Technology that unites the customer with their surroundings is seeing a real surge in popularity and we expect this to gather pace as the summer months draw closer and the desire to make a more memorable experience out of each pub visit grows stronger. Every pub operator wants to stand out against competitors and the trick is to elevate the experience with subtle but effective refinements to the offer.
To achieve that feel-good atmosphere across the pub and maximise the impact of garden seating, front-of-house teams should be readily available without being constantly in view, and communication between teams should be almost invisible yet still allow the venue to operate at its best. Modern pagers, designed specifically for the pub industry, are allowing just that, with the technology having a real impact on front-of-house efficiency.
Although pagers are simple tools, the power they give to pub teams is substantial and makes the experience a dream for customers. EasyCall is a good example – a system using micro call buttons combined with wireless pagers which allows customers to call for service anywhere on-site, including outdoor areas. The buttons can be secured to walls or tables, and a single press silently signals to a base station that a table needs attention. The system creates faster communication between customers and staff, and can open up outside areas at a pub that operators might have found harder to serve efficiently, or stopped using altogether. Broadening the space in this way means a pub operator can achieve maximum capacity, whilst increasing profitability every time.
The paging concept can also be applied between teams. If food is on offer, WaiterCall pagers let the kitchen send a silent message to the appropriate server’s pager, which vibrates to signal exactly when to collect dishes that are ready to go. The same principle can be applied between the bar and the waiting team to enable slicker table service for drinks and increase spend per head – perfect for outdoor dining. If the waiter fails to answer by the third call, the system alerts the manager, who can keep service flowing. This means customers aren’t kept waiting and vastly reduces food wastage from meals being left at the pass.
Whichever way a pub operator chooses to fuse the teams, technological integration is key to enhancing the most important element of all – the customer experience – and this is never more important than over the summer months when customers like to enjoy the warmer weather and make the most of the outdoors. We expect to see further unification between the technology used in the kitchen and the systems in play front-of-house, to ensure the most enjoyable time for everyone.