One of the challenges of post-pandemic life has been the maintenance and management of a growth in take-out and delivery while welcoming patrons back to the bar and dining areas. For many restauranteurs and nightclub/bar owners, the first step has been to reassess how technology can be used to manage their “new normal.”
With the need to manage a far more comprehensive customer base, the nation’s Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits is the world’s preeminent distributor of beverage alcohol has sourced a solution for its operator customer base across the US. Union, a data-driven hospitality engagement platform, has been selected as a preferred technology provider by Southern Glazer’s. This alignment aims to support Southern Glazer’s bar and restaurant customers as they rebound from the financial burdens of the pandemic and face massive staffing shortages among increasing guest demand. Union also offers bev/alch brands unique programming and marketing opportunities.
“Technology is an important part of our customers’ ability to win, as expectations become more demanding on faster, better, and more personalized service,” David Chaplin—Chief Growth Officer, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits—noted. “Particularly as labor shortages continue to impact our customers, technology removes some of the routine tasks and allows employees to focus on better guest experiences. We’ve prioritized our own digital transformation at Southern Glazer’s with our Proof platform, a first-of-its-kind ecommerce platform where our customers can search for deals, read industry insights, and shop our products, 24/7 and on any device.”
“Staffing issues have impacted sales for many bars and restaurants nationwide and as such our alcohol suppliers are also impacted; we believe that Union’s engagement platform is the perfect solution to help our customers to combat the staffing crisis while increasing sales and improving the customer experience,” stated Chaplin. “Union’s sophisticated tool kit not only gives bars and restaurants the ability to deliver great service and improve operations, but also the platform’s unique data capabilities arm our alcohol supplier partners with unprecedented insights and breakthrough opportunities for their products.
With the Union engagement platform, bars and restaurants receive an intuitive guest-led mobile ordering app experience that integrates seamlessly with the Union’s POS system, which was built specifically for high volume hospitality venues. Union customers see on average a 28 percent increase in sales as soon as the platform is up and running. To order through Union, guests simply scan a QR code to start the process and their drinks are delivered up to 6 minutes faster than traditional face-to-face ordering. The platform leverages its data to offer guests personalized drink recommendations and rewards.
“Our platform seamlessly combines the industry’s most powerful and reliable POS system, with a guest-led mobile ordering/payment solution, and highly granular customer data to deliver a customized experience that allows venues to treat every patron like a VIP,” Gary Ross, Union’s chief growth officer. “This connection between the POS and guest-led experience, helps enable bars and restaurants to deliver an improved customer experience that elevates check size on average by 28%.”
Southern Glazer’s selection of Union as a preferred technology solution provides operators with a way to help address challenges with both increased minimum wage and a depleted labor force. “Our guest-led ordering and payment technology triples each server’s capacity, allowing more of the restaurant or bar to be open for business,” Ross noted. “60% of hospitality locations are operating at reduced capacity which not only equals lost revenue, but has adversely impacted venue review ratings and consumer experiences. Union’s model improves the customer experience by reducing their wait time by 80%.”
Today, bev/alch brands need to rely on expensive, unmeasurable, and often ineffective sampling programs to recruit new drinkers on-premise. Union’s innovative “on-premise” marketing reaches millions of consumers every month, directly on their mobile devices, while out at the most popular independent bars and restaurants. With Union, brands can: directly communicate key selling facts directly to account GMs and owners, guarantee new consumer trial, driving liquid to lips by reaching consumers while they’re ordering and precisely measure results while acquiring granular consumer insights.
“Helping our customers drive successful consumer experiences is our focus,” Chaplin concluded. “We understand the difficult circumstances our on-premise customers have experienced since the pandemic began and identified Union as a unique solution to address many of their existing issues and help them improve sales and guest satisfaction.”