In the former bread factory building that now houses Loft Project ETAGI, St. Petersburg’s most famous creative space and hostel, the dark, austere Sever retro bar has been in operation for several years. Popular among young creative professionals who come to Etagi to attend lectures, workshops, modern art exhibitions, markets and festivals, for a long time Sever functioned without a professional automation system. Instead, a basic till was used to register sales. But recently, Tillypad has begun to help Sever serve its guests and keep records of food and drink sales.
When choosing from the hospitality management systems available on the market, Sever’s owners paid particular attention to the implementation speed, trade-off between price and quality and recommended system requirements of each program. Sever’s system also needed to be reliable and user-friendly — most of the bar’s employees are creative professionals, such as artists, designers and musicians, who have no technical background. Tillypad proved to be most advantageous from these and other perspectives. The Elf-M Company installed and configured Tillypad at Sever in a single day. On the very next day, Sever’s employees were trained to use the program, and by that night, they had already started serving guests using the new software.
The 900-square-foot retro bar can seat up to 50 people; even when the venue is packed, two Tillypad licences are more than sufficient to meet its needs. One licence is used by barmen to take orders and payments and run stock inventories without interrupting service. After they take orders and accept payments at the bar, employees offer customers a seat at one of Sever’s 1980s-style high bar tables.
The bar’s second licence is used for working with stock movements, sales, accounting and managerial records, all of which can be handled both on site and remotely. At the owners’ request, Elf-M set up remote access to Tillypad Manager for a portion of Sever's employees, allowing them to manage the venue from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection.
Anton Cherkasov, co-owner of Sever: ‘Sever has a classic assortment of spirits, wines, cocktails and draught beers. After we started using Tillypad, alcohol usage and deduction at the bar became crystal clear. Now we can easily track when and in which cocktails our employees use a particular liquor or syrup. We can see all deductions down to the gram, which helps us not only prevent misuse but also understand the profits we bring in from the sale of each drink.’
All snack items sold at the bar are prepared on site. And recently, in addition to its signature sandwiches and desserts, Sever has begun offering several types of pizza. A filling, inexpensive pizza prepared in front of guests is a welcome snack for the large groups that come into Etagi.
By advertising its new pizza selection, the bar has both attracted new customers and increased its drink sales. With information from Tillypad reports, it has been shown that Sever’s customer base increased after pizza was introduced to the menu and that the drink most commonly purchased with a pizza order is beer.
Still, among Etagi’s regulars, Sever is known for its rich entertainment programme rather than ads for its new menu items. In the evenings, DJs play sets and underground films are often shown; during the day customers enjoy carefully selected music, from deep house to rock from the 70s and 80s. Sundays are taken up by chess club meetings. A diverse set of events, each with its own level of publicity, attract different numbers of guests to the bar at different times. Tillypad helps analyse sales by day of the week and time of day. Sever’s management can always assess the payoff from a particular event by matching its sales data to its own event programme and the programmes of other venues at the loft.