All Star Pubs & Bars major refurbishments to include Smart Dispense

Quality, consistency, trouble-free line cleaning, energy consumption and product wastage were the key dispense concerns of Star Pubs & Bars lessees prior to installing a Smart Dispense system.  The positive results have led to a strong take-up of the new technology with 100 already installed in Star Pubs & Bars pubs and the company’s commitment to install Smart Dispense systems in all its transformational refurbishments.

Research carried out among lessees who have had the Smart Dispense system for three months or more has revealed that it is addressing lessees’ dispense concerns.  100% were happy with the system and 89% highlighted that it offered them:

-  consistently great quality cider and beer

- a hassle free easy to operate dispense solution for staff

-  wastage reduction

- cooler cider and beer temperatures

Chris Jowsey, trading director for Star Pubs & Bars said “Being part of Heineken, helping lessees provide the perfect serve is of paramount importance and central to our support.  With the Heineken Smart Dispense our lessees have had early access to a ground breaking technology which provides their customers with consistent superior quality beer and cider, saves them money and gives them peace of mind.  This is the kind of innovation the pub industry needs, tackling operators’ concerns and raising standards, which in turn drives footfall. A win-win for everyone.”

Case study: The first pub to install Smart Dispense…

The first lessee to trial the Smart Dispense was Janet Rowley of the Windmill in Linton. When she first agreed to trial the Smart Dispense she was full of trepidation.  She had a good reputation to maintain as a great traditional 450 year old village pub serving good quality cask ale to a demanding clientele in a much sought after village.  The pub had even won Yorkshire Life’s Best Traditional Pub award.

“The Smart Dispense looked so good, I wondered whether it could really be that good.  I was worried because it was new technology and so completely different to what we’d done before,” says Janet.

15 months down the line Janet, who runs the pub herself and is responsible for the line cleaning, has no doubts about its capability and says she would never go back to the old way of cleaning lines, not just because of the money she is saving, but because of  great beer and cider quality ale and the reassurance it provides.

“I absolutely love it.  I really do,” says Janet.  “There’s no waste compared to what I used to have, which is good from a money saving point of view and for the environment.  I save the two pints per line I lost every time I cleaned the lines, around £160 a month and use less chemicals. I’m also saving £200 a month on my energy bills and the two and a half hours a week of my time spent line cleaning.”

Instead Janet has a visit from the Heineken technical team every four weeks to clean the Windmill’s  lines.  She explains “For me it is peace of mind knowing it is being done professionally and if something is wrong – not that there has been – they’ll pick it up.  They do a really thorough clean which includes taking off the Pourtal taps.

“My staff think the Smart Dispense system is great too.  It’s so much easier for everyone to use.  You uncouple it from one keg and connect it to the next and then push a button.  That’s it.  They’ve all also been trained to serve the perfect pint.  Star Pubs & Bars has also arranged for three lots of training from the professionals for different members of staff and they’ve got a certificate for it.

But for Janet, her staff and her customers it’s the quality of the pint that the Smart Dispense delivers which is most important at the end of the day.  “It dispenses perfectly all the time.  The temperature is constant and every pint is consistently cool. Customers are more appreciative of this in the Summer.  They also get the perfect pint first time so gone is the need to wait for a pint because of fobbing.  It is a completely sealed unit which cools from the outset so there are no bacteria.  It is brilliant.

“We do a lot of cask here though I’ve noticed we’re getting more young people wanting lager.  Thinking about it this could be linked to the Smart Dispense.”

In reality, Janet’s fears were unfounded and far from damaging the Windmill Inn’s name, the consistent quality of the keg beer and cider dispensed by the Smart Dispense  is enhancing the pub’s excellent reputation.