10 October 2017, Pubs & Bars
“The managers absolutely feel that it’s made a difference to their businesses, and they’re using it in the right way!”
“The iDraught system in our pubs has become very important since we installed it. Any business needs access to data and critical management information that enables you to improve your operation.
I’m keen to ensure that every pint poured across our estate is at its optimum – iDraught allows us to do that and provides visibility on quality, throughput, what’s selling and when. It gives us the opportunity to benchmark our progress and a clear line of sight on exactly how good our draught dispense is.
There is no doubt the system is helping us grow the business.”
When Wadworth sought to improve the quality of the beer sold in its managed pubs, it turned to quality and data insight experts Vianet.
Not only has iDraught seen beer quality get better; the beer quality and waste system has also revealed the competitive nature of the managers running the Wiltshire-based brewer’s 54 managed outlets.
Wadworth trade beer quality manager Su Stafford conducts beer quality audits of the company’s managed pub portfolio through regular site visits. At each outlet, the quality check reviews cellar temperature, glassware and glasswasher standards, beer quality and line cleaning using iDraught data and quality tabs.
“In our managed pubs, it’s all about quality,” Su explains, “and whenever I visit them I pull up iDraught data to review.”
The system shows Su, and Wadworth’s team of regional development managers (RDMs), exactly where managers are hitting – or not – their quality objectives. At those pubs where issues are identified, managers will be given training to help get them back on track via a plan that can be monitored.
She says: “It’s their tool, and they can use it to look at their business, analyse it, and improve it. Implementing iDraught has proved to be straightforward, and managers have embraced it. They’re all very enthusiastic and competitive in terms of their performance.”
How iDraught helped
Hannah Coates, manager at The Humble Plum, Southampton, was initially sceptical about iDraught, and did indeed worry that she was ‘being watched’.
A year on, and Hannah is now a convert: “I’m definitely a fan. Once it was explained, I was quite excited about what it could help us achieve, particularly concerning line cleaning and improving beer quality. It pre-empts you having to check dates and flags up when the lines should be done. I like the system very much, and it’s very user-friendly. I’m constantly in and out of it – at least once-a-day – as I like to keep track of pouring yields.”
The pub has seen an improvement in yields of 1% to date and Hannah continues to use the system as a training tool for her team at the pub.
In Wiltshire, Becca and John Chipping are equally enthusiastic about iDraught at the busy Lansdowne Arms, in Derry Hill, near Chippenham. Just a month after its introduction at the pub the couple were on board: “One of its big benefits is being able to show our 10 front-of-house staff that what they think are tiny amounts of wastage all add up, and can contribute to significant losses.
“Using iDraught to show them the numbers has really brought home to them that good pouring practise is important if we’re to run a profitable business.”
Like Hannah at The Humble Plum, Becca is also impressed with iDraught’s ease of use, and she checks it every day to stay on top of line cleaning: “I really enjoy having the line cleaning chart, which means I’m always up-to-date with what is one of our most important jobs”.
Becca’s assistant manager and three other staff have also been trained to use the system. As a result, unclean dispense has improved by 13% at the site.
At Reading’s Wheelwrights Arms, manager Daryl Cooper says iDraught has ‘helped massively with our margins’.
Daryl, who has run the pub with wife Katie for two years, says: “It’s great technology that does a lot of the work for you, taking away a lot of stress. We’ve a healthy surplus on our draught lines once the allowance for wastage is taken into account, and iDraught has obviously helped reduce that wastage.
The pub has enjoyed a 1% improvement in pouring yield and 3% improvement in cash in till – the amount of money banked for each pint poured.
“There’s also what I’d call a circle effect: iDraught helps you look after your beers correctly, ensuring that they’re at the correct temperature, that they’re pouring correctly, that they’re not being over-poured, and that the lines are clean. Miss one of those crucial elements and you’ll end up with poor quality beer, and you’ll therefore be wasting a lot. In the time we’ve had it, iDraught has been a massive help in preventing that.”
All the pubs’ managers – part of a 20-plus front and back-of-house team – have access to iDraught. And Daryl confirms that the system brings out the competitive nature of Wadworth’s managers.
“It lets me see what everyone else is doing, and they can see how I’m performing, so there’s plenty of healthy competition between us. There’s an unofficial league table, with all of us keen to be the best.”
All three managers have been impressed with the technical support offered by Vianet: “They’ve been really good, and have helped me understand the system and get the most out of it,” says Hannah; while Daryl describes it as ‘very efficient’.
Since its introduction to Wadworth’s managed pub estate, iDraught has “helped massively” to improve beer quality, according to Su Stafford.
“The managers absolutely feel that it’s made a difference to their businesses, and they’re using it in the right way – as a tool to help them manage those businesses. It’s also provided them with the knowledge they need in order to serve quality beer.”
With their regular quality audits, Wadworth’s managed pubs are target-driven operations, and iDraught has undoubtedly helped managers hit their targets, whether for line cleaning, cellar temperature or yield.