hospitality market has typically boomed. The last few years have been defined by uncertainty, however, first with the Covid-19 pandemic and now with runaway inflation.

However, there are strong signs that the sector is rallying. Ed Carty, chief executive of Captiva POS, which provides software and hardware as-a-service solutions, including ordering and point of sale (POS) to the quick service restaurant (QSR) sector, said that he is seeing continued expansion as more and more outlets seek to modernise their ordering and payment processing.

“It’s a really busy time for us. We’ve numerous new site installations to complete in the coming weeks,” he said.

Carty said that Captiva’s goal was to deliver value for its clients across a range of technology services that support their business.

“We do everything from point of sale to integrated payment processing and third-party integrations,” he said.

Captiva POS’s software brings integrated payments to a new level, he said. From taking orders with handheld devices at the table, including allowing customers to order and pay on their own, and then printing the order to the kitchen, behind it all Captiva POS is working away, as well as providing up-to-the-minute reporting to owners and managers.

In the face of the economic uncertainty Captiva POS has doubled down on its pricing model, aiming to reassure its customers that whatever other costs might be going up, its technology will not be one of them. In practice, this means that, unlike some other players in the market, Captiva POS does not charge commission.

“We’ve stuck to our guns on our pricing model. With many of the multinational POS companies taking a percentage charge, whereas we have a software as a service model and it’s paying dividends now: for a lower monthly cost you get a lower total cost of ownership,” he said.

This appeals to customers not only because it gives certainty on prices, but also because it has had the effect of increasing order value: adopting technology from Captiva POS has allowed the QSR sector to take the lead, integrating payments and delivery. For the customer, this means offering simplicity and visibility.

“People are happy to pay a little bit more if they can have that feeling of certainty,” said Carty.

In recent years, Captiva POS has added significantly to its offering, including ordering kiosks – which Captiva POS has long offered – being upgraded with new features that keep up with and even go beyond what multinational restaurant chains offer. Other innovations include loyalty schemes to drive repeat business, and on the back end, in reporting.

By continually innovating while also sticking to a flat monthly fee, Captiva POS has won more and more clients as it can prove the value of its offering to restaurants and takeaways.

“We don’t believe that just because we’re a point-of-sale company we should get a percentage of a company’s profit. Our benchmark is the data in our systems, and that's always been the way,” he said.

In the last few years, with both the pandemic and now inflation, the sector has worked hard to ensure that customers get what they want. In this context, the role of technology is to make sure every order satisfies a customer, Carty said, and by providing the right software solutions, Captiva POS ensures restaurants can do what they do best.

“We’re always working hard at innovation,” he said.