Ballie Ballerson is an in-your-face experience from the moment you arrive, we’ve got the UV walls, we do shows, sparklers, and cocktails.’
With over a million balls, giant ball pits and nostalgia-inducing cocktails, Ballie Ballerson is an experience to remember. The Shoreditch cocktail bar has got to be one of the most instagram-able venues in London, serving up a bar menu of classics alongside some candy-clad cocktails with a twist. Not to forget their pizza, whose mozzarella pull might just be unmatched this side of the Mediterranean.
Ballie were amongst the generation of London venues who faced the adversity brought on by lockdown. What made them different is that they were determined to come back kicking and armed with a tool to allow them to tackle some of the new challenges that hospitality was up against.
From mouth-watering digital menus to re-connecting with guests in a unique way, they decided that storekit was the solution.
2021 - the year hospitality was in flux. The industry was rapidly evolving, and venues like BB knew that they had to adapt.
With freedom day fast approaching, Ballie wanted to streamline operations by designing a digital workflow with a laser focus on business drivers like improving time efficiencies, saving costs while increasing spending, and of course, customer service - all while providing guests with a unique ordering experience.
‘To be completely honest, Initially, I was a bit sceptical about the idea of mobile ordering. Having been in the industry a long time, I worried tech would be something that was going to replace the waiters. That was until we realised how it would positively impact the business.’ says Karl, GM at Ballie.
‘We didn't expect to be so busy when we re-opened. It was huge. Storekit quickly became an extra tool on our belt when we had to come up against the new way hospitality was working. We quickly saw that having a digital menu would be really cool. It was attention-grabbing, and some businesses weren't taking advantage of that.’
We worked with the Ballie team to understand exactly their objectives for reopening, and using storekit’s order & pay solution we set out to do the following:
Being a high-energy, wet-led venue means that crowds at Ballie can get pretty crazy. With a strain on staffing in the industry, hiring has become a huge issue for many venues across the country.
Using storekit, Ballie has been able to operate using the same amount of staff as before, with no extra stress. ‘Staff is saving a considerable amount of time because guests can actually order off of their phones. Having a menu that is so easily laid out with such good photos and descriptions means you don’t even have to worry about giving table service.’
I've seen so many other systems where it takes 5 minutes to order a pint, where you have to download an app, put in an account, and enter your details 12 times it’s just ridiculous. So the fact that it's so simple is great.’
Ballie is an immersive experience, bursting with personality. From the atmosphere to the tunes to the cocktails, so creating the perfect vibe was a huge priority for the team.
‘You get out your phone, you scan a QR code and that pops up with our custom Ballie menu with pictures descriptions and fun little quirky jokes and emojis. Yeah, they can all just go on there, it's really quick and really easy, and customers really like the visual side of it. ‘
When it comes to f&b we order with our eyes (and sometimes our instagrams!). Ballie saw this first hand when they noticed that some of the bar’s creative cocktails that previously were going unnoticed, were suddenly selling out. ‘They quickly became our best sellers, because they looked so cool - the visual aspect of the menu is so underrated, guests love it!’ says Karl.
The team at Ballie soon became known as ‘vibe checkers’ because they no longer had to waste time on manual tasks like taking orders and splitting the bill. The team could focus on running drinks to tables, engaging with customers and chatting about all things cocktails. ‘Guests were buying more premium drinks because the menu was so visual’. The team could spend time chatting to them and making sure they had a good time’.
Storekit has now become Ballie’s standard service - it's not replacing the waiters or taking their jobs. It’s a tool to allow waiters to be more present with customers.’
Running mode - taking the payments - doing all of the stuff, allowed us to be really - were running on a 7% wage cost which is not ideal and without storekit we wouldn't be able to do so.
It’s definitely brought the relationship between the bar staff and the floor staff together.’