Best Practices

Can Your Tap Room Ordering System Do This?

Last month we kicked off the 2023 Tap Room Playbook webinar series with what turned out to be a very inspiring conversation. We invited a few of our favorite people - Kirsten Popcke and Kevin Hamilton of Canyon Club Brewery Co., and Andrew Coplon, Founder of Secret Hopper, to talk about ways Tap Room managers are tackling issues like reducing waste, lowering operating costs and ultimately making sure that every guest has their best experience.

Canyon Club is a long-time GoTab operator and they’ve really tapped into every aspect of the platform to run their front-of-house. And they’re not your average tap room. Located in Lamorinda,CA, they really focus on being a place where everyone is welcome. On any given day you’ll find veterans with a book club interacting with the kids that drop in with family. When the town loses power, they put out 50 charging strips for their neighbors. They’ve become an instrumental part of their community. Their customers are so loyal that during the pandemic, they did things like buy merch they didn’t even need to help Canyon Club stay open. They could tell because the guests were buying things without even asking the size! 

Most Tap Room managers believe guests come for the beer, but also for personal connection. That’s true for Canyon Club too. But they’ve spent a lot of time figuring out how to strike the best balance between front-of-house tech and personal service and that’s what we covered in last month’s webinar. 

Of course, we think it’s worth your time to watch the webinar yourself. But, if you don’t have the time, here are just a few of their tips:

  1. Hire For Personality - when it comes down to it, the tech can do most of the front-of-house work. With a tap room ordering system like GoTab, the server job becomes much less about juggling orders, and more about creating a nice tap room vibe for guests. That means that it’s more important to hire people who are likable and who like other people. You know, the ones who get positive energy by connecting with guests. 
  1. Invest in a Host Position - when they decided to lean into mobile ordering for the tap room, they learned how important it is to make sure guests start off with everything they need to be comfortable. That first 40 seconds of introducing the ordering system and how it works eliminates a lot of issues during service.
  1. Make Sure Your Host Uses a Script - a script for guest introductions will accomplish two goals: it saves time on training staff and it eliminates 99% of confusion or anxiety of guests not knowing what to do.
  1. Engagement Pays - Guests that get high engagement with staff generally spend 30 percent more and also tip higher because they’re having a good time. What’s more, according to Andrew at Secret Hopper, when a tap room visit includes that initial greeting, guests are 96 percent more likely to return. When they don't, the number of return guests drops to 79 percent.
  1. Enable Feedback in-the-Moment - with a tap room ordering system  that allows guests to provide feedback right from their phones, they get to address problems while the guest is still at the brewery, not after the fact on yelp or google where it’s virtually impossible to address. 
  1. Forecast to Keep Labor Costs Under Control - Canyon Club now has the flexibility to staff to forecasted demand instead of having a fixed amount of staff to cover specific spaces. In that way, they have been able to keep their labor costs under control. They have been able to reduce their labor costs by 30 percent from when they were a traditional table service model. And the good news is, the guests get to control their own ordering, get what they want, and the servers can invest their time actually talking to people.
  1. Surprise Fans - as stated earlier, Canyon Club doesn’t have a specific demographic. They have people from all stages and phases of life. And those people interact with each other. There’s always some type of pushback. The guests who absolutely love it the most are parents who bring their young kids. The kid just wants their mac and cheese - no fuss, no muss. On the other end of the spectrum, they had a 103 year old using GoTab QRs to order. It’s a great way to enlighten those who just don’t like it or don’t think it’s for them.

There’s so much more to learn from these great people. We really think you’ll enjoy the recording so encourage you to check it out here:

Tap Room Playbook: Check Your Experience

Tap Room Playbook Episode 2: 

When you really think about it, with everything managers need to do in a tap room, the hospitality aspect is often overlooked.

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Tap Room Playbook: Kick A** Brands

Tap Room Playbook Episode 3: 

The best breweries pay attention to what their brand stands for. How do the best brewers bring their brand to life?

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Situated “in the heart of it all, yet tranquil enough to make you feel away from it all too,” The Limelight Hotel Snowmass offers 99 hotel rooms and 11 residences, as well as footsteps-to-gondola access in winter and summer — right in the middle of Snowmass Base Village.

The Situation

Especially over the last few years, the Limelight Hotels IT team had witnessed a significant shift to contactless technology in the hospitality industry. After evaluating friction points in the guest journey, aligning with modern technology platforms in their restaurant was determined to be an effective way to offer elevated contactless dining experiences to their guests while also evolving their technology platforms to continue to support long-term company goals. Limelight Hotel partnered with GoTab to provide an enhanced on-demand dining experience on par with the brand’s reputation for exceptional guest service.

The Solution

Reducing Staff Touch Points Without Sacrificing Guest Experience

Guests are now able to begin a tab from their room or the property’s restaurant by scanning a QR code, texting a link to friends or family members on the ski slope to add in their orders, then meeting up together at the patio or lodge to enjoy their meal and après ski festivities without interruption. By streamlining tasks like inputting orders and processing payments, this eliminates friction for hotel staff and allows them to focus on delivering renowned guest service for a memorable experience. Since partnering with GoTab, Limelight Snowmass has consistently seen higher check averages and sales.

“We found the Point of Sale platforms we were looking at offered the guest and staff limited opportunities to further reduce touch points or improve the traditional restaurant experience. The GoTab platform enabled the guest to take an active role over the flow of their experience while simultaneously reducing touch points and further streamlining restaurant operations.”Nick Giglio, Manager of Hotel IT Operations, The Little Nell Hotel Group

According to the Limelight Hotels team, some of the other platforms that were evaluated were either missing some of the pieces they were looking for, had weak customer support models, or had little willingness to develop integrations to existing hotel platforms already in place. To that end, GoTab integrated with cloud-based platform, Infor. Together, GoTab and Infor are providing dynamic solutions to support central, efficient service across hotel amenities and deliver exceptional guest experiences.

“Previously, guests would call down to the restaurant to begin an order from their room or while they were out enjoying the ski slopes. Using GoTab, guests can now place orders from anywhere on the resort, giving them the on-demand service they want without interrupting their day. GoTab empowers us to give control to the guest, reducing touch points and streamlining overall restaurant operations, making Limelight Hotel the resort of choice for Snowmass.”Nick Giglio, Manager of Hotel IT Operations, The Little Nell Hotel Group

Since introducing GoTab, The Limelight Hotel has seen a consistent level of upsells and items sold per check resulting in additional revenue capture. They have been able to maintain service levels in their restaurants during periods when there was reduced staffing available without significantly diminishing the guest experience.

The Benefits

Eliminate Phone Orders – Take Orders from the Slopes. Guests can start a tab from their room or on the mountain without interrupting the flow of their day.

Future-Proofed Technologies – Delivering elevated contactless ordering via integration with the Infor hotel management platform.

Eliminating Friction in the Guest Journey – Maintaining service levels during periods of reduced staff without diminishing the guest experience.

  • Eliminating Friction in the Guest Journey – Maintaining service levels during periods of reduced staff without diminishing the guest experience.
  • Eliminating Friction in the Guest Journey – Maintaining service levels during periods of reduced staff without diminishing the guest experience.
  • Eliminating Friction in the Guest Journey – Maintaining service levels during periods of reduced staff without diminishing the guest experience.
  • Eliminating Friction in the Guest Journey – Maintaining service levels during periods of reduced staff without diminishing the guest experience.

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