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Tools of the trade: how independent pubs are digitising to get ahead

The independent pub is one of Australia’s most recognisable cultural icons. Known as the epicentre of many a country town, the good old pub was always the place to swap stories, relax with mates and sometimes even to post a letter. 

Running an independent pub today, however, is a completely different ball game to 20 or 30 years ago. It used to be you could open your doors and welcome a steady stream of customers seven days a week and if you’d used the term cash redemption terminal, you’d have been laughed out of town.  

Today, people are drinking less and are much more discerning about what they drink and where it originated. Food in pubs is expected to be much more sophisticated. Meanwhile, licensing policies and opening hours are much more restricted. And the same old pressures of staffing persist. 

It’s not all bad news however. The modern economy also brings the kind of digital tools that streamline operations in venues. We’re seeing a new wave of digitally savvy licensees start to take over establishments, choosing a range of techniques from innovative payment methods to staff-rostering POS systems. These not only support data-driven decisions, but they unshackle the licensee from being onsite 16+ hours a day.

Today, we’re going to take a look at the 4 most interesting ways independent pubs are digitising their venues for greater performance. 

1. Staff rostering

Rostering is one of those pesky jobs for pub licensees that becomes a weekly headache. Giving staff enough hours - but not too many - working around their schedules as well as the requirements of the business can be an old-school headache that just hasn’t gone away. 

Software such as Deputy, Ento, and 7shifts can minimise this pain today. This type of software can enable you to roster based on skill set or experience level, and work around employee black-out zones such as university lectures or school pick-ups. This new wave of systems can also help you track staff costs against data, identifying your strongest individuals and teams and helping you optimise your profitability. 

Go further and integrate your rostering and time management system with your point of sale (POS) system. This will allow your staff to clock in and out at the POS terminal for immediacy and accuracy. A POS integrated rostering system will tighten up your labour cost and save you time and hassle.

2. Security and accuracy of money management 

Pubs are typically dimly lit, high-paced working environments where honest mistakes, as well as dishonest dealings, can happen under even the most eagle-eyed supervisor. Prevention is key. The less your staff handle money the less opportunity for mistakes - and other things. 

Install technology that streamlines your cash management like a cash recycling system which takes the leg work out of cash handling. A cash recycling machine will allow you to securely and accurately manage your incoming cash, track your cash-flow and avoid the risks and costs associated with cash handling. Try a smart safe to reduce errors and protect your gaming float. Look for a system with high-level dispense controls that protect against shrinkage and robbery. Lastly, install an easy to use, self-service cash redemption terminal to minimise cash handling by staff even further.

3. Digitising and integrating inventory management

In a busy pub, it's essential to maintain the balance between avoiding stock discrepancies and wastage and keeping staff accountable. Inventory management solutions, like those offered by SwiftPOS, InfoGenesis, and NCR automate the process of ordering inventory, saving you in shrinkage and time. 

Like your staff rostering software, look for a system that integrates with your pub's point of sale (POS) system. The integration will ensure your software will automatically pick up when your bar staff process a beverage and give you accurate oversight of your current inventory. 

Not only will your POS system 'talk' with your inventory management software, but some of the software solutions will allow you to take care of orders, invoices and purchase orders, and check vendor information right at your POS machine. No need to enter the back office, send off a bunch of emails or even break out the old fax machine anymore!

4. Innovative payment solutions

As digital payments become more common across the world, there is some speculation that cash will disappear from society within the next five years. While the trend to go cashless isn't going away, Australia’s pub and clubs are a little more dependent on cash than many, thanks to rigorous gaming regulations. Therefore, dealing with cash isn't something that's going away anytime soon. 

With cash still at the forefront, savvy pubs are digitising in different ways including installing the now commonplace cash redemption terminal where ticket-in-ticket-out (TITO) technology means a discreet gaming experience for patrons. Designed with a user-friendly touchscreen and combined with tried and tested components, Banktech's QuickPay terminal will enhance the experience for your gaming patrons. With cloud-based software, you can see all your gaming, cash and device activity from any Banktech device 24/7 365 days a year - freeing the licensee (you!) from being onsite all day, every day. 

With exciting technology entering Australia's independent pubs, licensees are finding innovative ways to tackle age-old problems like rostering, cash management and security, inventory management and new dilemmas like the rise in digital payments. 

Stay at the forefront of digitisation and find out more information about how to buy the best CRT for your independent pub, download our Ultimate Cash Redemption Terminal Buyer's Guide for your venue here

Note: The above mentioned tools, products, and services are listed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be an endorsement of any products or services outside of Banktech.

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