We’re delighted to have secured a three-year contract extension to our existing long-term partnership with Fuller’s, the London-based brewer and premium pub company.

The new agreement sees Vianet continue to provide actionable data and business insight to the company in the critical areas of beer quality management and retail performance.

Our partnership with Fuller’s includes a commitment to exploit Vianet’s next generation technology platform, providing the pub company with robust, real-time insight into the performance of their draught products across a number of key quality measures that impact retail standards.

Enhanced tailored reporting will support both licensees across the Fuller’s pub estate and the operational management team to further drive improvements in customer experience and business profitability.

We’re working in close partnership with our customers across the managed, tenanted and leased and wider leisure sector to ensure our actionable data and business insight helps deliver great consumer experiences in-venue and improves the financial performance of the draught beer category.

We recognise that great businesses use real time insight to ensure they know how they are performing and more importantly are able to act before consumers are impacted and profit lost.

As our customers evolve their commercial models, our aim is to enable them to drive improvements in retail standards, yields, stock and team performance.

The pub industry has changed drastically in the past decade. This transition has revolutionised the way consumers think about pubs, which are now viewed as far more than just a local watering hole. The lines with restaurants have been blurred and pubs are now sought-after destinations for food, premium drinks, working spaces and social hubs.

Technology has transformed both front and back of house operations, reshaping service and the customer experience. The tech you now see front of house has become more advanced, allowing customers to directly engage directly with the venue. App table services have been adopted by many pub groups and allow customers to pre-book tables and place food and drink orders ahead of their visit. The implementation of tablet devices on tables, which gives customers the freedom to order from their table and eliminate the need to queue is also becoming a growing fixture in pubs. Staff can then monitor sales and track performance across the board.

Fast transactions during busy periods is also a key focus, which benefits both the operator and customer resulting in reduced queue times. With 50% of debit card transactions set to be contactless by 2026, cashless payments are now widely adopted by pubs. Last year, we saw the world’s first contactless payment, self-service beer pump put to the test during the peak of the pre-Christmas surge.

Some pubs have partnered with the likes of Deliveroo to ensure guests are not left without the option to order food at kitchen-less venues. With entertainment, VRs have also influenced the pub sector, transporting pub patrons into a virtual reality world participating in games and activities, attracting broader audiences.

The pub sector has historically been a slow adopter of new technology, despite the potential to improve business performance and profitability. With labour shortages and ever-rising business costs, now more than ever is the time for operators to run their venues efficiently and productively. Parallel to this, there’s increased pressure to deliver high-quality products to the customer to encourage repeat visits and maintain a healthy brand reputation. This can be especially challenging during busy trading occasions such as match days and key calendar dates.

With the need for speed and efficiency, the new iDraught app offers a solution. It was key for us to develop the technology by working in partnership with publicans as simplicity for the end-user is a core driving force. The app has been developed to make day-to-day tasks much simpler and allow users to review performance and actions in real-time. The new functionality features customised push notifications and an easy-to-use interface; accessing this information via a mobile device lets users view key iDraught data on the move, monitoring key quality measures such wastage and yield.

The demand for data within the pub sector is only set to strengthen. In terms of the future, we see predictive analytics becoming a big focus area in the on-trade. The volume of data that can be monitored is potentially infinite, but ultimately it is how it’s utilised which is what will drive both businesses and the wider industry forward.


It doesn’t matter what age you are, contactless is the go-to payment method, and for good reason.

Today, one in every five card payments is contactless, marking a major milestone since tap-and-go payments were introduced a decade ago. What makes this more impressive, is widespread adoption from generations who have grown up using cash and have an emotional attachment and affinity to the tangible notes and coins. This cannot be ignored.

In fact, those aged 60 and over are the fastest-rising acceptance of touch-and-go payments, with the number of contactless users in this age bracket up 116 per cent in 2016. The eye-opening statistics shows contactless payment is a tech anomaly, proving popular across all generations.

The UK Card Association predicts that 50% of debit card transactions will be contactless by 2026, so its clear adoption is only going to rise across all ages. Whether you’re tapping to pay for your coffee in the morning, or waving your way through barriers on the tube with a SmartPay device, speedy payment methods have made our lives so much easier, they’re here to stay. Has your business recognised this?


You’ve seen it on the news, heard it on the radio and most likely spotted it on social media – the old £1 coin’s days are numbered and everyone is talking about it.

Amidst the chaos of retailers fighting for customer favour by publically defying The Royal Mint’s deadline, and consumers rushing to smash piggy banks across the country, one thing is clear – contactless is the future.

No industry is going to be impacted more by this latest currency switch than vending. Operators will need to fork out between £90 and £130 per machine to implement the new mechanisms, that’s not to mention the additional service costs, the investment to introduce the mechanism earlier in the year, and the future cost of changes in currency – the list goes on.

But what about people’s love for cash? The enjoyment of having cold hard currency, something tangible to show for their hard work. It’s actually an open and shut case. As proved with movies and music, that have seen DVD’s replaced with Netflix and CDs with iTunes, society has embraced digital ownership of possessions, cash is no different.

How does this relate to vending? The statistics from our estate reveal that where vending machines have been made contactless enabled, there has been an increase in sales of 146%. People are in fact spending more than they would have done if the machine had a coin mechanism.

It’s clear to see that cash is no longer king and a wider consumer mega trend of digital ownership and how we view possessions is impacting the nation. In light of all this evidence, surely now is the time to switch to contactless?

The hospitality industry is currently experiencing an unprecedented period of significant cost inflation. Factors such as rising business rates, increasing labour costs, Brexit uncertainty and ever-increasing rents, to name a few, have created a perfect storm that’s ravaging the bottom line of hospitality businesses. Some analysts are even reporting that businesses need to hit a 5% increase in like-for-like sales just to stand still!

In this challenging climate, it’s more important than ever that businesses scrutinise their entire operation to identify ways in which they can mitigate costs. This could be smarter scheduling of staff, reducing energy consumption, or identifying an optimum price point to sell your coffee. The easiest and most robust way is by collecting data, analysing it, tracking performance and then making informed decisions.

Collating real time data from your business gives you a window on how it is performing and highlights areas that need improvement. Some industries, like Formula One, have been implementing this approach for years, fine tuning elements of the car based on statistical analysis of a range of variable factors to shave milliseconds off their lap-time. Hospitality operators need to be more like F1 teams.

It has already started happening and the demand for smarter solutions across vending and coffee machines are expected to double by 2020, with over 3.4m coffee, snack and cold drinks machines predicted to be connected online. Nailing down the right coffee offer is very important for caterers as it boasts a very keen price point with a high profit potential that gives operators a great opportunity to grow revenue – this is where data can help.

How can data be collected from coffee machines? It’s simple, with telemetry devices – a little black box that can be easily inserted into any automatic coffee machine (whether in the showroom, or in the field). Once fitted, they feed real-time information via the Internet of Things to a dashboard that gives operators total transparency across their estate of how machines are performing.

Tech aside, the smart part is what operators do with this information. We have invested considerable time creating a robust platform that renders data into user-friendly graphs to allow businesses to make informed decisions that will improve their performance.

This could be tracking consumption patterns to ensure the machines are situated in the right place and selling the right products at the right price; or limiting machine downtime and increasing sales by improving service efficiency and flagging machine issues before they arise.

In its simplest terms, this would mean that a service engineer will know when a machine is about to break down and proactively arrive with parts they need to bring to fix the potential issue before it happens. Not only will this save your business money by reducing machine downtime and subsequent lost sales but it also saves you money on unnecessary service visits.

Many catering operators have large scale estates and demand forecasting and ordering coffee stock can be a tricky procedure – the last thing you want to do is run out of product during a peak period. If you have been collecting data on coffee sales you can better predict what stock is needed, based on cross referencing previous sales, against variables such as weather and events.

It doesn’t stop with coffee machines. Telemetry devises can be inserted into any piece of equipment, such as cookers and fridges, to track how they are performing across large estates. In the end, it all comes down to giving operators the tools they need to make informed business decisions that can improve their bottom line.

Our latest research has revealed that consumers are embracing Smart Pay tech and are twice as likely to use their smart phone to pay for lunch than they were a year ago[1].

The statistics echo those released by World Pay earlier this year, indicating that the number of mobile transactions as a percentage of all in-store transactions has grown by a massive 247% in the UK over the last year.

One of the main drivers behind this growth has been convenience payments in supermarkets, bars and petrol stations across the UK. A positive customer experience at these grab and go purchase situations is significantly impacted by speed, something that Smart Pay greatly helps with.

Smart Pay technology isn’t just limited to mobile phones and big business has started investing heavily in different vehicles to use the technology. In September alone, Fitbit partnered with Mastercard and Peugeot released the world’s first Smart Pay capable car key.

The opportunities for integration are endless and with consumers searching for ever quicker transactions, it is a certainty that Smart Pay in all its different forms will continue to snow ball over coming years.

This presents vending operators with a golden opportunity to piggy back its popularity and make their estates contactless enabled. The earlier they seize this opportunity, the quicker they can future-proof their businesses, drive sales and smooth the customer journey.

[1] Vianet (2017, 01.25). Consumer research into vending on a proportional representative panel of 2000 UK consumer. Ginger Research.

Today’s consumer is time poor and increasingly seeking faster transactions. People have become accustomed to buying things online at the click of a button and this habit is altering the way they make purchases in retail – especially convenience purchases, such as food and drink.

The increasing popularity of quick transactions and instant purchases has been heavily influenced by the rise of online shopping where customers can get what they want at the click of a button. Last year alone, £133bn was spent online with UK retailers – that’s £18bn more than the previous year!

Our latest research has revealed that the number of consumers using contactless payment to a pay for a lunch that’s worth £5 or less has risen by 300% in the last year.[1] Grab and go contactless purchases are on the rise and the vending industry needs to take notice.

The in-depth research also revealed that 63% of people would switch to paying with contactless if it was available on a vending machine, with 40% of those saying this was because it would make the transaction quicker.

The fast rise in contactless cards and increased acceptance in retail outlets has inevitably led to rising consumer expectations around the ability to use contactless payment whenever and wherever they go, especially for low priced items and everyday convenience purchases.

This presents a golden opportunity for vending operators to drive sales by providing a robust, quick payment transaction that reduces the barriers between the customer making an impulse purchase. Not only will this smooth the customer journey and create an enjoyable experience, but it will also drive repeat purchase.

[1] Vianet. (2017, 01 25). Consumer research into vending on a proportional representative panel of 2000 UK consumer. Ginger Research.


It is predicted that three quarters of payments will be cash and note free by 2025[1]. Cash is no longer king, with our latest research indicating that more than half of people believe scrabbling around for change is outdated in 2017.[2]

The extensive research, which was taken from a proportionally representative panel of 2,000 consumers, also found that almost two thirds (63%) of people would be willing to switch to contactless payment in vending if it was available. The top reason consumers gave for switching was that they wouldn’t have to find any change.

The switch in thinking is indicative of a wider consumer trend of digital and virtual ownership. We no longer own movies, we have Netflix; we don’t listen to CD’s, we have an iTunes account; the natural extension of this consumer behaviour is that we no longer use cash, but accept contactless payment instead.

Vending businesses that have made the switch are already reaping the rewards of a higher price point and increased transactions. When a contactless payment solution has been added to a vending unit, data from our estate reveals that the average value of a transaction rises by 7% to 94p. The insight also highlighted that the number of contactless transactions in vending machines increased by 61% between August 2016 and February 2017.

The vending industry is heavily entwined with cash as a method of payment, but we’re increasingly seeing savvy operators approach us for a payment solution that future proofs their business. Don’t get left in the cold.

[1] A Cashless Future. (2017, 01 24). Retrieved from Trend Monitor:

[2] Vianet. (2017, 01 25). Consumer research into vending on a proportional representative panel of 2000 UK consumer. Ginger Research.