How refreshing to write a summer report in a week that really does feel like summer. We are having some works done in our London office and at one point I was lugging furniture around temperatures exceeding 30°C; that was a warm experience!
2018’s second quarter has yielded a steady 6% net growth in Kobas EPoS venues despite the market looking a little subdued. Our production team has this quarter invested heavily in an all-new theoretical stock system, which will be unveiled in the coming months.
While good news about new concepts and group expansions are still in the majority, there is an underlying rumble of bad news in the industry press surrounding closures. Commentators often mention “the perfect storm” of rising labour costs, rent and rates costs, and ingredient costs, with the latter associated with Brexit to some extent.
Looking at our own clients, while many newer venues and concepts are doing really well, longer term Kobas venues are now trending downwards in raw revenue terms; 2018 H1 looks to be 1.25% below 2017 H1’s revenue. Perhaps this is related to the long and harsh winter, but the recent good weather and the World Cup should have made up for that.
It could be that in the face of stagnant wages, inflationary increases erode funds for casual food and drink. There’s also a growing preference for valuing experiences over daily treats, so perhaps the rise of concepts such as Secret Cinema is competing with our coffee shops and casual dining outlets.
Combine this reduction in revenue with rising costs and it is clear that adaptation is going to be key to survival. Kobas already provides everything you need to monitor labour costs and minimise waste. The weekly Business Summary Report Email will also help a keen operator maximise their store’s potential.
Looking to the future Kobas will always aim to help streamline processes to maximise labour efficiency, and we have a handful of research and development projects we hope will allow for further cost savings elsewhere for Kobas operators.
Product – Q2
Our priority for this quarter has been to overhaul our Stock Control systems, with much of it being re-written from the ground up. We are now at the point where stock ingredients within Kobas may be sourced in multiple pack sizes and from multiple suppliers, whilst still being processed as the same entity, giving an accurate and precise view of their costings and usage. We have also created software to manage the migration of existing stock data from our old system to the forthcoming one.
This quarter has seen improvements and changes to the way in which we account for redeemed deposits, which have formerly caused confusion for some clients. We have also made improvements to our integration with Xero that allows us to handle much larger data exports.
Very recently we completed work to harmonise the look and content of our work dockets across both thermal and impact printer types, which mainly consisted of improvements to the thermal dockets.
Our final highlight is quite a technical one: we have added oAuth 2 as a permitted authentication method for our API, making it easier for other technologies to communicate directly with Kobas systems.
Product – Q3
Looking forward, the Stock Overhaul project will again dominate, but we also hope to unveil an exciting new Campaign Manager to really unlock the potential of the Kobas Loyalty system. We aim to support loyalty point boosters, so that the loyalty system can provide extra rewards and incentives to boost sales at quiet times, or quickly use up any surplus stock.
This year we are moving our core technologies from PHP 7.1 and MariaDB 10.1 to PHP 7.2 and MariaDB 10.2. The database move is now complete, and we aim to move to PHP 7.2 in the coming quarter.
Kobas Cloud achieved 100% uptime in 2018 Q2 as measured by third party monitoring system Pingdom. This brings our uptime for the year to date to 99.997%.
On the human resources side, our team has expanded with three new additions this quarter: Vivian, our new Account Manager; Genevieve, our new Marketing Executive; and Mike, our new Front-end Developer. Last week, we managed to get almost everyone (minus Mike, who only just started this week) in the office, so we took some time to do a little photoshoot. Meet the KOBAS team dedicated to bringing you the best products and client experiences.