We’ve seen it time and again: large, inefficient lines curling outside club doors. The keyword here is inefficient. It’s great to have lines and give the impression you’re the hottest club around. It’s not so great to be so inefficient that you slow down the speed of the night, make guests no longer excited about being at your venue, and miss out on more drink transactions.
What many clubs fail to realize is it’s possible to optimize and monetize your lines –to make money even before guests walk through your doors. It’s all done through mobile point of sale (POS) systems.
There are numerous mobile POS products on the market that easily connect to smartphones and tablets. All you have to do is find a vendor who integrates with these products while still providing valuable insight to your club, such as guest details, club performance, and transaction details.
Once you do that, the rest is easy. Instead of having guests wait in line, talk with the bouncer, and then finally talk with the cashier, you can move this all into one process.
- The bouncer or cashier walks through the line with a mobile device that’s attached to a mobile POS system,
- They say “yay” or “nay” to whether a guest is going to get in, much like they currently do,
- And they collect cover charges right on the spot
Guests can pay either in cash or with a credit card, get a stamp or wristband, and walk on in while the person running the mobile POS continues on through the line. Your operations just got that much more streamlined, the speed of night just got that much faster, and your revenue just got increased. Not only that, but you now have valuable data that’s tied to your club’s overall performance.
We understand: technology can be overwhelming, especially while implementing a new technology system in your club. Not only do you have to make sure the system actually works for your needs, but you have to train all employees on how to use it. But don’t be intimidated by this.
The truth is, new technology doesn’t have to be daunting. In fact, it oftentimes allows you and your staff to focus more on your customers and less on back-end technological issues. Here are 4 tips to make an easy transition while switching to new technology.
- Find the right partner. There’s a lot of nightclub technology solutions out there, including point of sale, guestlist management, and inventory systems. The best thing you can do is find a company who will act as a true partner in making your club more profitable. They should fully understand your club’s operations and strategies to provide the best solution to your needs. Also consider using a system that has multiple solutions on one platform. Not only does this reduce the number of vendors you have to work with on a daily basis, but also better integrates data about your club’s performance.
- Understand what you want to get out of your new system. It’s critical to know what your goals and expectations are from a system. Without having these defined in the beginning, you have no idea how well the system is working. This step also helps to present and analyze data in the most meaningful way possible to your club.
- Hold a staff training meeting. Get all staff members together who will be interacting with the new software. Having everyone in one place makes it easy for you to introduce the system, show them how it works, and answer any questions they may have. It may also be beneficial to bring in the company with whom you’re partnering to clarify any points or walk through the system.
- Show continuous support. Support must come from the top. If you don’t believe in the system, why should your employees? Employees buy into new processes and are more likely to ask for any needed help when upper management shows a level of investment in the product. This ensures your club runs like a well-oiled machine and sees better results.
Whitney Johnson is the global director of marketing for BookBottles. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The key to measuring the success of your club is by analyzing critical data. While many club owners agree with this statement, few have the necessary time and resources to comb through data points and make sense of it all. That’s why it’s more important than ever to have a system in place that not only collects, but also reports the data you need in meaningful ways.
Most club owners look to their point of sale (POS) system to provide this data. While it’s true that most POS systems collect data, it’s oftentimes presented in convoluted ways. It’s nearly impossible to get a glimpse of your club’s employee performance, promoter performance, individual guest sales, or trending liquor sales. Sure, you can find all this information out, but it’ll take time – and a lot of it.
Here are 4 steps to quickly get the data you need to keep moving your club forward.
1. Identify your goals
You can’t fully understand the importance of data if you don’t have a goal to benchmark it against. A goal needs to be more than “we want to make more money” or “we want to sell more Vodka.” You need to define your subject, a tangible number to reach, and an allotted time to reach it. Then, and only then, are you able to truly measure the success of your club.
2. Know what information is crucial to your club.
There’s a lot of data that gets collected on a given night, and there’s a lot of different ways it can be reported. But just because it gets collected doesn’t mean it’s going to be worthwhile information. Define the areas that are the most critical for you to analyze and figure out what that information looks like. The more focused you are, the easier it’ll be to interpret.
3. Put a system in place
You need a way to measure results against your goal, which means you need to have a place where data is collected and analyzed. The best systems are fully integrated solutions that collect data from any area of your club and analyze and present it in one central spot. These systems are beneficial in a number of ways, because they:
- Allow you to identify the audience you want to measure (servers, promoters, customers, overall club performance, or all of the above)
- Collect data on any given area of your club
- Provide insight on trending liquor sales, which helps with inventory planning
- Report key information on individual guests – average spend, total spend, group size, favorite liquors, and top purchases – so you can better serve them
- Presents the results you chose to identify in easy-to-read charts and graphs, which removes the manual labor of you combing through all the data
Review the data that’s presented, benchmark it against your goal, and optimize your results to work in your favor. If something isn’t working – such as a certain type of liquor isn’t selling well or a promoter isn’t providing results – then fix the problem. The more you know, the more you can do.
Whitney Larson is the president at Vēmos. Contact her at email@example.com.
Automating prepayment within your current operations is not only efficient and profitable for your venue, but also enhances customer experience. Let’s take a deeper look:
1. Decreases no-show rate
Prepayment drastically increases the percentage of customers who show up the night of their reservation. Whether customers pre-pay for a ticket, VIP table, or pay for their guestlist cover in advance, they are more likely to show up when there’s money on the line.
2. Increases efficiency
You’ve seen it before: guests don’t have the right amount of cash for cover, they unsuccessfully make excuses to the host as to why they don’t have the cash, they run to the ATM to get cash, and then argue with their friends over how to split cover between everyone. All of this slows down the speed of the night and takes away from your guests spending money inside your club. Simply allowing parties to prepay either online or via mobile alleviates headaches and gets them spending money inside faster.
3. Reduces the bottleneck
While a line outside your club portrays a highly desired venue, it’s important to distinguish between a line for looks and a line due to inefficiency. Most patrons don’t mind waiting in line to get into your club as long as the line is moving and they know they will eventually get in. However, If the wait is too long or the line doesn’t move at all, they will likely move on to the next venue. Many clubs alleviate this by having a separate line for their guestlist patrons, which better manages guests going in. Take this a step further and allow patrons to prepay. This not only helps to manage the line, but also increases cash flow while decreasing the bottleneck.
4. Benefits the customer
Guests care most about their experience at your club. Prepayment enhances this experience – it gives them more time to get positive vibes inside your venue rather than resenting their experience outside. It also alleviates the burden of carrying the exact amount of cash for cover while emphasizing their status amongst friends.
5. Provides incremental revenue
The best part about prepayment is its ROI. It’s easy and inexpensive to install into your club without drastically deterring your current operations, and it increases revenue you never would receive without it. You collect guests’ payment much sooner than at the door. You monetize the line and collect cover even when guests don’t show. And your no-show VIP tables are now an opportunity rather than a loss. Instead of taking a hit for an unused table, you now collect the original reservation fee and have the chance to fill it with another guest that same night.
Parag Shah is the director of Vēmos. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.