Brainchild of Sam Carson and Ben Day, Acai Brothers is the fastest growing superfoods franchise in Australia. In its extraordinary three-year journey, Acai Brothers have grown from one local store to a 20-store franchise with continuing expansion across Australia.
New to the hospitality industry in 2014, Sam and Ben began searching for their first ever point of sale system. “We went online and, rather naively, chose anything. At that stage we didn’t know just how different POS systems could be and went with what we thought was a standard option.”
Soon after they installed the new system they began to experience difficulties and frustrations. “We ended up with this huge bloody thing that cost quadruple the amount that we pay now, and caused us endless frustration. It was then that we realised how detrimental a bad system could be to your overall success”.
Using a traditional server-based POS, their system had limited functionality and struggled to keep up with the modern demands of running a hospitality business. “The system offered no reporting, you couldn’t extract any data, the support was terrible and the machine was big and ugly. We had constant issues and had to wait to speak to the support team. To top it off, we would have to pay for the ten-minute phone call and usually for someone to come out to fix the machine! The whole experience was a headache.”
With more experience under their belt and plans to open a second location, Sam and Ben took the opportunity to look for an easy to use, straightforward system that offered reporting.
Acai Brothers now use Kounta as their chosen point of sale system across every franchise. “We discovered Kounta online and were instantly excited about the prospect of a fully online system. Initially the system looked slick from both sides of the counter and with further analysis and discussions with the Kounta team, we knew it ticked all the boxes; free 24/7 support, great reporting, an intuitive interface and most importantly everything was really, really simple. It was a no-brainer”.
In each Acai Brothers store, iPads running Kounta are set up at the counter to be used as the point of sale. The Kounta system links the point of sale to a printer which delivers orders to the relevant staff members. Each store also has a second iPad for staff to take orders at the table too.
Within each franchise, Kounta is used for stocktaking, allowing store managers to easily order what they need without having to spend time counting stock at the end of each day. The Kounta system has also been integrated with the accounting system, Xero, to automatically provide the accountant with the reports he needs to do the books. More recently, Acai Brothers launched a loyalty program in each franchise using the Kounta loyalty program feature. This allows each store to easily add customer details to their own local marketing databases.
On a weekly and monthly basis, both the franchisees and Sam and Ben use the reporting capabilities to check gross sales. Sam and Ben can easily track customer trends and other business insights across the whole franchise portfolio.
Kounta makes the day-to-day running of the stores quicker and easier for its franchisees, allowing them to focus on business growth. “Kounta saves about 30 seconds per customer to complete a transaction compared to our previous solution which, over 10 hours of service, really adds up. Also, with the whole system being so easy to use, it encourages our franchisees to get stuck into the features that save them time, for example, stock taking and staff rostering.”
Kounta also allows Sam and Ben to quickly and easily see spikes and dips in sales across the entire Acai Brothers portfolio. “We can extract and drill down on any sales data whenever we want and over any period. We use this to test items on the menu and to help our franchisees project and improve their sales figures too. We believe that sharing knowledge has been a huge part of our success, and with these reports, we can quickly see what has been effective for one franchisee, and where another may be struggling.”
Finally, with the Kounta interface being so intuitive, Sam and Ben don’t need to offer extensive training for new franchisees. “Not every prospective franchisee is from a hospitality background, and not many people come from a background where computers and iPads are used regularly. With Kounta, whether you are a 15 year-old who is new to the workforce, or a 60 year-old who hasn’t used a computer for a while, you can pick it up really easily. From a franchisee's perspective, it is fast, easy and seamless. It makes the whole onboarding journey more enjoyable for everyone”.