There’s nothing quite like live entertainment. Watching a concert on TV simply doesn’t compare to seeing the band in-person. Modern dance performances come alive and are far more impressive when you watch them in the recital hall, as opposed to a video recording. And anyone who has seen a stand-up comedian in a comedy club can tell you that there’s something about the energy of the audience that adds to the hilarity of the show. People love live entertainment.
Comedy clubs, dinner theatre and live cabaret-style performance venues offer a unique form of entertainment. Not only does the audience gather around tables to watch the show, but they are also free to order adult cocktail beverages and food menu items throughout the performance. In fact, most of these specialized venues have a two-drink-minimum or some other menu requirement for their customers while they enjoy the entertainment. In other words, venues such as these offer more than a show.
They also usually offer lounges and a full bar in the waiting area outside of the main and secondary theater spaces where customers can peruse a museum of comedy memorabilia—or theatrical photos of performances past—and perhaps even buy venue merchandise to memorialize their night out at your club.
If you think about it, any given “hole in the wall” venue uses a relatively complex payment processing system. It would have to in order to properly charge for show tickets, food & beverage items, and merchandise. Not only that, but when venues have table service throughout the shows, a tried-and-true system of taking orders and fulfilling them discretely is imperative. There’s nothing worse than distracting the performers and other guests every time a customer wants their martini refreshed.
But we probably don’t have to tell you about any of that. If you’re reading this article, it’s safe to assume that you own and operate a live performance venue and have already encountered the challenges that come with implementing POS systems that weren’t built with your unique industry in mind. Sure, you can bend over backwards to find “workarounds” within your current run-of-the-mill point of sale system that meet your specific needs, but what if instead you could switch to a POS solution that was designed to accommodate the exact complexity of your venue’s diverse payment processing scenarios?
Hold your applause, we’re just getting started! Here are the 3 “don’ts” and the “dos” that will improve the success of your business if you implement these cutting-edge solutions at your venue.
Whether you run a comedy club, dinner theater venue, or cabaret performance space, one of the greatest perks you offer your customers during the show is stellar table service. It’s part of the fun experience and nothing warms up the crowd like a stiff drink and warm appetizers. Your waitstaff have a very important job to do—fulfill orders as quickly and quietly as possible. If you’re like many venues, your waitstaff might still be using a pencil and notepad to take orders, but this system is slow and prone to errors. Talk about two left feet! You don’t want your waiters and waitresses tripping throughout the audience because you haven’t provided them with the best digital tool on the market to simplify their job, reduce mistakes, and promote efficiency and accuracy when it comes time to drop the check.
What if you could equip your staff with a comprehensive POS device that fits perfectly in the palm of their hands? Providing your waitstaff with the right handheld tool to take orders and digitally push them through to the kitchen without having to physically leave the theater will mean doubling or even tripling the number of orders they can fulfill during any given show. Read on for our recommendation for the best POS Handheld device on the market today!
As the owner of a live performance venue, you’ve probably noticed the same faces over the months and years. Comedy clubs often feature the usual stand-up suspects and with opportunities like open mic night and amateur hours, it isn’t uncommon for the same crowds to accumulate night after night. Dinner theater venues are accustomed to the same phenomenon thanks to the fact that the cast and crew, no matter how much they rotate, often patronize every show. Even cabaret spaces experience the same thing. What is this evidence of? Loyalty! And the loyalty doesn’t stop with the performers and their friends and family—though we’re sure you’ve noticed on occasion that the house has been packed exclusively with friends and family, otherwise known as the Sunday matinee! If you haven’t taken this trend to the next, revenue-generating level, then you’re still waiting in the wings.
Don’t wait in the wings! It’s time to steal the show… by implementing a customer loyalty rewards program and offering deals and discounts to your members. You’ll want to choose POS software that comes with a built-in loyalty rewards program, one that is simple and straightforward enough that your waitstaff can sign people up at the tables. Launching a customer loyalty rewards program will incentivize first-time customers to act on package deals and longstanding customers to work towards earning enough points for big event items such as a comedy birthday party bonanza for 10 that encompasses free dinner, drinks, and a live show on the night of the winner’s choosing. That’s one way to get a rave review!
Hopefully, you haven’t required a two-drink minimum to make it this far in reading our article! We can’t necessarily say the same about writing it! Just kidding! All joking aside, the fact of the matter is that the live performance shows that are scheduled at your venue are constantly changing. A hit show could stay on the marquee for months and maybe even years, sure, but for the most part your shows, headliners, and guest stars frequently rotate in and out. In order to alert the public, generate buzz, and sell tickets at the box office, you’re no stranger to printing signage to promote each and every new addition to the lineup, right? Well, this is one area where you may have already fallen out of step with the competition.
Static print signs are a thing of the past and you want to stay current, cutting-edge, and ahead of the curve when it comes to effectively marketing your latest acts. Afterall, your marketing efforts translate directly into box office sales, so you want to keep those marketing costs down as much as possible. If you’re rushing off to the printers every two weeks, it isn’t likely you’re keeping your expenses rock bottom. Instead of continuing to print and display static signs, we strongly recommend upgrading to digital signage. What does this have to do with your point of sale system? You should’ve asked us that two drinks ago!
Focus! Street-facing digital signage that advertises your upcoming comedians, hottest cabaret acts, and the next theatrical production set to premier is the fastest way to drive traffic straight to your box office. With digital signs catching the attention of pedestrians and passers-by, you increase the chances of expanding your customer base, and that’s not all. Displaying digital signs inside your venue’s lounges, bars, and secondary performance spaces that are more relaxed and conversational is a great way to interest loyal patrons into buying tickets to upcoming shows that they hadn’t necessarily known were coming to town. Using digital signage in creative ways throughout your venue is one surefire way to upstage the competition!
By this point, we hope we’ve convinced you of the importance of implementing venue-specific POS, handheld devices, loyalty rewards, and digital signage, all of which will make—and not break—the success of your business. But the last thing you want to do is piecemeal these solutions together from different, unrelated providers. We wouldn’t want you to do that either, which is why FasTrax has combined every service mentioned throughout this article into one, straightforward and bundled solution!
FasTrax POS is your one-stop shop for all of your point of sale needs if you own and operate a live performance venue such as a comedy club or theatre. Not only does our software go beyond POS, Handheld, Loyalty Rewards, and Digital Signage but our technical support staff will provide you with all the guidance you will ever need for success in the live entertainment industry.
Why choose FasTrax?
- • Track which cocktails are selling better and monitor your inventory down to the ingredient level so you know when it’s time to restock your top selling liquors and garnishes
- • Easily handle box office ticket sales, merchandise purchases, and in-show food & beverage orders no matter how many payment processing stations your venue has
- • Schedule, track, measure, and empower your personnel with staff management & scheduling modules
- • Capture customer contact information such as mobile numbers and email addresses when they pay which you can use for direct marketing later
- • Equip your performance waitstaff with the best tool on the market to take and fulfill orders quickly and quietly so the surrounding audience is never bothered
- • Every order is tracked, reportable, and easily viewed within the table history. You can replace or modify an entry if an item was accidentally entered. Reconciliations are immediate and automatically sent to corporate for review
- • Give employees all of the functionality of a cash register POS in the palm of their hand with comprehensive capabilities to sell merchandise and box office tickets, or anything their customers are interested in
- • Our powerful cloud-based system streamlines data collection and enables users to send food & beverage orders to the kitchen without having to leave the theater
- • Reward customers with a straightforward points-earning system that never feels like a hassle
- • Create your own promotional campaigns and offer deals, discounts, and freebies to drive sales and generate a loyal customer base
- • Designate your loyalty campaign as Points Per Item or Dollars Per Item, you always remain in charge of your promotions
- • Whitelist cocktails, beers, or even merchandise that are eligible for earning points, and blacklist items that aren’t
FasTrax Digital Signage
- • Display happy hour items, new cocktails, best-selling beers, and much more with eye-catching rotating signage that helps you make sales
- • Advertise upcoming shows, comedians, and events in street-facing displays that include date, time, and ticket prices
- • Manage displays from your home or office PC, or anywhere on a tablet or smartphone
- • Use digital screens as lineup cues during open mic night to help your MCs stay organized and on-time into the wee hours of the night
With our 24/7 technical support team ready to assist your point of sale needs, there is no better live entertainment venue POS system on the market today than FasTrax. To learn more or speak with a FasTrax strategist, click here to see what our POS can do for your venue.