How Stone Brewing Co. is Making Convenience Technology a Personalized Guest Experience
GoTab operator, Stone Brewing Co. is the largest brewery in Southern California with two restaurants and four taprooms located in the region. Gregg Frazer, VP of Hospitality, sat down with Joanna Fantozzi at Restaurant Hospitality to talk about How Stone Brewing Co. is making convenience technology a personalized guest experience. GoTab has been a big part of that process and Gregg describes how GoTab was able to support Stone Brewing through two major shutdowns that resulted in painful staff reductions.
Understanding “Convenience Technology”
Based on conversations with numerous hospitality operators throughout the pandemic, Fantozzi surmised that the key to getting over the hurdles caused by the shutdowns is what she refers to as “convenience technology”. Fantozzi says it’s become the theme of the pandemic as operators scrambled to add delivery options and contactless solutions.
Gregg explained that prior to the pandemic, he had witnessed the potential of “cashless” commerce through their business in Asia and thought about how he could put it in place back in the states. They had intended to use contactless ordering to service areas of their large footprint that they were unable to staff cost-effectively. They had already started the building blocks in November 2019 using GoTab and were about to launch in March when the shutdown happened.
How to Transition Between Contactless Ordering and Personalized Experience
Per Frazer, the future for a significant number of operators will be leveraging the technology to be able to easily flex their business model. “Shifting the order entry to the customer forces you to focus on what really makes up the service,” he said. Stone made numerous operational changes. For example, making sure their Cicerons do table touches, ensuring that their hosts explain the ordering process to guests (much less necessary now that QR codes have been so widely adopted). They also use GoTab’s concierge feature to provide guests the ability to always be in touch with their servers and managers.