Steve Lakin, National Customer Relationship Manager at Innserve explains how the introduction of cutting-edge technology and changing expectations in the hospitality sector have created fresh challenges for managers when it comes to cellar management.
There are a number of significant pressures facing the hospitality industry – the key ones being higher customer expectations, the growth of the sector, which is leading to more competition, and operational issues such as cleanliness or system failures.
All of these can ultimately put pressure on your reputation and put fresh focus on the quality of the drinks you serve. With quality taking precedence over quantity, drinkers are increasingly voting with their feet. In fact, 95% of customers claim they would stop using a pub or bar if they considered the beer quality to be poor. Luckily, thanks to innovative technology, delivering the perfect drink is easier than ever.
Clean equals quality
One inevitable way to lose customers is to neglect the cleaning regime that should already be in place. Beer served through unclean lines can be cloudy, flat and leave an almost vinegar taste in any drinker’s mouth. And of course, dissatisfied customers will take their business to your competitors.
To avoid the build-up of dirt and bacteria which can ruin products, it’s vital to ensure that beer lines are cleaned on a regular basis. Although a time-consuming process and costly, thankfully, technology exists that can help maintain hygiene standards while reducing both workload and wastage by prolonging line cleaning intervals – from one week to between three to five weeks.
The technology available ensures continuous cleaning by inducing a constant electromagnetic field within the whole length of the system, preventing scale and killing approximately 70% of bacteria. In addition, it can result in savings of up to £1,500 a year.
The general cleanliness of a cellar should also be considered and be made part of any establishment’s regular cleaning regime. A great tasting pint at the perfect temperature can attract a customer just as much as it can lose one if the quality falls short.
Keeping it cool
The importance of keeping a cellar at exactly the right temperature cannot be overestimated, especially when storing live products such as cask ale. Ideally, cellars should be kept between 11°C and 13°C to maintain the quality of the drinks being served.
To be enjoyed at its best, beer needs to be stored in cool and clean conditions – too warm and residual yeast can begin to ferment, quickly leading to fobbing, and in turn excess product waste.
Furthermore, over-cooling by just one degree can increase energy costs by up to 10%, make the beer flat and create a chill haze. The slightest temperature change can also alter the entire taste and obviously the satisfaction of the customer. Installing a thermometer can enable staff to not only check that the cellar is cool enough, but will also ensure that energy is not being wasted through over-cooling.
Technology doesn’t just stop at maintaining, or improving the quality from your cellar, but can also provide you with an additional benefit. Substantial savings can be achieved by installing energy-saving devices. Intelligent power socket systems can be fitted to beer and soft drinks coolers, as well as ice makers, to ensure equipment is operating at the optimum level. These smart solutions intuitively ‘learn’ the power usage patterns of individual coolers, constantly monitoring and optimising energy use by adapting to all cellar conditions.
This is not only taking the guesswork out of cellar temperature management by maintaining a constant temperature, but they also emit minimal noise and vibration. The added environmental benefit of such systems is a reduced carbon footprint. By reducing energy usage, some users have experienced savings of up to £600 per cooler per year.
Bottom line boosting
The higher expectations of customers and the increasing trend to post feedback online to the masses has signified a greater need for establishments to consider these concerns and act upon them.
The benefits of employing innovative technology to ensure cellar management best practice are undeniable: better quality drinks, extended line cleaning intervals, reduced wastage, improved energy efficiency, greater profits and, ultimately, satisfied customers.
Innserve services more than 80,000 licensed and unlicensed premises across the UK.
For more information about the company’s products and services visit www.innserveltd.co.uk