Three Ways EPOS Adds Value to the Cinema-Going Experience

18 March 2020

By Steve HANRAHAN, Business Development Manager – AURES UK

Going to the cinema has always been about the experience. To get a sense of just how successfully cinema operators are creating experiences that appeal to customers these days, we need look no further than the fact that, over the past two years, cinema attendance in the UK has been at a 50-year high.

Even as people are handed more and more freedom to stream films on demand, even as the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video continue to record year-on-year subscriber growth upwards of 20%, people are flocking to the cinema in numbers not seen since the 1960s. The reason can only be that the cinema-going experience offers something that cannot be replicated in people’s own homes.

A lot is made about how the cinema sector will need to invest heavily in futuristic technologies like 3D screens, immersive AR and VR, beyond-ultra HD screens and more to stave off competition from the online streaming services. But cinema operators are also leaning on a much less heralded class of technology that makes all the difference in the modern leisure industry – technology that helps to deliver outstanding service.

EPOS systems are a key part of that. Here are three ways EPOS plays a role in encouraging people to get off their sofas and fill theatres.

Removing barriers to entry

In today’s instant access digital culture, the patience shown by previous generations who were perfectly happy to queue around the block to attend an in-demand screening has long since disappeared. Consumers now expect to get what they want, when they want it – and that includes being able to walk into a cinema unhindered by long queues.

Developments in EPOS technology are delivering on that expectation by transforming the cinema box office. Just under half of UK cinema goers (44%) now buy their tickets in advance online, and tight integration between e-ticketing platforms and EPOS hardware means smartphone scanners now provide seamless access to theatres. For those customers who still prefer to buy their tickets on premise, self-service kiosks are helping to further bust queues.

Streamlining service

Talking about queues, remember the days when, having waited in line to buy your ticket, you then had to do it all over again to buy your popcorn and drink? You could have a job on just to get yourself to your seat in time before the trailers finished.

Kiosks are helping cinema operators look at service in a different way. Rather than having ticket sales and concessions running separately, kiosks allow customers to make all of their purchases in one place, saving a considerable amount of time. Using the now-familiar quick-service restaurant model pioneered by the likes of Nandos and McDonalds, once snacks and drinks are ordered at a kiosk, customers head to a fulfilment counter to collect their purchases, which has been shown to further speed up the whole process.

Premium upgrade

Finally, cinema operators have been investing heavily in features which help to upgrade the whole cinema-going experience to premium, whether it is luxury reclining seats or opening up on-site bars and restaurants to expand on the concessions they offer. EPOS plays a key role in optimising the value of such investments, whether it is installing end-to-end integrated systems that provide a single point of control for all ticketing, food and beverage sales, or equipping staff with Mobile POS tablets (M-POS) so they can provide in-seat service to those prepared to pay extra for a VIP pew.