City Pub Company

The City Pub Company operates a collection of individual pubs with great character, fantastic beer, delicious food and excellent service. With locations across southern England from Oxford to Cambridge, Norwich to Winchester and from Bath to Brighton, as well as some of the most delightful parts of London.

An EPOS and e-commerce solution from two technology companies specialising in hospitality, Gardiff EPOS and J2 Retail Systems, has now been rolled out at the latest addition to The City Pub Company’s portfolio, The Bath Brew House.

Alex Derrick, chief executive of The City Pub Company (West) Plc, looks after six of the 13 establishments. “We have a number of beautiful, individual pubs and our model is to tailor each to its location. We buy freehold pubs without brewery ties and turn them into the best pub in the area. We put a lot of time and effort into thinking what would work for each, and people respond really well to this. It generates ongoing loyalty.”

In the case of The Bath Brew House, the company purchased the freehold on a tired old pub. “We spent a lot on it but we spent wisely” says Derrick. Opening on 1 October 2013, the public response has been overwhelming. The Bath Brew House boasts its own micro-brewery, the James Street Brewery, a bar and dining area with open kitchen, rotisserie and smokehouse, as well as a function room and large garden and patio area for al-fresco dining.

When The City Pub Company’s owners formerly ran The Capital Pub Company, they engaged with solutions provider Gardiff EPOS to install and support their EPOS hardware and software. “It was a natural evolution to take Gardiff EPOS into our new incarnation. It takes a lot of energy getting the doors open and we’re focused on sales and on our growth plans, but now’s the time to make sure we have essential systems are in place.”

The City Pub Company has now rolled out Gardiff EPOS terminals to all its locations.

“The pubs we’ve acquired either had nothing or old hardware, so we’ve installed brand new systems across the business. Our estate amounts to 50 terminals, spread across our bars, function rooms and restaurants. We find the solution very reliable.”

Alex Derrick and his team are very comfortable with the Gardiff EPOS solution. “We’re working on fine tuning, which will make it easier to roll out a consolidated system across the group.” Automated reporting is particularly popular. “On a Monday, I get standard weekly reports plus each pub manager can pull off daily reports, to generate all the stats he needs to run his business. Gardiff EPOS makes it easy to obtain the information we need to make decisions. It’s perfect for us.”

He goes on to explain that many of his staff have worked in different pubs and restaurants and used a number of EPoS systems. “They all seem to like Gardiff EPOS, having used other solutions.”

In terms of new developments, The City Pub Company is currently trialling Gardiff EPOS full integrated stock management package in a number of pubs. “Now everything is automated, whereas before we handled stock management manually and entered sales figures into spreadsheets.”

New hardware devices are also now being used, notably tablets for EPOS, in venues such as The Bath Brew House and The Phene in Chelsea which both have large gardens. “We can offer table service as a point of difference. Not many beer gardens can do that. A member of staff with a small float can be a wandering till. POS on the tablets is consolidated with our fixed-point terminals, so it’s part of the overall EPOS solution. It’s very neat,” concludes Derrick.

Alex Derrick - City Pub Company (West).  A Gardiff EPOS customer