Pirate Life Brewing built their first brewery in Hindmarsh and rolled the first four beers off the line. The team “went on the road for like 283 days of that first year, and it was all about just going out and putting a beer in someone’s hand and having a beer with them. 

“So it was less about the sell and more about the connection of what you can do over the beer”, describes Katie van de Merwe, Head of Hospitality at Pirate Life Brewing. 

Filling the gaps in a huge space

From day one, the massive South Australian venue has had me&u support their people-first staff.

“It’s been the most awesome thing because it has contributed to the venue in a way that we didn’t actually think was possible. Because we implemented me&u hand in hand with our table service and experience. It’s only added to that connection and the ability to deliver that customer service that we want,” Katie said.

“The space is huge and it is a lot of space for humans to cover when you’re running around trying to service people. I don’t think we’ll ever move away from it because it really is that connection that we yearn for and that we drive.

“me&u has been awesome because it’s helped us reach the people that we couldn’t necessarily reach as quickly before. 

“In terms of customer experience, it’s better ten-fold. So if we’re not there to get them, me&u is there to get them. Our staff do play some games along the lines of trying to get to people before Mr Yum does.

“We love people, so we’re going to continue to work with our staff to give the best experience.

A data-led kitchen

Rocky Oliveira, Head Chef at Pirate Life Brewing, describes me&u as their 19th man [Australian football reference; there are 18 players on the field from each team]. 

“It can slide in and fill in gaps for us,” Rocky said.

“Sometimes when you’re in your spot, sitting at your table and the sun’s blaring and you got your beer, you don’t want to get up, you don’t want to be chasing anyone. It’s quick, it’s easy. 

“The most important thing about the data stuff is huge for us because then everything we do now is based on that data. We can look at what we did previous summers and go, hey, last summer this worked. And with the prices going up, we’re trying to find ways to keep customers happy.

“I just thought of me&u as a QR code. The data piece was a real opener, I was like wow, this really is a sophisticated system. I think it’s a fantastic tool. I think it’s something that’s going to be here for a long time. 

“Things can be missed. Human error happens. It’s in a business where, we’re predominantly based on humans, so that’s what me&u is really good at doing, is filling those gaps. 

“Every Monday, I look at a total of the week, and that gives me top sellers, it gives me the percentages as well of how many orders have gone through me&u, and having me&u for so long, we can see the trends. We can see it kind of happening, we know when it’s going to ramp up. We know what we need to roughly sit at, at every point. 

“Lunch time here on a Sunday, we know it’s pretty much 12pm to 3pm - bang. We know we just get that time. It’s go time. That just means that we have to start managing people’s wait times and just say, hey, look, we’re being inundated at the moment. It’s going to be a 25-minute wait.”

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