Category Archives: Technology

4 Reasons Data is Your Venue’s MVP

We talk a lot about mixology, music, lights and ambiance in this industry. After all, this is the recipe for your party. And while all of them are important to running your venue, there’s one component that stands out as the true MVP to your entire business’ success: data.

While your party is what brings people into your venue, your data is what allows you to build ongoing success. It’s what enables you to put on more successful parties, to continue driving the right people through your door, and to boost your revenue up based on that combination.

Here’s how you can turn the data that already exists to become your most valuable player.

1. Collect information about your guests

Today’s Reality: Nearly every nightclub and bar has an estimate of how many guests walked through their door on a given night. What they don’t know is who walked through their door. They get people in, serve them, and let them walk away without knowing anything about them.

Data’s Fix: Put tools in place to track what you’re already doing. Instead of checking IDs manually, use an ID Scanner to collect important guest information (hint: you can use this to drive loyalty). Turn your paper guestlist into a digital one to collect guest contact information along with data on what time they checked in, who they checked in with, what brought them there, and any promos they used. Use a system to collect insight on your general admission walk-ins, VIP reservations, and those who bought tickets to your event. Better yet – make sure all of these areas connect into one account so you get the whole picture in one dashboard. And when you connect this system to your POS, you’re able to unearth even more valuable information.

MVP Status: Now you have a database of all your guests, including their name, contact information, how many times they’ve been to your venue, whether they’re a VIP/guest list/event/general admission customer, how much money they’ve spent, and what their most popular drink purchases are. This means you’re now able to better identify your guests, upsell them before they walk through your doors (hint: more $), and provide personalized service (so they spend more $).

2. Increase marketing results

Today’s Reality: Venues end up spending marketing dollars on mass marketing efforts (or sometimes no marketing at all), blasting vague messages to a broad range of people who may or may not be their customers. All because they don’t know who their customers are.

Data’s Fix: With the right system, you can have a complete buyer persona for all of your target customer segments, including demographic, geographic, and psychographic information. Use this to your advantage. As an example, you can segment your audience into a list of females who attend your venue on Friday nights and spend at least $100. You can then send a text message to this list with a message that’s 100% relevant to them. And that’s powerful marketing.

MVP Status: You’re no longer wasting marketing dollars on efforts that don’t convert. Instead, you’re able to drive your most loyal customers back into your venue with personal messaging, you’re able to establish a healthy mix of male and female customers, and you’re able to drive customers who haven’t visited in a while back through your doors. Better marketing results in better guests which results in bigger spending.

3. Improve Operations

Today’s Reality: Nightclubs go into each night without an accurate idea of what the night will hold. And when you don’t know how many guests will arrive for a night, it’s hard to plan and staff accordingly. VIP tables get double booked, the door gets bottlenecked, and staff aren’t communicating to solve the issues. Your guests notice this, and it hinders their experience before they even walk in your door.

Data’s Fix: Systems improve operations, provide metrics, and instill accountability. When you use a single system to sell tickets, manage VIP tables, manage your guest list, and handle general admission walk-ups, you’re able to know how many guests you can expect to arrive. This then helps you staff accordingly and plan out VIP tables. It also helps to streamline your door and optimize your lines.

MVP Status: Putting a bit of strategy and organization can help your speed of night, improve customer morale while waiting in line, and get people through your to start spending money inside your venue faster. Plus, when your door system ties to your guest database, your staff is able to treat each guest with respect and a more personalized service. This in turn means they’re more likely to enjoy themselves and want to stay (and spend more money while they’re there).

4. Know Your Business Results

Today’s Reality: Most venues don’t have the right data to get an accurate gage of how well their venue is performing. Without the right system in place to analyze this data, venues are operating blindly and wasting time and money on areas that may or may not be working.

Data’s Fix: When you use one system to track all areas, you have a clear understanding of exactly what’s happening in your venue without having to log into multiple data systems. Now, you can easily track:

  • How much money you made over a given time period
  • How many customers walked through your door over a given time period (and who they were)
  • How many table reservations you have over a given time period, and how much you earn on average
  • When your customers start buying tickets to your event
  • Which staff members are bringing in the most guests (and biggest spenders)

MVP Status: Venues we work with have seen an average uptick of 30% to their bottom line after switching to a system backed by data. That’s because they know exactly what’s working and what doesn’t, which allows them to spend their money more wisely. They also improved their operations to get their guests in the door faster to get to the bar more quickly, resulting in increased bar sales. When you have absolutely clarity on your venue’s performance, you can do even more to increase your success. Without data, you’re simply just guessing and could be leaving a lot of money on the table.

Build Loyalty by Checking IDs

Checking IDs is commonly considered a necessary evil of serving alcohol. It’s not sexy. It’s not exciting. It’s just a step in the process.

Until now.

Checking IDs can actually be turned into a huge asset to your bar or nightclub, especially with the right technology. When you shift your thinking and equip yourself with the right tools, this very basic step becomes both your liability system as well as your customer loyalty program.


The Legal Aspect

The liability and security side of checking IDs is always the most top-of-mind, particularly when it comes to verifying whether a guest is of age to drink. And from that aspect alone, having your staff manually review IDs is sufficient. But your liability decreases drastically when you equip that staff member with an ID scanning system. Here’s why:

  • It reduces the chances of honest human errors. Humans make mistakes even with the best intentions, such as incorrectly calculating someone’s age based on their date of birth. Having a quick license scan double verifies the guest’s age with a simple color coded alert of whether they’re over 21 or under 21. It makes it foolproof even under high stress situations.

  • It assists with easily passing stings. When authorities are checking to make sure you’re compliant, they legally cannot do so by using a fake ID or purposefully deceiving you. That means most stings are a result of incorrect math or laziness. Having a policy with an ID scan system corrects any mental mistakes and confirms all IDs are reviewed.

  • It aids in detecting fakes. Fake IDs are getting more complex, so having an ID scan system is just one more layer in the process of detecting a fake. Plus, in a worse-case scenario when you accidentally serve a minor, having a digital system is your paper trail to prove to authorities you didn’t purposefully serve that person and did the best of your ability to be compliant.

  • It digitally tracks your 86 list. Your seasoned staff may know immediately if a guest is banned and shouldn’t be let in, but your new employees likely won’t. Rather than memorizing a photo book of those who aren’t allowed, an ID scan system will automatically alert your employee if a guest is banned from the venue. Plus, if an incident occurs during the night, your staff can easily add that guest to your ban list so you always have the most up-to-date information to maintain a safe environment.

  • It alerts you of potentially unruly patrons. Some ID scan systems, like us at Vēmos, allows you to opt into a city-wide ban list. This means you’ll be alerted if a guest is banned at a nearby location along with the reason they were banned. You then use this information to make educated decisions on whether or not you want to let that guest into your venue.


  • Maintaining a secure environment minimizes costs associated with insurance, repairs, fines, and enforcement. What’s more is it provides an enjoyable atmosphere for your guests, which translates to a more profitable establishment. Which leads to the next aspect: loyalty.


    The Loyalty Aspect

    The not-so-obvious side of an ID scanning system is that it can become your loyalty program. And it can serve you better than most standalone loyalty programs can. Why? Because every guest needs to have their ID to drink. Not every guest is going to have your loyalty card or app. In fact, few consumers today want to have a separate loyalty card for every establishment they ever visit, so you’ll only capture a small percentage of your daily patrons.


    With an ID scanning system, you’re able to collect data on all of your guests. This goes well beyond their name, age and other demographic information. We’re talking behavioral data — how often that guests comes, what time of day they check in, how many visits they’ve had this month, what types of events or promotions drive them there, the list goes on. And when you connect your ID scanning system to your point of sale system, you unlock a whole new layer of behavioral information. Not to mention you get a ton of invaluable insights on what factors drives your business and which triggers to pull to repeat that business.


    It’s with this information that you’re able to reward your guests for doing what they’re already doing — simply showing up — and begin to offer them personalized service based on their habits. Notice it’s their 5th time coming in this month? Comp their first drink. Haven’t seen them in a while? Reach out to them about a special you think they’d enjoy. It’s these types of actions that build connections between consumers and brands, and drive true loyalty to your establishment.



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    7 Ways to Run a More Productive Nightclub

    Running a successful nightclub isn’t easy. You have several different areas doing several different things, not to mention an array of staff members to account for. That’s why it’s more important than ever to stay connected, both from a personnel and an operations standpoint. When everything and everyone is connected, you’re able to run a productive, more profitable nightclub.

    Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to stay connected in today’s landscape, especially with efficient technology solutions. Here are 7 ways technology can improve your nightclub’s results.

    1. Integrate one platform that handles all areas

    There are technology platforms out there specific to the nightclub industry that streamlines operations into one centralized spot. This solution increases efficiency across the board by aggregating information from multiple sources while also uncovering key statistics about your business.

    2. Use a combination of pre-sales, upsales, and cross-sales to boost your club

    A goal of any business is to drive revenue and translate it to money in the bank. With a combination of pre-sales, upsales, and cross-sales, you’re able to not only drive revenue, but also increase the amount of revenue you’re already driving without adding any extra work to your daily operations.

    3. Partner with a digital ticketing system

    Digital ticketing platforms aren’t anything new, but the way in which you manage them is. Most third-party ticketing vendors don’t give you access to manage a ticketing page, to view sales before the event, to view data after the event, or even to collect money during the whole process. Put that power back in your hands, and work with ticketing vendors that:

    1. Give you your own event page without competing venues or advertisements from which your guests can purchase tickets
    2. Ensures payment goes directly through your own merchant services provider and into your bank account right when a guest buys a ticket online
    3. Has the ability for your promoters to sell tickets on the streets through an integrated mobile app
    4. Will give you full access to your data

    4. Manage the flow of tables and servers in one window view

    Using pen and paper or even email to manage reservations results in many errors, including double-booked tables. Instead, use a reservation management system that uses an interactive table map that displays reservations, guest information, and servers all in one window view. This streamlines your processes to make sure what’s getting marked down is true to what’s actually happening during the night, all while maximizing efficiency and accuracy.

    5. Get insight on guests to give them an even better experience

    A robust customer relationship management (CRM) system that’s tied to your point of sale and integrated into your one main platform allows you to give your guests a great experience. With your CRM system, you’re able to better identify guests in line, upsell guests before they walk through your door, provide personalized service, and improve marketing efforts. After all, nobody, especially your VIP guests, wants to be treated like a number. Tracking and understanding guest data allows you to treat every guest as a valuable guest.

    6. Review important data on how your club is performing to optimize it for future success

    The key to measuring the success of your club is by analyzing critical data – something a fully integrated technology solution can achieve. This system collects data from any area of your club, analyzes it, and presents it in easy-to-read charts in one central spot so you get a better understanding of:

    • How much money you made or lost over a given time period
    • Which days of the week are your busiest
    • What type of liquor you sell the most on a given day
    • How many tables are reserved a night
    • Which promoters are bringing in the most and best guests
    • Which servers are upselling the most and making the most tips
    • What types of promotions or events bring in the most traffic

    7. Better manage operations and employees to run the most successful club

    Continuing on the integrated system bandwagon, this same system has the capability to provide individual logins to each member of your team for them to better manage their job functionality. Plus, depending on that person’s role in your club, you get to choose what they can and can’t access, helping to keep your data more secure. Giving staff access (even if it’s limited access) to a technology solution that combines information in one spot is an effective way to get everyone on the same page and working together. This interconnectivity between operations and employees is what makes your club a well-run, highly enjoyable, and highly profitable venue.

    Throw a Great Party in Just 9 Steps

    A great party = an audience. And an audience = revenue generation. In just 9 steps, learn how to throw a good party for your guests while also generating profit.

    1. Know your audience

    The people you are throwing the party for should define your business model. This means you need to know your customers inside and out. It’s not enough to have a basic understanding of only demographics. You need to discover their idea of a good party, the music they like to hear, the alcohol they like to drink, and even the servers they prefer. Work with a partner who can offer these valuable insights.

    2. Plan your event

    Planning is one of the most important aspects of throwing an event. First you need to identify what you want to get out of the event, and plan accordingly to achieve it. The best questions to answer during this step are:

    • What is your goal?
    • What is your budget, and how much can you spend in each area of the event?
    • Is this going to be an event tied to a holiday or time of year?
    • How will you get the word out about this event?

    Once you answer these questions, you have a better way of moving forward. You know exactly how may promoters you need, what staff members are responsible for, how much money you can spend on talent, what type of talent you need to hire, if you can offer drink specials – the list goes on.

    3. Hire the right talent

    Talent is a big portion of what lures people into your venue. But you need to make sure you hire the right talent. Do your guests prefer a headlining DJ or a local band? What type of lighting and sound equipment do you need to enhance the experience for your guests? Stay within your budget and plan for your audience to maximize profits and achieve your goal.

    4. Price tickets accordingly

    When it comes to a good party, it’s the experience – not the deal – that attracts guests. It’s critical to understand what your customers will pay in return for a good party. Make sure you don’t sell yourself short and maximize your revenue when at all possible. People understand and have been programmed to pay top dollar for major events, within reason. Take note, not advantage, of these opportunities if you seek long-term success.

    5. Get the word out

    You can’t spread the word until you’ve defined your audience. After all, it’s much easier to market and promote your party when you know exactly whom you’re trying to reach. The best strategy is to always keep your customers informed while maintaining a clear and consistent message in all your efforts. Use a multi-channel strategy to get the word out, such as text-message marketing, printed collateral, email updates, and social media. Just using one channel – such as printing flyers – will not do. Diversify your efforts, track returns, and adjust focus based on results.

    6. Generate revenue, even before the day of the event

    Pre-sales, pre-sales, pre-sales.. Every event or venue, regardless of size, benefits from the pre-sale of tickets and inventory. The best way to sell tickets in advance is to get everyone on board with a single platform. There are platforms available that allow you to create and manage an online event page, publish the page for consumers to purchase tickets, have the page integrate with a mobile app for promoters to sell directly from their devices, and track ticket sales and results along the way. This type of platform syncs all promoters and marketing efforts together to maximize ticket sales and revenue.

    7. Avoid double-booked VIP tables

    The best way to keep track of reservations to mitigate double-booked table is through a central technology platform to which everyone has access. This means any of your employees or partners can log into the system with their personal username and password, add a guest reservation for a specific night, identify remaining tables for the night and select the most appropriate one. Tables that are already reserved won’t show up in the system, which means they’re never double-booked. Not only that, but the person who refers a guest for a reservation (ex: a promoters) is the person who makes the reservation. They don’t need to email anybody to make it happen or jot it down on a piece of paper to hand to the hostess. It’s all streamlined and centralized to maximize efficiency, accuracy, and customer satisfaction.

    8. Be a good host

    Your event efforts must continue, and perhaps even spike, during the night of the event. Treat everyone like VIPs, from the bottle buyer to the general admission guest. Focus on service levels and make them feel appreciated no matter what. Your guests will not only continually come back, but they’ll also tell everyone they know about their experience. This sets you up for success for the long run.

    9. Analyze results to better prepare for the next event

    The only way to know whether your event was a success is to analyze the data. If you got on board with the aforementioned platform, your life will be significantly easier since it will all be in one spot – not to mention the data will be broken down by individual guests and staff members to truly identify areas of strength and weakness. Once you know how well you did, you’re able to better set yourself up for success for your next event.

    At the end of the day, revenue is a byproduct of the value of your party Make sure you first and foremost throw a good party, then be constantly aware of your guests, surprise them from time to time, and treat them with the service they deserve to keep them coming back.

    What is Humanized Data?

    We’ve spent the past decade watching bars and nightclubs struggle to manage their business and communicate with their customers. It was fascinating: people transformed how they interacted with businesses and brands, but hospitality venues hadn’t yet adopted to the change. Consumers had gotten accustomed to the savviness of online businesses sending recommendations based on past habits and reminders based on timing. It’s personal. It’s experience-driven. It’s humanized. And now they’re driving that change within nightlife.

    What we noticed is the gap between how venues operated and what customers expected created a void between customers and venues, and created a disconnect in business performance. But the root issue was more than just consumers adapting at a faster rate than venues could keep up with.

    The root issue was data. Not just any data. Humanized data.

    There’s data all over your venue. Your POS system, your guestlist, your reservations, website visitors, general admission guests, inventory, and even your staff are all data points that exist throughout your venue. The issue is none of it talks to each other, so all it ever exists as is raw data points that you may or may not even know you have access to.

    When you combine all your data together, you have the possibility of seeing the complete picture. Think of it as a puzzle, where each sector of your business is one puzzle piece. When combined together, you have the complete picture. That’s comprehensive data.

    The next step is to take that comprehensive data and humanize it. But what does this actually mean?

    Humanized data is data that tells a story. It provides insights into which triggers increase or decrease business performance and guest experience. It’s about turning quantitative numbers into qualitative actions.

    Let’s take your POS reports as a starting point. As an individual puzzle piece, you can pull reports and see what your total sales were for a given day and how many transactions made up those sales. But if you stop there, you’re only looking at one piece of the puzzle.

    When you combine your POS with an ID scanner, you open the door to understanding who the guests were that made up those transactions and even who the guests were that attended but didn’t buy anything. When you sync POS and ID scan with your inventory management system and your staffing system, you begin to get comprehensive data on what combination makes a night a success, and what combination makes a night a failure.

    With humanized data, you turn the raw comprehensive data points into a story. What started as 800 transactions for a total of $32,000 is now 1,000 guests from across the state — of which 66% are new and 34% are returning. Their primary age ranges are between 21-30 years old, with 26-30 being the most dense. They’re primarily male who have an average cost per transaction of $32, which was made up of 4 items. Whiskey coke rail drinks were the most popular order, particularly made with Jack Daniels. The busiest checkin time was the 11:00pm hour, more specifically at 11:45pm. But you were overstaffed from 8-11pm, causing your labor to sales ratio to ultimately hinder your profitability for the night.

    Now that’s humanized data. It’s not just numbers in a spreadsheet – it’s a wholistic story of what made up a night. It’s a buyer persona to work from. It’s insight into which triggers you can pull to do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

    When you have access to this level of insight, you can start asking yourself:

  • How does my gender or age demographics affect my sales?
  • At what percentage of capacity do I start losing money?
  • What types of music brings in the most bar sales?
  • Are you more profitable during special events or regular nights?
  • The best part is, when everything is synced, it’s also tracked and measured so you can try different things and see the impact it has on your business. It’s this mentality that has allowed other industries to thrive, and it’s this level of insight that will allow you to close that gap with your customers and build a powerful business.

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