31 August 2018

“We used the AURES NINO which is our strategic model and proven in these environments, with a 128GB SSD for reliability and speed. We sell thousands of these machines and know they will deliver value for money and reliability.”

Matthew Gatter, Managing Director, MCR Systems Ltd.

Since 1978, MCR Systems Ltd has been providing enterprise management solutions to large multi-site operators in the hospitality, catering and leisure industries. Specialising in project management and long-term support as well supplying high quality software and hardware products, MCR prides itself on its reputation for improving the operational efficiency of its clients.

Sectors it is active in include contract catering, education catering, food to go, pubs and restaurants.

 “At MCR Systems, we recognise that technology can only be part of a business solution,” said managing director Matthew Gatter. “Software is a tool, a means to an end, and that end is to improve your bottom line. 

“We will not just sell you the software and walk away. The ongoing expert support, training and after-sales backup we offer each of our customers is an integral part of the solutions we offer.

“Many of our technical and implementation staff have worked within the hospitality and retail sectors and have many years experience in the development, delivery and support of business solutions.  It is this insider knowledge that enables MCR to identify the core business issues that face our customers and find solutions that help our users to drive revenue and retain profits.”

In order to deliver the customised strategies large multi-site hospitality and catering outfits require, MCR has developed its own hosted EPOS management platform, Symphony. “We have invested heavily to build the Symphony product suite from the ground up to be a scalable application, built around service-orientated web technologies,” said Matthew. “This architecture ensures Symphony is fast becoming the product of choice for any organisation looking for enterprise level solutions that are flexible and adaptable enough to meet ever changing business needs.”   

As a cloud-based solution, Symphony allows users to connect from any authorised location. The web-based architecture and multi-user protocols ensure there are no limitations to the number of people who can access and manage the system and its data at any one time, making it completely scalable to the needs of even the biggest organisations. At the same time, centralised data management provides real-time performance monitoring right across the estate, with live business intelligence available to any user via a convenient dashboard.

Project Hestia

MCR’s client base includes several of the UK’s largest contract catering operators, and it was through one of these that the company got the opportunity to work on a major project for the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Launched and managed by the MoD’s estates management wing, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), Project Hestia is a nationwide initiative to streamline and rationalise so-called ‘soft’ facilities management services across MoD sites – things like cleaning, security, waste management and catering.

With the project progressing by region, MCR had initially helped to install Symphony in what was known as Hestia Region 5 – Wales and West Midlands – in late 2017. It was then asked to return this year to complete a much bigger installation across two more regions, Hestia Region 6 (East) and Hestia Region 7 (South West). The requirement was to deliver a fully networked EPOS and payments solution for canteens and other catering facilities at a total of 44 sites across the two regions, plus run Windows 10 & SSD upgrades at another RAF site where Symphony was already installed.

The key challenge on this project was the tight delivery deadline. Across the 44 sites where Symphony was being installed from scratch, there was a maximum 15 day window to install and train staff on the new system. The whole network had to be mobilised on the same day, so coordinating work so everything was completed and ready to go on time was a high priority.

“MCR has been involved in many large scale projects and Hestia was no different in that it had its own challenges,” said Matthew. “The biggest [challenge] was the deployment and mobilisation within such a short timescale, across so many sites. However, with careful planning and a team of dedicated engineers we reached new heights and proudly delivered without a hitch.”

Creating a ‘fully networked’ solution meant ensuring all PoS equipment at all 44 sites was connected to Symphony, data management across all PoS in all outlets was correctly set up, Chip & PIN and Contactless payments were integrated, staff were trained and support was available when the systems went live.

All in all, the project required MCR to complete 156 engineer visits in a little over two weeks, with the added complication of personnel requiring high level security clearance.

“Our implementations manager has great experience in this type of situation and we were able to plan using a pool of engineers, many of whom travelled from other parts of the UK,” said Matthew. “We carried out detailed site surveys to make sure we fully understood the networking requirements. It took real dedication from everyone and we are proud of the way our team rose to the occasion and delivered.”


In order to run the Symphony platform, MCR installed a total of 256 EPOS till bundles, comprising main terminals, payment readers and peripheries,  across the 44 sites. For the main terminals, it chose the AURES NINO.

“We’ve been working with AURES for around seven years now and have a very strong relationship with them, their products have an excellent reputation,” said Matthew. “For this project, we used the Nino which is our strategic model and proven in these environments, with a 128GB SSD for reliability and speed. We sell thousands of these machines and know they will deliver value for money and reliability.

 “Overall, AURES hardware is tried, tested and reliable, and the company itself very supportive.”

The highly compact and versatile AURES NINO is an all-in-one EPOS terminal which, due to its size and reliability, is very popular with hospitality and catering operators. The fully adjustable swing arm which connects the main processing unit and screen to the base can be fixed in any viewing position, from horizontal to 90 degrees vertical. As well as taking up minimal surface space, it is built to be robust and hardwearing, ideal in an environment where there is a risk of spills and so on. A second rear-facing customer screen can be added to complement the PCAP touchscreen.

About MCR Systems Ltd

MCR Systems Ltd has over forty years’ experience providing hospitality, catering and leisure organisations with enterprise management solutions. Based in Leicester, the company has an installation base of many thousands of PoS systems, working with major multiple operators and leading names across the hospitality sector.

Combining high quality software, cutting edge EPOS technology and a unique combination of skills and experience in EPOS installation, project management, customer training and consultancy services, MCR has built a powerful reputation for adding considerable value to EPOS technology with high levels of pre- and post-sales support. The company has invested heavily in developing Symphony, its flagship hosted EPOS management suite for multi-site businesses.