Over 20 years of EPOS excellence

Whether it’s your morning coffee, food on the go or a meal with the family, chances are you’ve paid the bill on a WRS Systems till or kiosk.

Such is the growth of WRS in the past 20 years that the business supports almost 600 companies across 4,500 sites in the UK alone. Add recent contracts in Europe and it’s clear to see why WRS is leading the way in the hospitality and retail industries.

As the chosen EPOS supplier for some of the largest brands in the country, WRS’s founder and Managing Director David Jackson admits he sometimes has to pinch himself when he sees how far the business has come.

“I was in London recently and I saw four food outlets that we supply, within metres of each other,” he says.

“Considering where we started, operating from a two-up, two-down building that was virtually falling apart, it’s quite remarkable really. I say this to my wife, Lynn. We now have more than 60 staff employed at our head office on the Isle of Wight, who deal with clients across the UK every single day.”

David founded WRS in 2003 with his son, Chris, who is the Technical Director. Sophie, his daughter, joined a short time later and holds the position of Operations Director.

“I think that we have always tried to be inclusive and be a good company to work for. You need to understand the people who work for you and know that everyone is different,” David explains. “We try to get the best out of people and use different strengths to make it all work. We are an independent company with core family values of integrity and loyalty, alongside a customer-first approach.”

David’s career started back in 1979, when he joined a local technology company on the Isle of Wight. In 1994, his business partner at the time decided he wanted to sell. David took the gamble and took over the company.

“I remember the breakthrough when I secured our first client,” he recalls. “It was a great feeling. But, shortly after, the business was broken into. We had a lot of equipment, which was due to be installed, stolen. But we rolled up our sleeves and managed to get the job done.

“We started to sell hardware across the Isle of Wight and the south of England. Back then, the tills were fixed units. They weren’t linked to the internet or anywhere near as customisable as they are today.”

As the business continued to grow, with new clients coming on board, so did the personnel. “My son, Chris, joined the business straight from school and started doing Saturday mornings,” says David. “He had great enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. He went to college where he got all his exams.

“At the time there was just me, Chris and two others. One, Richard Hawkins, is now our Associate Technical Director. I was thrilled when my daughter, Sophie, came into the business a few years later. She’s really helped us grow as a company.”

WRS first started working with Costa Coffee in the 2000s and provided a formula that worked. Now, every Costa Coffee you enter – or drive-thru – is supplied by WRS.

“We covered thousands of miles up and down the country installing new EPOS for these sites. In 2018, the roll-out was complete – a monumental milestone for WRS,” David says. “We are very proud of all the clients we work with – Costa Coffee, Itsu, Cornish Bakery, Dunkin’, Thunderbird Chicken, to name just a few.”

As the world ground to a halt in 2020 when the Covid pandemic hit, David admits it was a chance for WRS to take stock of where it was and where it could go. “It was such an uncertain time. We closed our doors for one week, but then we reopened our support desk. We managed to keep hold of all our staff and made sure everyone was paid. Our clients were open, so we needed to be there for them. We came back with a fresh look and a new impetus.”

Today, WRS Systems is an award-winning company providing industry-leading, secure EPOS solutions to the hospitality, retail, sport and education sectors. From one-till sites to multi-site national chains, WRS has a flexible approach to any business.

And being there when clients need them is a key part of the WRS ethos and culture.

“We have always prided ourselves on our aftersales care from day one,” says David. “We significantly increased our support desk when we won the Costa Equity contract. Our support desk is always growing as we meet the needs of our clients. We are already open 17 hours a day, seven days a week. With more international companies on board, we will be adapting as we need to.”

How does David see the EPOS industry in the next five years?

“Self-service EPOS has grown significantly in recent years,” he points out. “We’re seeing a big uptake of kiosks as they have now become part of the customer journey at most retail and hospitality sites. The face-to-face customer interaction is still so important, but self-service offers that alternative. It’s an exciting time for the industry.”

Away from the office, David is a keen sports fan and makes the most of living by the sea. “I enjoy various sports, the main one being football and following my beloved Aston Villa. I do have a keen interest in F1 too. There is also something quite special about living by the sea. I’m not sure I’d want to change that!”

For more information, visit wrssystems.co.uk