The Place to “Beer”
To say that Chris Dilla, the mastermind behind Bocktown Beer and Grill, is an innovative restaurateur is an understatement. Aside from her unmatched enthusiasm surrounding social media marketing and mobile interaction, Dilla has managed to create a crafty beer sensation, and she has firmly positioned herself at the forefront of restaurant technology integration.
Bocktown has gained local recognition for its hearty atmosphere, homemade food and artisan craft beers. The restaurant has even landed features in several notable publications, including Edible Allegheny and Pittsburgh Magazine, and its unique menu caters to the tastes of whom it refers to as the Pittsburgh “localvore.” If you’re looking for Coors or Miller on tap, look elsewhere, because Bocktown is committed to the rarest of stouts, ales and lagers.
In September of 2011, Dilla opened a second restaurant location in Monaca, Pennsylvania. With aspirations that may have seemed lofty to the average proprietor, she set out to achieve new growth opportunities and to adapt to changing consumer preferences, and she needed her POS solution to do the same.
Future POS Solutions
Bocktown Monaca, located in the Beaver Valley Mall, is the newer of the two restaurants, and it operates via five POS terminals and a back office computer. In addition to using its Future POS system to sell merchandise and gift cards, the restaurant also uses a barcode scanner to simplify the sale of beer items.
Dilla was initially impressed with Future POS’s back office, and the system’s accompanying technical support added an additional level of satisfaction. “When you are buying something like this, you are buying service, and I’ve gotten that,” said Dilla. “If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have opened my second restaurant with it.”
A Smart Way to Pay
As a business woman in a dynamic industry, Dilla is very aware of the impact of smartphone technology, and she recognizes her customer’s need for accessible, instantaneous information. From its mobile optimized website to its real-time menu updates, Bocktown is all about the technologically-adept consumer. Dilla has identified her target persona, and whether or not you fit that profile is based on the answer to one simple question: “What type of phone do you have?”
“I’m looking for the customer who can utilize [smartphones] and look forward and be changing. I can see why restaurants are overwhelmed, but the end result is a better customer.”
In 2010, Future POS became the first POS software provider to incorporate TabbedOut mobile payments, and Dilla jumped on board with the innovation. With the TabbedOut option, Bocktown customers can open, review and pay tabs directly from their iPhone or Android smartphone. The mobile payment app, developed by ATX Innovation, offers a secure and convenient payment method for customers on the go.
“Customers love it,” said Dilla. “I’d say 2% of credit card sales are going through it. It’s a new way to engage with the customers, and they are loyal to it.”
Aside from using TabbedOut, Bocktown also uses Future POS’s WhenToManage interface. This company offers restaurants web-based management solutions, and it utilizes data from the POS system to provide useful insights for growth and profitability.
“WhenToManage has been a great partner to extract the data in a more automatic way,” said Dilla. “What’s really nice about it is that over time, I can set up reports, and it just emails me. No one has to go in and make the report…it just sends information every day. I can have it email and alert me when something is out of whack or wrong.”
For an install with an abundance of beverages and item modifiers, Future POS’s advanced reporting features have been quite resourceful. With a comprehensive, burgh-inspired menu, 16 rotating American Craft Beers on tap and over 400 bottle options in the “Beer Library,” Bocktown has a lot on its plate, and Future POS has been considerably accommodating. Among the frequently used reports are the Employee Cashout Report, the Activity Report and the Top/Bottom Movers Report.
“The system can drill down as much as you want it to. For example, we sell fries with 40 toppings, and to be able to track them separately is nice,” said Dilla. “If someone hits that button, I can track how much of my condiments are ending up on the fries.”
To manage both Bocktown Monaca and Bocktown Robinson, Dilla also uses Future POSEnterprise. With this feature, Dilla can analyze and share resources, such as customer information, buttons, menu items and reports, all from a central location. Specifically, Bocktown has benefited from being able to accept enterprise-wide gift cards and maintain menu consistency across both locations. Instead of updating each store on an individual basis, management staff can add new menu items that are automatically modified.
“It helps managers do their jobs more effectively,” Dilla confirms. “I can pick which data I want analyzed, and the transparency is really cool. It is a good thing when the staff is able to see how much volume is sold. They can be proud of it!”
“Anybody who is not using it is simply sitting there watching the world go by.”
-Chris Dilla, on Social Media for restaurants
To mention Bocktown without acknowledging its groundbreaking social media efforts would be nothing short of ludicrous, and others would most likely agree. Back in 2011, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recognized Dilla’s use of social media for restaurant promotion in its article, “On the Menu: Social media promote local food scene.”
“We basically opened this restaurant through the social media platform,” said Dilla. “We didn’t do radio or mailings …we simply used social media. Traditional marketing isn’t enough.”
At the time of this publication, Bocktown boasted 3,868 Facebook “Likes” and 2,924 Twitter followers, and those numbers continue to grow. Dilla has also incorporated QR Codes into her marketing mix by featuring the digital tool on take-home beer growlers. Customers can scan these codes with their smartphones and gain access to the daily tap list at both Bocktown locations.
Today, Dilla continues to look for new ways to engage her patrons, and Future POS has played a critical role in propelling that forward-thinking approach. When asked if there is anything she’d like to see our system do that it currently does not, Dilla was quick to offer a clever response: “Mop the floors!”
Point of Sale Specifications
Future POS of Pennsylvania installed five Pioneer POS all-in-one terminals, including two Stealth S-Lines and three Stealth-M5/LXs, Citizen Systems thermal receipt printers and Bixolon impact kitchen printers. The install also included an Equus Server, Logic Control cash drawers and a barcode scanner.
About Future POS
Future POS is an “Award Winning” Software Company with restaurant installs around the world, including fine dining, quick serve, retail and specialty applications. As an industry leader, Future POS is constantly integrating to the latest and greatest technologies. Some of Future POS’s innovative options include: Digital Signage, Surveillance, Tableside Ordering, iPads for Handhelds, TabbedOut for Smartphones, Online Ordering and End-to-End Encryption.