Pub technology has come a long way in recent years, and with energy bills and stock prices on the rise, not to mention the hospitality sector staff shortage, a lot of operators are bringing in new technology to help their businesses save money. Tech also has the advantage of taking away some of the more tedious tasks from staff, so they have more time to give better customer service. So what sort of technology should your pub be looking at?
What is pub technology?
Pub technology is the technology that is installed in bars and pubs to keep the place running smoothly. It can include everything from point-of-sale (POS) systems that track sales and inventory, to systems that manage the music and entertainment in the bar. It’s used to help the bar or pub staff do their jobs better, which ultimately benefits the customers.
In this article, we’ll be focusing on the customer service side of pub tech. How to speed up your order processing, new ways of digital ordering and using your data effectively will be covered.
What types of pub technology is there?
If you don’t already have an EPOS (electronic point of sale) system, or if yours isn’t working well for you, this should be your main investment. An EPOS system will save you time and money by streamlining your whole operation and making life as easy as possible for your staff.
Your EPOS system will manage your menu, collect data and produce reports that help you manage your business. It will also seamlessly integrate into your payment terminals, receipt printers, and bar printers.
Once you have the right EPOS in place, you’ll be able to give your staff handheld ordering tablets. All orders placed on these get sent straight to your bar or kitchen printer, reducing errors and saving time.
Staff will also be able to access all menu information at their fingertips, so they can see what’s out of stock and any dietary information.
Order at table apps
Instead of having to queue at the bar or try to get a waiter’s attention, having an order at table app means customers can easily place an order and pay through their phone whenever they’re ready. This hugely speeds up the ordering process and helps staff turn over tables more quickly. Human error is also reduced and there’s no time lag between writing down the order and entering it into the point of sales, as any orders placed through the app can get sent straight to your bar or kitchen printer.
A lot of pub apps, especially for big chains, require you to download it to order. These have some benefits, such as the ability to send push notifications and more advanced design options, but can also cause friction for your customers. You can choose between this sort of app, or one that can just be accessed through your phone’s browser using a QR code.
According to data from Payment Sense, more than 7.4million brits are living a “cashless life”, so make sure you’re not left behind. All credit and debit cards issued now feature contactless technology, so make sure your pub is making the most of it by ensuring it is equipped with contactless payment terminals. These can make a big difference during your busiest times, helping to cut down queues.
When running a bar, it’s important to keep track of your stock. A good inventory management system can help you avoid overstocking and in turn help your profit margins.
Modern EPOS systems, such as ours, are able to provide a faster and more accurate inventory management system that allows you to track when your drinks are being used down to the ml. You’ll be able to set up custom recipes for items such as cocktails so the right amount of stock can be taken from parent products, and set up stock notifications so you know when you have to reorder items.
Reporting and data analysis
Your system will generate historical data on sales that you can use to make informed decisions for your business. You’ll be able to keep an eye on your cash flow, sales trends, and customer demand. Use this data to identify times or days that are producing lower sales, and create targeted promotions to encourage customers to visit during these times, or to plan your staff rotas by predicting future customer numbers.
Integrate an online booking system with your website to create a convenient process for customers and to allow you to get an idea of how busy you’ll be. They can also have a big impact on reducing no-shows, as they can send an automated text reminder before the booking. This will give guests the chance to cancel or change their booking. You’ll be kept in the loop, and have the opportunity to rebook their table.
Online booking tools are also another great way to get customer information that you can use for marketing, so you’re able to create personalised and targeted offers to drive repeat visits.
What technology does my pub need?
The size and offering of your pub will help determine what pieces of tech you’ll find the most useful. You’ll really start to feel the benefits when different parts of your operation are able to automatically link together.
For example, if your order and pay app is able to link to your stock management, your stock levels can get automatically updated in real time, saving you from a lot of admin. You could also collect marketing data from customers ordering for takeaway or click and collect, and text or email them with an offer for dine-in.
Why should I invest in pub technology?
As well as making your business more efficient and providing a better customer experience, technology can provide you with a lot of information so you can better understand your operation.
It can help to give you full visibility over every aspect of your business, from sales to staff to inventory. Any information you need will be available instantly, even if you’re away from your site.
How to choose a pub technology partner
It’s important you choose the right technology provider for your business. Obviously, you’ll want to make sure they have a good track record and experience with the pub industry. You’ll get the best results with a company who has a thorough understanding of the industry and your needs, compared to providers offering a one-size-fits-all product.
Due to the nature of the pub industry, you could have a problem with the tech at any time of day or night. Make sure your provider offers late night and early morning support, as well as thorough training on the software.
Something else to consider is making sure your provider will be able to support you as you grow. If you open a new site, will it be easy to add new hardware, and will the software work across multiple locations? Your needs now may be different to what you need in the future.
The right technology, from the right provider will make your business more efficient, improve the customer experience, reduce waste, and help you make the right decisions.
Switch to Gardiff and we’ll work with you every step of the way to make sure your life is made easier from the switch, not harder. Our EPOS systems are fully customisable, with the ability to choose what hardware and software features & integrations you need to support your business. A fully connected system means running your business is streamlined and simplified. You and your staff will have more time to focus on giving a great customer experience. You’ll be able to access your reports, insights and make menu changes on any device, even when you’re not onsite.
Interested to learn more about switching to Gardiff? Get in touch for a free demo.