City Pub Companys preferred point-of-sale system updates management capabilities as new owners breathe new life into old pub in Somerset town
The EPoS and e-commerce systems from two preferred supplier speciality hospitality technology companies, Gardiff
and J2 Retail Systems
, is part of an overhaul of a tired old pub purchased freehold by the hospitality chain in the southwest England town of Bath.
Alex Derrick, chief executive of The City Pub Company (West), 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,” he explained.
“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.”
Getting essential systems in place
Opening on 1 October 2013, The Bath Brew House boasts its own microbrewery, 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 alfresco dining.
When The City Pub Company’s owners formerly ran The Capital Pub Company, they engaged with technology provider Gardiff to install and support its EPoS hardware and software. “It was a natural evolution to take Gardiff into our new incarnation,” Derrick added.
“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 PC-based touchscreen EPoS terminals from J2 Retail Systems, comprising a mixture of J2 615s and the new J2 625, to all its locations.
Derrick said: “The pubs we’ve acquired either had nothing or old hardware, so we’ve installed brand new J2s across the business. Our estate amounts to 50 terminals, spread across our bars, function rooms and restaurants. We find the J2s very reliable. And we’re working on fine tuning, which will make it easier to roll out a consolidated system across the group.”
Supporting informed decision-making
The system’s 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,” he continued. “Gardiff makes it easy to obtain the information we need to make decisions. It’s perfect for us.”
The City Pub Company is also currently trialling Gardiff’s full integrated stock management package in a number of its establishments. “Now everything is automated, whereas before we handled stock management manually and entered sales figures into spreadsheets,” he added.
New hardware devices are also now being used, notably tablets for PoS, 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,” concluded Derrick.