Leveraging New Technology

Leveraging new technology within your pub or liquor store allows your business to stay competitive in an evolving industry that is seeing rapid change. A straightforward approach is to look at HOW your business currently uses technology. Then, consider if an upgrade will increase efficiencies, generate additional revenue, or grow market share. Here are a few great examples of what some licensees have implemented to leverage technology in their businesses.

Digital Labels/Signage

An attention-grabbing, high-tech item emerging within the marketplace is digital price tags. With the insurgence of buying on LTO and bulk buying, micro price management has started to occur where liquor retailers are making changes daily and even hourly depending upon competitor’s promotions. Constant price management has taken a toll on operational efficiencies as administrators and managers find themselves solely focused on pricing and margins at all hours of the day. Retailers are so busy monitoring their cost of goods, that they forget about the increased labour expenses to monitor and maintain price changes.

Enter the electronic price tag. Although it’s initially expensive to implement, compared to stick-on labels, electronic price tags have created savings in labour for store owners and enhanced customer experiences. Retailers are quickly seeing a return on this investment.

Extra features can attribute to increased basket size.

Systems can be integrated via radio frequency into your POS system. No more sticky labels, dealing with printer malfunctions, or the dreaded human error of not updating prices. Prices are updated with speed, accuracy, and ease and the team can get back to focusing on what matters – their customers. An added by-product of streamlined efficiencies is the enhanced shopping experience. Digital price systems can feature QSR codes for consumers to scan for real-time inventory levels, tasting notes, product recipes, and even ingredients for those who have allergies or ethically-sourced concerns. These extra features can attribute to increased basket size or support consumers making an alternate selection. Win-win!

For on-premise operators, digital price tags are not generally a solution for you; however digital tablets certainly are. Consider putting your menus on a tablet. Consumers keep the tablets at their table during their entire visit. Tablets allow for guests to reorder their drinks, pay for game apps, or pay for their entire cheque before departing. These systems offer guests increased convenience and financial security while enhancing their overall experience. Consumer spending increases per table and tables tend to turn over quicker when tablets are used.


Most of us define analytics as capturing consumer data patterns to investigate shopping behaviours and trends. We all use data analytics every day to help guide us in our decision-making processes. As consumers we price watch products or check for real-time inventory, and as business owners we use data to forecast our operations. However, very few owners or managers use the data they have access to in a long-term meaningful way. We all use POS data to review sales, on-hand inventory, purchases, and for some short-term forecasting, but small to medium size operators often don’t take the analytic challenge to harvest sales data to influence consumer purchases or understand why a purchase is being made. Why is this you ask? Well, first its sounds super complicated to understand, and the reality is, most small businesses cannot fund this type of project. Detailed analytics tend to benefit operators who are large in scale and who have the financial resources to deploy the system in house. However, not anymore! Loopinsights (loopinsights.ca) is an emerging third-party analytic company that works with businesses using blockchain technology to connect via their POS. Traditional information such as number of guests at a table, food type, sku type, pack size, and frequency of purchase continues to be captured. Then Loopinsights takes over. The data is harvested in real time and the Loopinsight technology starts to learn and predict consumer behaviours accurately. The data can then be used to push out customized promotional offers to help influence future purchases or can connect via social media to convert casual customers to loyal guests based on shopping patterns and viral engagement.

The data can then be used to push out customized promotional offers.

The use of analytics directly contributes to increased sales revenue and consumer loyalty. A licensee gains a wealth of knowledge specific to each shopper and then can use that information to exponentially grow their business.

Third Party Delivery Companies

The delivery model for pubs and liquor stores is not a new concept, but licensed businesses have struggled to justify the overhead to grow the delivery segment of their business. The start-up investment is significant and initial returns are slow. A new and emerging hospitality trend is the use of third-party delivery companies. Consumers open a delivery company’s app, such as Skip the Dishes, and link directly to a liquor store or pub’s current website. The consumer places an order and pays for it through the licensee’s site. The delivery company is notified to pick up and deliver direct to the consumer. Consumers can track their order in real time right to their door. The concept is exciting as it allows businesses that wouldn’t otherwise have the resources to implement delivery. They are leveraging their already active website to grow their business. Licensees gain market share and brand awareness, while meeting consumer demand. Initial reports from participating businesses are showing growth in both market share and brand awareness. Third party delivery allows a licensee to build a solid delivery foundation and customer base before making a significant investment in their own delivery division.

Using tech systems that already function within your hospitality business, such as your POS or website, creates a solid platform to launch new technology from. Consider how your business operates and what your team needs to become more efficient and ultimately increase your revenue.

Connect with Rebecca on LinkedIn @rvhardin