Cousins Subs Standardizes Tech Infrastructure with POS Rollout Cross-Franchise


Cousins Subs recently completed its rollout of a new POS system across its footprint. Fully funding the replacement of all systems, Cousins Subs corporate worked with Brink & Retail Data Systems of Wisconsin, a retail technology reseller organization, to integrate multiple vendors through one service and unify the sub shop’s POS system across all locations.

The POS features a cloud-based system with consumer facing payment terminals that utilize EMV standards and accept the most current payment methods including Apple, Samsung, and Google Pay.

“As guest expectations and our industry continue to evolve, we view our
investment in technology as vital to our brand’s success,” said Jason
Westhoff, chief financial officer at Cousins Subs, who is heavily involved in
defining and developing the brand’s technology strategies. “By making
these investments, we have standardized our technology infrastructure and put
a system in place that can positively impact our business for years to

The more efficient system has streamlined front-of-house operations by
reducing the amount of button pushes at the register, creating a more
conversational ordering flow with guests, and cutting down on the time it
takes to enter a guest’s order — enhancements that also allow for easier,
faster training of new employees.

Through the POS, stores can better meet operational goals with the help of automatic reporting that enables them to focus less on manual data calculations and more on managerial and cost savings decisions. The system’s inventory program helps managers keep track of cost of goods along with providing a prep list that uses historical
product mix data and projected sales to cut down on waste. Future integrations will incorporate a labor scheduler program to further assist managers and owners in improving operations.

A unified POS enables Cousins to more easily rollout new initiatives and
products such as limited-time-only sandwiches and digital menu boards that
can be managed and updated from the register. In addition, the system
simplifies the coupon redemption process allowing all offers to be tracked so
Cousins can decipher which offers and mediums are driving the most traffic
and value. Cousins’ online ordering is also integrated with the POS
ensuring pricing is accurately communicated in-store and the elimination of
manual entry of online orders at the register.

“Not only do these enhancements improve in-store operations and reporting,
they deliver a more rewarding guest experience. From a smoother checkout
process to us being able to target what offers will better suit guest needs,
the POS allows our system to run more effectively,” said Westhoff.

With consumer facing screens, guests can see and review the items they order
limiting mistakes and allowing them to verify their purchase with confidence.
The POS creates complete transactional transparency as the guest receipts
have the same information that gets sent to the back-of-house — a minor, but
important detail in ensuring guests’ orders are made correctly.

In addition to the rollout of the POS system, Cousins redesigned the in-store
network in all corporate and franchised units. The network is fully managed
through Cousins’ corporate IT team including full support of all devices
from POS, to phone and wireless backup systems. This change moves the
management of all in-store technology from the restaurant owner to Cousins’
Corporate Support Center, allowing the owner to focus on providing quality
products and guest service.

“Though the integration and rollout were handled corporately, our franchise
partners were an integral part of the process. They were invited to be part
of a committee focused on providing POS feedback on any global issues as well
as immersed in the buildout, testing, and rollout phases. Our goal was to
keep an open dialog to ensure all feedback and improvements were heard so
changes could be made immediately to benefit the entire system,” explained

The rollout of the POS system is just one of many investments Cousins has
made to help its corporate and franchise-owned restaurants bolster its
technology infrastructure both online and in-store. Over the last few years,
Cousins has built a new responsive consumer site with a more user-friendly
experience that better aligns with the brand through text and design, a
franchise site that more accurately communicates the brand story and growth
strategy to potential franchise partners, and a mobile ordering app that
offers increased functionality. Cousins has also invested in advanced
training technology to help operators set up employees for success.

Through an online and mobile app training tool, CousinsU, the sub shop can train
through short videos, online courses and quizzes that provide employees with
advancement skills and essential training needed to carryout optimum customer
service. Most recently, Cousins is in process of testing a new interior
digital signage package including menu boards and advertising materials
displayed on high-definition monitors as well as preparing to launch a
loyalty program in 2019.

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