Author Archives: Whitney Larson

How ID Scanning Increases Loyalty

Checking IDs is commonly considered a necessary evil of serving alcohol.

It’s not sexy. It’s not exciting. It’s just a step in the process. But this step can actually be turned into a huge asset to your bar or nightclub, especially with the right technology.

When you shift your thinking and equip yourself with the right tools, this very basic step becomes both your internal liability program as well as your external customer loyalty program.


The Legal Aspect

The liability and security side of checking IDs is always the most top-of-mind, particularly when it comes to verifying whether a guest is of age to drink. And from that aspect alone, having your staff manually review IDs is sufficient. But your liability decreases drastically when you equip that staff member with an ID scanning system. Here’s why:

  • It reduces the chances of honest human errors. Humans make mistakes even with the best intentions, such as incorrectly calculating someone’s age based on their date of birth. Having a quick license scan double verifies the guest’s age with a simple color coded alert of whether they’re over 21 or under 21. It makes it foolproof even under high stress situations.
  • It assists with easily passing stings. When authorities are checking to make sure you’re compliant, they legally cannot do so by using a fake ID or purposefully deceiving you. That means most stings are a result of incorrect math or laziness. Having a policy with an ID scan system corrects any mental mistakes and confirms all IDs are reviewed.
  • It aids in detecting fakes. Fake IDs are getting more complex, so having an ID scan system is just one more layer in the process of detecting a fake. Plus, in a worse-case scenario when you accidentally serve a minor, having a digital system is your paper trail to prove to authorities you didn’t purposefully serve that person and did the best of your ability to be compliant.
  • It digitally tracks your 86 list. Your seasoned staff may know immediately if a guest is banned and shouldn’t be let in, but your new employees likely won’t. Rather than memorizing a photo book of those who aren’t allowed, an ID scan system will automatically alert your employee if a guest is banned from the venue. Plus, if an incident occurs during the night, your staff can easily add that guest to your ban list so you always have the most up-to-date information to maintain a safe environment.
  • It alerts you of potentially unruly patrons. Some ID scan systems, like us at Vēmos, allows you to opt into a city-wide ban list. This means you’ll be alerted if a guest is banned at a nearby location along with the reason they were banned. You then use this information to make educated decisions on whether or not you want to let that guest into your venue.


  • Maintaining a secure environment minimizes costs associated with insurance, repairs, fines, and enforcement. What’s more is it provides an enjoyable atmosphere for your guests, which translates to a more profitable establishment. Which leads to the next aspect: loyalty.


    The Loyalty Aspect

    The not-so-obvious side of an ID scanning system is that it can become your loyalty program. And it can serve you better than most standalone loyalty programs can. Why? Because every guest needs to have their ID to drink. Not every guest is going to have your loyalty card or app. In fact, few consumers today want to have a separate loyalty card for every establishment they ever visit, so you’ll only capture a small percentage of your daily patrons.


    With an ID scanning system, you’re able to collect data on all of your guests. This goes well beyond their name, age and other demographic information. We’re talking behavioral data — how often that guests comes, what time of day they check in, how many visits they’ve had this month, what types of events or promotions drive them there, the list goes on. And when you connect your ID scanning system to your point of sale system, you unlock a whole new layer of behavioral information. Not to mention you get a ton of invaluable insights on what factors drives your business and which triggers to pull to repeat that business.


    It’s with this information that you’re able to reward your guests for doing what they’re already doing — simply showing up — and begin to offer them personalized service based on their habits. Notice it’s their 5th time coming in this month? Comp their first drink. Haven’t seen them in a while? Reach out to them about a special you think they’d enjoy. It’s these types of actions that build connections between consumers and brands, and drive true loyalty to your establishment.



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    4 Reasons to Have a Digital Guestlist

    Pen and paper is one of the biggest cause for mistakes in our industry. I’ve seen venues not let in high profile guests who would have spent thousands inside the door all because one person didn’t know who they were. I’ve seen guest list lines get bottlenecked as the host sifts through pages to try to find the name that was written down. I’ve also seen people who were told they were on the list get turned away because they weren’t added before the list got printed.

    None of these things should happen anymore, and it’s costing your venue thousands of dollars as a result.

    That’s why it’s time to retire the old pen & paper guest list and upgrade to a digital system that’ll bring in even more revenue opportunities. Here are 4 main benefits from a digital guest list.

    1. Increase Efficiency 

    You’re able to streamline your guest list line when you have a digital, centralized list. Plus, it’s a lot easier for your staff to handle. All they have to do is either scan the guests’ QR code or search for their name, mark them as arrived, and then they’re on to the next guest. No more sifting through pages of paper. Now guests are inside and spending more money at the bar to drive up your bar sales.

    2. Collect Guest Information

    With pen and paper, it was next to impossible to collect and track your guest list information. Even if you kept that piece of paper, did you ever look back at it to understand the data? Now you’re able to with ease. A digital system keeps track of your guest list status automatically so you don’t have to cross-reference your list at the end of the night. Plus, you’ll know exactly how many people checked in and which promoter, staff member, or marketing campaign brought them in the first place.

    3. Understand Guest Habits

    Most guest lists do the mere task of checking people in. The best ones are those that sync with other areas of your venue to present wholistic, individual guest data. This then allows you to better understand who your guests are from a demographic level, but also what their habits and preferences are. What types of beverages do they order? How much do they spend once inside your venue? Do they only come on big event nights; Friday nights; every weekend night? These answers help you to give each guest a more personal experience, allows you to better market to them to keep them coming back, and even gives you the power to upsell them once they arrive. This is the type of activity that grows your club’s revenue while improving their experience — a win-win for all.

    4. Get Staff on Same Page

    With a digital system, each staff member can have their own login and add guests as they come in. These guests appear on your list in real-time, so there’s never that awkward moment of someone thinking they were on when they never got added. Plus, this removes the need for staff to email or text in their list to make sure their guests get added — they have the ability of doing it themselves and knowing that their guests got on. It’s smoother and has less room for error.


    Pen and paper can’t provide anything to you other than simply crossing off names when guests arrive. Retire paper guest lists, move over to a digital guest list, and see the benefits it has on your club’s performance.

    Complying with FDA Tobacco 21

    On December 20, 2019, the President signed legislation to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and raise the federal minimum age of tobacco from 18 to 21 years. The FDA was quick to enforce the regulation, prompts posting on its website that it is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product to anyone under 21 effective immediately.

    What this means if you’re in the position of selling tobacco products:

      1. It is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product to anyone under 21. This includes cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, hookah tobacco, pipe tobacco, and e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (including vaping products).
      2. T21 applies to all retail establishments and persons with no exceptions.
      3. It is recommended to check the photo ID of everyone under the age of 30 who attempts to purchase any tobacco product

    While the FDA recently updated its website stating that “…both the agency and some retailers will need to update current practices to implement this new law as FDA will need time to do outreach and education to retailers and update the agency’s programmatic work to reflect this change in law,” it is not clear how long of a transition period will be allowed. The FDA expects retailers to follow the law and take measures to ensure an individual purchasing a tobacco product is 21 or older.

    We at Vēmos believe that every retailer should be in the clear and doesn’t need to spend their time worrying about whether or not they are complying within this grace period. That’s why we’re offering our mobile ID Scan app at just $35/month. It’s the fastest and easiest way to make sure you’re always following regulations so you don’t get caught in a compliance check.

    Here’s how it works:

      2. Scan the barcode on the back of the ID, and be immediately alerted if someone is underage. You’ll have visual cues along with audible beeps as indicators. You’ll also be alerted if the ID is expired or invalid.
      3. Scan the next guest’s ID.

    It’s that easy. You’ll be set up within minutes, will verify a customer’s age within seconds, and have a log of all your scans should you ever need to prove your compliance. Get started now.

    Your NYE Checklist

    If you haven’t yet, set up your event in your Vēmos dashboard and start selling tickets. Some NYE parties have already sold out of their tier 1 early bird tickets and are on to tier 2. This is a great way to add urgency, pre-sell your event out early, and get more revenue per guest as the event nears. Read this article for more tips on how to prepare ahead of time.

    To have a successful NYE night using Vēmos

    ☑ Download the Vēmos app on either iOS or Android devices.

    ☑ Easily scan tickets from the guestlist view of the app by tapping on the “Scan” icon in guestlist view. You can also type the code under the QR code while in scan mode or search the guest’s name to mark them as arrived.

    ☑ Sell tickets directly through the app for walk-up/door sales to keep your data in one place.

    ☑ Use multiple lines to streamline your door: one for pre-purchased tickets and one for walk-up tickets/door sales. Your primary speed should be focused on pre-purchased tickets to show the incentive of buying tickets in advance.

    ☑ Check your internet connectivity to make sure you can flawlessly run the app on your device. If you have weak internet, use devices that have data plans or get a personal hotpsot to keep at your check in area.

    Set up Your New Year’s Eve Event in your dashboard now, or click here to get started with Vēmos.

    How one bartender increased tips by 186% after a failed sting

    No bartender wants to serve a minor, but mistakes happen. And that’s what happened to Sarah Upton, a bartender at Texarkana 67 Speedway. An innocent math error caused her to fail a sting and get slapped with a $500 fine. It was a simple human mistake we’ve all experienced at one time or another, and it was one she knew she never wanted to make again.

    That’s when she turned to Vēmos.


    “Before I found Vēmos, I was a constant nervous wreck,” Sarah informed us. “My lines would get backed up all the way down the field. It took me forever to pinprick every ID. I felt like I needed to get people through, but was so nervous that I was going to miss something on the ID. Which I did, and got busted for it.”


    After getting slapped with a fine, Sarah started researching a solution that would make sure she didn’t get caught in this situation again. What originally started as a search for a simple age verification system turned into a bigger opportunity than she could have imagined. Several ID Scan companies appeared in her search results, but Vēmos was the one that stuck out the most. “The V was like Victory – there it is! That’s it! It had everything I was looking for and more.”

    Sarah downloaded the app, and went right to work. “There were no obstacles to get started. I popped open the app, started scanning, and it never failed me. It’s very precise. It beeps if there’s an under age guest. It beeps if there’s someone with an expired license. You don’t have to take the time to nit pick a license. You just stick it under the camera and boom! It’s done. My night was so much smoother as a result.”

    But how much smoother? That was the question we knew we needed to get more insight on, so we dug in further to get an example.

    “I used it that first Friday night, and I was so relaxed,” Sarah continued. “The app is so quick. I didn’t get behind in checking IDs. By the time intermission came around, I already had everyone’s ID checked, I’d stamp their hand if they’ve already been checked once, and it just worked out perfect! I didn’t have a great big line like I usually did. This process was so much quicker to get them served, get them out of the way, and get them back to their entertainment. When they’re standing in my line, they’re not getting the entertainment they came to see.”

    Experience is something we talk a lot about here at Vēmos, so we wanted to understand how having a smoother process impacted guest experience. We inquired if not standing in a slow line changed how her customers interacted with her.

    “Yes it did!” Sarah immediately replied. “Everyone was so friendly and complimented how smooth the line was and how quick and precise the app was. I spent more time interacting with the guests because I wasn’t so stressed about picking apart the ID. I even caught numerous expired licenses because of the app, and was able to tell the guest. They didn’t even know it was expired and thanked me — they thanked me even though I didn’t serve them because their ID was expired! Oh, and by the way, I made the best tips I ever made out there!”

    Now that’s something worth diving into. After discussing her average tips prior to this night, then compared to what she received, we discovered she more than doubled. In fact, it was an increase of 186%. Was it because there were more people? Was it a busier night than usual? Turns out, no. It was a similar attendance to previous nights, many of whom were repeat guests. So why the sudden and drastic increase?

    “I think it’s because they knew I was being very friendly. They weren’t spending their night standing in my line. It was so much quicker. I was able to talk to everyone. Nobody was mad that I had to scan their ID. I just explained to them that it’s a process we started and that if they come out here they have to have their ID scanned. And they would respond saying that I’m just doing my job and covering my bases. Everyone was really friendly with it.”

    Those are the intangibles that come along with equipping yourself with the tools that allow you to do your job better. For Sarah, what started as a failed sting ended up with faster operations, happier guests, and increased tips. And of course eliminating her risk of getting busted again.

    “I will never work without this app again. I will quit my job if I don’t have this app. There’s no reason why you should get a citation. If this app is used right, there’s no way you can get in trouble. No way. If you scan every ID that comes through —I don’t care if they look like they’re 100 years old —you can’t get caught. It’s too precise.”