otter nurseries

EPoS Case Study – Otter Garden Centres


Otter Garden Centres is a family run business with 7 garden centres in the South West region.

It has grown to the extent  that it is the largest employer in the local area of Ottery St Mary in Devon.

Although the majority of the product range is classic garden centre products, the shopping experience is more like a department store, selling furniture, clothing and a diverse range of general retail goods.


Otter Garden Centre wanted to revamp their restaurant with separate serving for both hot and cold food.

It was fundamental not to loose that personal touch via waitress service, but wanted to use new technology to control order taking, food preparation and serving of all meals.

Although touch screens allowed for meal options and choices, an additional tier was added to record the way in which the meal would be served.

Lets say you wanted a roast dinner and you had selected your vegetables.

The additional request would be lets say where you wanted the gravy, or even if no gravy was required.


The whole process was scrutinised and the EPoS system tweaked to respond to make eating there a satisfying experience.

Although most of the changes were in the ordering process on the till, the kitchen is advised of both hot and cold meal preparation via printed table service, in the right order of starters, mains and sweets, irrespective of the way placed.

The meals availability is stock controlled and made aware to the counter staff, avoiding the customer becoming upset, having being told up front of any sold outs choices.

The kitchen monitors table service by touch screens  prompting any late tables not to be missed.

The serving of tables is completed by waitress staff touching and clearing the table as the meals go out.

This system isn’t a case of too many cooks, more a case of a meal deal, maintaining the Otter Garden Centre brand of quality and service.


“Operationally, it is simple to use and the response from the staff has been great. We have an excellent working relationship with Open Retail and they have accommodated changes based on our ideas into their solution. This has made it an even better system and a mutually beneficial partnership”


Cathy White

Visit Otter Garden Centres website.