INTERNATIONAL | Staff Reporter, Australia

Major UK chain goes cash-free

Following Tossed’s opening of two cash-free takeaway outlets, we caught up with Tossed’s Finance Director Neil Sebba to learn more about the chain’s goal to become paper-free and what this means for its future branches.

QSR: What drove Tossed's decision to go paper-free, and therefore cash-free?

Neil: The decision to go cash-free came first. Most operators face speed & capacity issues at lunchtime, but ours are intensified because we make our food fresh-to-order and most guests like to customise their food to suit their health and taste requirements. This unique point-of-sale solution allows our team to focus their energy on our speed of production, and not-taking cash is a bi-product of the new technology which we were very happy to endorse and embrace as contactless and PDQ are quicker & easier. Once we had decided to go cash-free, the decision to take that one step further and go paper-free presents us with a difficult, aspirational goal, but we aren't afraid of a challenge!

QSR: Why were Coleman Street and Upper Thames Street picked as the locations to debut the new payment system?

Neil: These locations were chosen for their layout potential under the new system. Retro-fitting into the estate where the guests are used to having cashiers is more challenging, and so we always wanted to launch the full version on a new group of guests. That said, we have been trialling it in Baker Street for a few weeks, with very positive feedback, and we do intend to retro-fit it into the existing stores.

QSR: Will all Tossed outlets be launched with the same payment system from here on?

Neil: Yes, that's the plan, but in terms of our shopping centres and transport hubs, I think we need to trial it & research further. Certainly for central London sites where our guests are time-poor and in a hurry; the focus needs to be on getting them the fresh, bespoke, made-to-order product as quickly as they want it. In a competitive market with rapidly rising rents, you need to be able to stay one step ahead. We have over twice as many till points under this system than we did previously, and are able to move our team from being cashiers to either hosting new guests or into production. This means we are able to process more guests over peak time. Online ordering and mobile solutions are about to be relaunched & will only help this further.

QSR: Can you detail how the new payment system is expected to boost Tossed's back-of-house support functions? What other initiatives does the chain have in store in line with its goal of becoming paper-free?

Neil: The new payment system makes things simpler back-of-house, but we are using other IT solutions to streamline back-of-house support functions and remove paper from that part of the business. These include the implementation of something called Trailsuite, which removes all paper checklists from the manager's day and puts them onto a tablet timeline solution. We also use online software wherever possible, including our accounting package, stock control, people management and EPOS solutions. The biggest challenge with moving paperless is likely to be taking the supply chain on the journey with us.

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