11 March 2019, Smart Zones
Vianet has secured a long term contract for iDraught with Brewhouse & Kitchen following a successful trial with business. Brewhouse & Kitchen decided to take the next step in their strategy to ensure the beer they brewed in all their venues was consistent and served perfectly they set a target of 98% served through clean lines; an industry high. Their decision to install Vianet’s iDraught dispense platform supported their ability to achieve this and provided more insight and operational performance stats than they had first envisaged.
Brewhouse & Kitchen has 23 sites that are all a bit different from your traditional pub, brewing their own unique craft beers on site in their micro-breweries, a USP they are very proud of. It was therefore extremely important that from the brewing equipment to the dispense, quality was always paramount.
The company has pubs that stretch from Chester in the North West to Horsham in the South East. A pilot of Vianet’s iDraught bar and cellar management system took place initially at two of the company’s town centre sites. The benefits of the system soon became apparent and a decision was made to roll out the technology to all its pubs, completing the investment this summer.
Company auditor for Brewhouse & Kitchen, Matt Halls was already familiar with iDraught and wanted the system to provide some quick wins for the business alongside improved processes and ways of working that would become operational practice.
He says, “Our USP is brewing our own beer and quality is our number one priority. The iDraught system soon highlighted to us that there was greater visibility and control available to us other than just quality and we set about making the system reap more commercial rewards for the business”.
The first sites that received installations showed that the businesses were not all achieving the high standards set for Till, Yield and cleanliness targets but the picture was better than expected with a clear solution path tailored to each site now possible.
Halls added, “We saw quickly that the cause wasn’t necessarily always pilferage or free tastings but an ambivalence by our teams to the value of the product and this meant we needed them to understand that every drop had a cash value to it”.
A training programme was subsequently developed by Brewhouse & Kitchen with Vianet to ensure there was 100% engagement by the whole team (brewing and operational) with the system. Everyone then understood the reports and data supplied on iDraught and that when alerts were actioned there was better results and management from everyone in the business.
Halls confirmed, “All the team are now engaged in how the insight provides actions that improve the profitability of their individual business and the benefits that brings to them as individuals ie meeting targets, bonus, sales etc”.
Line cleaning data also allowed the pubs to be more focused providing the team with an agile regime depending on the beer being dispensed, some products only requiring 14-day clean cycle and some seven. The ability to change the cleaning cycles by brand massively reduced the pints lost during line cleaning whilst still maintaining the quality. The data also showed the gallons lost during the clean and the financial value of this to the pub which has enabled managers to plan line cleaning to reduce this level of wastage and cost. Full training was also developed and delivered following the first line cleaning data available.
Matt endorses iDraught as the one piece of kit every managed operation needs, “What we have got from iDraught is much bigger than we first thought. We wanted to ensure our USP of quality in-house brewed beer was maintained in every site but the system provides more. We paid off the investment in the trial sites within six months which shows it’s a fundamental commercial business tool. We didn’t foresee that team knowledge of the value of the product needed to be addressed or that they needed to understand that by actioning the data they could, as individuals, be better off. Nor did we believe that some regular till yield losses were from beer served out of trading hours; some surprisingly in the morning by cleaning crews. It’s highlighted issues we weren’t aware of and clarified others”.
Kris Gumbrell founder of Brewhouse & Kitchen reiterated the same, “As an operator I want to make profit and iDraught ensures that this is maximised in terms of controls and rigour in a business and it gets everyone engaged. It’s data you use to improve your business processes and training which ultimately improves profit. The investment benefit far outweighs the cost and I wouldn’t run a pub business without it now”.
Key stats from Brewhouse & Kitchen iDraught investment: