Friends Joe Cussens and Justin Sleath started their careers in hospitality and retail and took the plunge opening their first pub in the city of Bath, the Marlborough Tavern, in 2006. This rundown, under-performing pub had all the potential for success in both character and location, and their judgement was spot on.
Joe’s experience of living in London and frequenting gastro pubs meant that when he returned to his home city of Bath he could see there was a gaping ‘gastro’ void to be filled thanks to an affluent population and high number of visitors. The investment quickly paid off and, in 2010, they took over The Chequers, Rivers Street before launching Bath Pub Company in 2012, following the opening of their third pub the Hare & Hounds, Lansdown Road.
Currently with an estate of four, but with ambitions for further growth, Joe and Justin were seeking a technology provider that could give them the insight they needed to run a successful business, but with the flexibility to deal with a collection of unique pubs, as opposed to a consistent brand.
“Each of our four pubs has its own distinct personality and we encourage our managers to run the pubs as their own. The chefs create their own menu according to what will work best for the pub, it’s about as far away from one size fits all as you can get, so we needed a technology partner that could cope with this challenge.”
This is where Zonal stepped in.
Managing director, Joe, said:
“We had an EPoS solution, but it failed to live up to expectation and was a constant source of frustration. Having researched the market, Zonal had all the credentials and the integrated technology solutions we needed to effectively manage our estate.”
“The level of detailed data we are able to access through Aztec is second to none. We have been able to drill down and identify everything from mistakes being made by staff, that when added up are costing the business, to the success (or not) of promotions.
“The reporting has given our managers a level of accountability and responsibility they didn’t have previously, and they have responded well to the opportunity and insight they now have at their fingertips,” added Joe.
Friendly, knowledgeable and superior service are core values of Bath Pub Company and Zonal’s iServe has helped them deliver their promise. It offers a cost-effective, reliable replacement to the traditional order pad, providing access to Aztec EPoS functionality on an iPod or iPad.
From anywhere in a venue, whether outdoors in the garden or inside, team members can take orders, print and process payments, providing a superior service to customers.
“We have been able to turn tables quicker, increase sales with a slicker service offer and reduce waste through cutting down on mistakes.”
Employing around 100 full time and part time staff, Bath Pub Company has a flexible workforce that ebbs and flows during peak tourist seasons, so having an intuitive EPoS interface is also critical to minimising mistakes.
“Staff have had an input on the screen layout, improving accuracy when it comes to orders and billing.”
Aztec EPoS has a reputation for its flexibility and for Bath Pub Company it has been evidenced through its integrated stock module.
“Previously we had to use an external provider to manage our wet stock and gathering the necessary data from the EPoS was nigh on impossible. Thankfully those frustrations are behind us and the process has been transformed and we can control our stock levels at each site far more efficiently.”
But it’s not just Zonal modules that integrate with Aztec, Bath Pub Company use labour management tool, S4Labour, and this integrates seamlessly, so the management team at Bath Pub Company can see labour cost versus sales on an hourly basis. Not only that, Zonal’s attendance module, which also integrates with S4, has meant Bath Pub Company’s employees no longer have to clock in manually.
“Our team members simply clock in at the start of a shift via a Zonal screen, which automatically updates the rota/time sheet on S4, saving a huge amount of time for our managers, giving them the time to focus on customer service.
“We are delighted with the functionality that Zonal technology has offered us and look forward to continuing our partnership as we acquire more sites.”