Ambassador Theatre Group takes a bow with Zonal tech

Introducing Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG)

Founded in 1992

The UK’s largest theatre owner and operator

Operates more than 50 venues across the UK, the US and Germany

Portfolio includes historic West End theatres such as the Duke of York’s, Harold Pinter, Piccadilly, Savoy, the Apollo Victoria and the Lyceum

“Our sales activity peaks dramatically in the hour before a show and during the interval when staff can serve several hundred drinks in a very short amount of time, so they need to be well-trained to cope with these bursts of intense sales activity”
Colin Chester, Buying Manager, ATG

The business challenge

With more than eight million customers passing through its doors every year, ATG was looking for ways to use point of sale technology to speed up sales in its bars and restaurants, to reduce queues before performances and during intervals, and improve their customer experiences. They also wanted to upgrade their financial planning and stock taking technology and take back full control of stock taking for all their bars and restaurants.

Another of ATG’s key requirements was to find a simple way to raise purchase orders for new stock electronically and replace the inefficient and unreliable paper forms theatre managers had to fill in by hand.

Drive more profit from every visitor

Control the huge quantities of sales data it generates daily

Paper-only purchase order forms were filled in by hand

External suppliers were paid to carry out stock checks

“A major benefit of Zonal’s approach to training was that staff and managers had lots of opportunities to practice using every function of the technology with experienced trainers on hand to guide us through every eventuality.”
Colin Chester, Buying Manager, ATG
This is a Zonal EPoS system

The solution

ATG adopted Zonal’s EPoS technology, EPoS hardware with chip and pin devices, as well as an integrated purchase-to-pay solution across its box offices, bars and restaurants. ATG also invested in a bespoke training programme for each venue, which included a two-day management course, intensive live support on the day of installation and practical assistance for the first stock-take.

  • A customised training and support programme was developed for each venue
  • A new purchase-to-pay system with electronic ordering
  • EPoS technology allowing staff to clearly identify drinks that have been pre-ordered
  • Reporting providing intelligence on interval drinks performance by venue

“Adopting Zonal’s technology has enabled us to take greater control of our business than ever before and made it possible for us to view our company in a completely new way, based on clear facts that are easy to gather”
Colin Chester, Buying Manager, ATG

Results

By implementing Zonal’s EPoS technology for theatres and investing in a thorough programme of staff training, ATG has significantly reduced interval congestion and increased the volume of sales. Their new purchase ordering system makes it much easier for their accounts team to process orders and means prices are always consistent and up-to-date. After a successful implementation, ATG is now trialling an integrated loyalty card system to gather information about customer buying behaviours.

Bespoke training has ensured staff have a thorough understanding of the system and the knowledge they need to train new members of staff.
This is the integration icon
Venue managers can now create electronic orders for supplies
Increased sales during intervals
This is the customer data icon
A reduction in queues at the bar has improved the overall customer experience
Reports on interval drinks performance by venue are used to design initiatives to improve performance across all venues.
“Using the system’s sales reports, we can now see how each of our venues is performing at any time, and that is extremely important for us, particularly as we grow, to ensure we support every part of the group in the most productive ways. The intelligence we receive from the system at the end of every day, week and month is being used to inform our plans and helping us to develop new and effective ways of working and marketing ourselves.”
Colin Chester, Buying Manager, ATG

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