Striking the Balance Between Efficiency and Community
Set along the Swamp Rabbit Trail with a delectable menu, 10+ homebrewed beers on tap, a large indoor space, and an expansive outdoor area great for yard games, live music, and gathering with friends, Southernside has quickly become a favorite for locals and tourists alike in their up and coming Greenville, South Carolina locale. The brewery opened in January 2021 and has a full menu of mouth-watering, Southern-infused favorites like Truffle Parmesan Fries, Fried Mac n’ Cheese Balls, Brussels Sprouts, Bourbon Bacon Jam Burgers, and Southern Fried Chicken Sandwiches. In addition to its tasty craft brews, Southernside also has a full bar with wine, handcrafted cocktails, and an extensive bourbon list.
In summer 2022, Southernside was looking for ways to enhance their guest experience. With the pandemic in the rear-view window and the Swamp Rabbit Trail, a 22-mile multi-use walking and bicycling greenway, fully reopened after construction, their business was thriving. Previously, all guests would approach the bar, order food and drinks, and receive a pager number. They’d find a table and wait to be notified when their order was ready. Any time a guest wanted to reorder, they had to repeat the process: get in line, place the order, return to their seat and wait. There was a lot of back-and-forth, and while guests took the process in stride, Owner-Operator Nate Tomforde and his team believed that by adding table service they could provide a guest-pleasing upgrade to the Southernside experience. At the same time, they knew that adding service without adding labor would require a new operational model backed by new technology.
“There’s a fine line between efficiency and community. We never want to lose the community feel so definitely appreciate the flexibility GoTab provides to serve our guests the way they prefer.”— Nate Tomforde, Owner-Operator
Situated in a high-growth area conveniently located between Charlotte and Atlanta, and with major manufacturers Michelin and BMW close by, Southernside focuses on staying current with the latest tech, and consistently looking for new ways to improve the experience for their guests and their staff. Today, Southernside has implemented a hybrid model of 60 percent QR orders and 40 percent walk-up. They are keen to keep walk-up service as an option for guests who want to order the traditional way. “There’s a fine line between efficiency and community,” says Tomforde. “We never want to lose the community feel so definitely appreciate the flexibility GoTab provides to serve our guests the way they prefer.”
“What we have been able to accomplish with GoTab and Lucas POS would’ve been virtually impossible with our previous legacy POS.”— Nate Tomforde, Owner-Operator
While they have been able to eliminate long lines and do it all without adding staff, Southernside did end up shifting a few roles. Formerly, hosts would be stationed in two locations in the venue. Those hosts now operate as servers, running food and drinks to the table for QR orders. “People are ordering more – an average of 20-25 percent more – because they don’t have to keep getting up to stand in line to order,” says Tomforde. With guests placing their own orders from the full food & beverage menu across its entire 7,000 square foot indoor/outdoor area, their guests are more satisfied and they are also able to reduce order errors and misfires and thereby their comps. “What we have been able to accomplish with GoTab and Lucas POS would’ve been virtually impossible with our previous legacy POS,” says Tomforde.