La Raza Ltd is a well-established hospitality business based in Cambridge. The brainchild of entrepreneur owner Charles Anderson, who cut his teeth in the music business before setting up the firm, the business consists of two bar/restaurants in the city and a small outside events company. The plan is to expand to a third restaurant and bar outside Cambridge in spring 2014.
In the decade since Anderson first set-up the company with a former business partner, La Raza has weathered the UK economy’s ups and downs to grow into a £1.5 million entity. With 45 employees, Anderson has built a popular city centre business serving breakfast right through until late night cocktails.
With two busy city centre bar/restaurants, La Raza wanted to maximise sales with fast and reliable card payments. This is especially important during the busy 10pm-1am shift, when the restaurants transform into late night bars serving cocktails. Processing payments quickly in this environment can make a big difference to takings at the end of the night, particularly at weekends.
A portable machine was needed to allow serving staff to accept card payments at customers’ tables, improving service quality and cutting waiting times. As a small business, La Raza wanted a package which could do all of this cost effectively, securely and efficiently over multiple sites. Finally, Anderson was keen that his provider had knowledgeable customer support staff just a phone call away in the event of any problems.
La Raza began its relationship with Worldpay after changing Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) system providers to Maitre D’, which has an existing relationship with Worldpay. To begin with, Worldpay’s wireless card machines have been deployed to La Raza’s first outlet to enable portable, face-to-face card payments in a speedy, secure manner.
The portability of wireless card machines means staff can not only get around the restaurant quickly and easily for at-table card payments, but also serve the outside area. Although it’s too early to calculate increased efficiency or cost savings, Anderson is clear that accepting card payments has helped La Raza grow its bottom line. The firm is already processing around £35,000 in card transactions per month at just one site with the new terminals.
Worldpay Total was chosen as the payment service for La Raza, offering secure, integrated payments between the till system and mobile card machines. What this means for the company is a single bill for the customer and no need to reconcile transactions with till takings at the end of each night. All transactions from multiple devices and locations can be managed through a real-time online portal, simplifying management and reporting.
Worldpay was “professional, efficient and pleasant” to deal with, according to Anderson. He was particularly impressed with the quick and easy set-up of the terminals, adding that Worldpay “fit the bill in terms of being able to offer competitive prices and speedy transactions”.
Next up is to roll out a similar set-up of wireless card machines to the second existing site alongside an EPOS refresh with Worldpay Total as the payment service. After that the plan is to maximise sales at the new site outside Cambridge in spring 2014 with the same portable card machines. Having the same integrated payment system for all sites will ease the reporting burden no end for a growing business like La Raza.
It’s still early days for La Raza and Worldpay, but Anderson is already thinking ahead to new ways Worldpay could boost his business. These plans include mobile card machines for La Raza’s mobile bars division, and possibly support for foreign currency transactions. The latter could be a popular feature given Cambridge’s large influx of tourists and foreign students.
So how about the next big thing in payments?
That may be some years away, but La Raza is clearly wasting no time in growing its business – maximising sales and customer satisfaction, with the help of Worldpay.