By Gregory Daurer | May 03, 2019
Tapping on an Android tablet, a server at a brewery that uses Arryved's point-of-sale (POS) system can signal a team member to hustle a pint over to a customer wherever that person happens to be sitting. The server doesn't have to walk the ticket over to the bar -- perhaps first stopping at other tables along the way to take additional orders -- before that pint is eventually delivered.
"They deliver the beer before the server leaves the table, half the time," says Trigg, a sales and partnership development specialist. "You're still talking to your server, asking questions about the beer, and the beer shows up."
Norman, a software engineer, adds, "It really creates this powerful 'wow!' factor," allowing a brewery tap room to "up the service game" by combining its own human resources and Arryved's POS system, Venyu.
"It gives you all the functionality of a traditional POS, but in a more mobile fashion," says Trigg.
When a server swipes a customer's credit card, the information is encrypted and sent on for eventual processing. Payment processing is the only service that Arryved charges a customer for in order to use its multifaceted product.
Over the course of a night, guests can be as mobile as they like within the establishment. If the customer is at one table and then re-orders at a different one, perhaps while sitting with another group of friends, the server can easily adjust that location into the POS system for that ticket.
Trigg says, "It's kind of like you go to Disneyland or Disney World, you give your card up front and then you walk around buying stuff, and when you're ready to go, you close out wherever you are."
It's a small, small wonder that customers within the craft beer industry speak positively on behalf of Arryved's POS system.
"It does save a serious amount of time [over a shift]," says Ian McDaniel, the taproom manager at Denver's Black Shirt Brewing Co. Not only that, he says, but an oft-dreaded situation for a server is quickly resolvable: "Splitting up tabs is very quick and easy."
Video accolades also appear online at Arryved's website, delivered by representatives of Left Hand Brewing Company, Boulder Beer Company, Dry Dock Brewing Co., and Avery Brewing Company -- Arryved's first client, in 2016.
McDaniel adds, "As taproom manager, it lets me check on open tabs, closed tabs, and be able to interact with the POS without being clocked in on the floor." The POS can also let servers know, for instance, when a keg has tapped out. And it has a host of reporting and analytics features for managers and owners.
David Norman and Nancy Trigg both used to work in Boulder at Google: Trigg on the sales side, while Norman oversaw a team dealing with payments to and from the search giant. Norman says that he and co-founder and CTO Tom Wrensch "had done an awful lot of work from the payments perspective [on] how to be able to integrate [payment] to banks and payment networks. So, it kind of gave us a leg up when we went to go build this [POS system], in terms of the knowledge base we had."
Norman says they've been able to assemble a "top-notch customer service organization" at Arryved, as well. And Black Shirt's McDaniel is willing to testify on their behalf: "The support team for Arryved has been amazing," he says.
When Black Shirt was looking to switch its POS system to a new business that's "faster and more suited to what we do as a brewpub," Arryved delivered the goods. McDaniel says, "We felt like we were their only client when we launched -- and launch day for anyone, when you're switching to a new POS, is a terrifying moment." Furthermore, McDaniel says he can call Arryved's customer support with a problem and adjustments are quickly made within his POS system. "No system is perfect, but this is the closest system to perfect that we've ever found -- and we've worked with a couple since we opened in 2012," he explains.
Since Arryved opened for business, it's gathered over 200 customers in 35 states. Norman says, "Year over year [we've grown] by about 3X, since we started selling the product." The company recently racked up a $5 million in investment as well.
Given their previous backgrounds at a Fortune 500 Company like Google, why have Norman and Trigg dedicated themselves to now serving the craft beer industry?
"We've always been part of a team that has looked to build technology for an underserved market," says Norman. Furthermore, he says, "There is inherent viralness to craft. There is an inherent desire to share best practices."
Plus, Trigg -- a fan of dark, German lagers -- adds, "We all really love craft beer."
What's the most exciting part of the business for Norman?
"I still get geeked out every time I walk into an establishment that uses our system," he says. "As an engineer by nature and by trade, the biggest [pleasure] for me is to witness the product in someone's hand."
Preferably while holding a pint of stout in his own, that is.
Challenges: "Being able to implement all the things that we've always wanted to be able to do in a timely manner," says Norman. "We're probably only an eighth through the vision I think that we believe that we have."
Opportunities: Presently, the POS system allows a business to add a customer loyalty component. But Norman envisions more benefits for customers, eventually. "There's a whole series of things that we'd like to be able to do that are very customer-pleasing that I think will be radically different than what is out there today," he says.
Needs: "Java Engineers," says Norman. "We're doing fairly good on all our hiring. This is a fairly endemic problem across all the startups that I think are in Boulder and Denver: the fight for good engineering talent. And I think everyone is feeling the same pressure."