Using No-Contact Menu & Payment with GoTab

Caboose Brewing Company describes itself as an inclusive, comfortable space where everyone can enjoy a fresh beer and a great meal. So in March 2020 when the Commonwealth of Virginia suspended all dine-in operations indefinitely, co-owner Jennifer McLaughlin knew that she needed a pivot. McLaughlin says she and her team “went through a lot of business plans trying to figure out where the world was going.”

Caboose operates two locations. The first location, Caboose Tavern, is nested in the heart of Vienna, Virginia, on the historic W&OD trail. Guests can walk, run, bike, skate, or even arrive by horse to enjoy a fresh beer. The second, larger location, Caboose Commons, is a three-level space with outdoor dining in the up and coming Mosaic District in Fairfax County. 

Going All-in with GoTab — Contactless Ordering and Payment Helped Weather Staffing, Menu and Logistical Hurdles

Like virtually every other similarly situated operator, Caboose focused first on reorganizing to operate with a significantly reduced staff and footprint. Because takeout was the only form of food service allowed, Caboose took advantage of their expansive physical space at Caboose Commons. “We have two garage door windows so we opened both and one was focused on ordering and the other for pickup.” That worked well and based on the strong support from their local community, they often had long lines of customers. 

Prior to COVID-19, Caboose had already been running GoTab alongside a legacy POS. GoTab QR codes attached to all tables and guests could order by scanning the QR code to place an order through their QR menu. They also offered a walk-up window where guests who weren’t as comfortable with QR menus could place their orders. Over time, they found they could increase sales exponentially during busy times. They went from having three employees taking orders, to every guest being able to order themselves. Caboose could have an order for beer to a table in less than a minute.

With COVID-19, the Caboose team decided to go all-in with GoTab and retire their legacy POS. “Because GoTab is  touchless it’s just a  much safer way of doing business. While it’s a bit of a learning curve the first time, once people get through the system the first time, it’s a piece of cake. “Staff have always loved it. It helps us stay busy and sell so much product,” says McLaughlin. Now with all orders coming through GoTab, it’s much easier to analyze their business operations because all data is in one place.

Check out the full story on the Foodable Network YouTube channel.