If you’ve visited Norfolk recently, there’s every chance you’ve come across one of the seven fantastic brands that sit under the guidance of Hidden Talents, a branding and communications agency based in Holt. This small but passionate team specialises in providing brands with the tools they need to grow and thrive within the hospitality and online retail sector.
The business boasts an average turnover of £10 million across its seven sites, which include The Assembly House in Norwich and The Pigs, Edgefield, a rural country pub with 20 Spa bedrooms. As the business continues to flourish, there are plans to add even more venues to their existing roster.
Hidden Talents has undergone significant growth over the past five years, particularly with the introduction of its exclusive loyalty scheme, the Norfolk Passport. Those signed up to the scheme can benefit from a host of perks across a range of local venues and experiences.
This growth meant the business was under increasing pressure to invest in tools and services that would facilitate further expansion. The demand on their existing POS system was growing exponentially, and it became increasingly apparent that the level of service it provided could no longer support the business. The company were introduced to Epos Now, a POS provider that just happened to also be based in Norfolk.
“It was quite a daunting task to go between multiple sites, replacing the system, training staff and ensuring we found the right solution for each of our venues”, explains Hidden Talents’ Jamie Perry. “I needed somebody who would be by my side, preferably with existing expertise in hospitality. I felt frustrated by the lack of innovation that was coming through on our old system and needed to find a solution that would no longer hold us back.”
After a little research, Jamie found that Epos Now shared similar ambitions and values to Hidden Talents. Both businesses had a real desire to grow and, although Jamie acknowledges that growth in business can be a difficult process at times, he was delighted to find a POS provider that shared his vision.
The two teams set about building a bespoke POS solution for each brand in Hidden Talents’ portfolio.
The Assembly House, Norwich
The Assembly House is a Georgian townhouse located at the heart of Norwich city centre. This Grade I-listed building serves as a restaurant, hotel and wedding venue. The Theatre Royal next door attracts a steady stream of diners to the setting, so the EPOS system needed to respond quickly and give servers the chance to fulfill a consistently high level of service during busy periods.
Byfords of Holt
Byfords markets itself as an old-world cafe, store and B&B in Holt. It’s another high volume unit and trades in everything from takeaway coffees to £200-a-night stays. Adaptability was therefore at the forefront of Jamie’s mind when choosing a system that would work here.
The Pigs at Edgefield
The Pigs offers good food and luxury accommodation just 10 miles from the Norfolk coastline. The venue hosts a popular 200-seater restaurant, while in-room spa facilities make staying in one of the site’s 20 bedrooms a real treat. Demand on the venue’s point of sale system is high, with a need to process lots of sales in a short space of time.
With such a varied business portfolio, Jamie and the team needed to find a system that worked in each individual location, but could also provide a business-wide view of performance when needed. “The big thing that attracted me to the Epos Now system was the back office”, says Jamie. “With our old system it was hard to pull out key performance data and really get to the nitty gritty of our business. The Epos Now system is very clear and the whole team can pull out exactly the data they need. It ensures we have the correct product lines and the best chance of continued innovation.”
The other side of the business is the Norfolk Passport scheme, which has seen phenomenal growth in its five years of operation. Sales through the Norfolk Passport generate close to £3 million revenue annually, so there’s huge demand on the system to deal with this level of loyalty. The scheme’s API integrates directly with Epos Now, meaning the two systems sync together and work in tandem. This has dramatically reduced the amount of time staff spend manually transmitting data between the two platforms. Simplifying this process saved the business around £15,000 in the first year alone.
All of this has led Jamie to recommend Epos Now to other businesses. “If somebody’s looking to take on a new EPOS system and they need help and support, Epos Now is a great partner to work with. The system has enabled us to better manage our business and come up with creative ideas and we continue to build a very good relationship as we develop our respective products”.
More information on Hidden Talents and their family of businesses can be found on their website.