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HungerRush Interviews Troy Guidash of Electric Cowboy

How long have you been working in the Nightclub and Bar industry, Troy? What originally prompted you to want to work within this industry?
Oh, I’ve been in it about 23 years now. As for what prompted me, well, I was so young, and there was all of the excitement, it’s such a social environment and you know, all of the pretty people (laughs) but probably the ultimate thing was, being a tipped employee back then, it was all of that expendable cash you had in your hands all of the time! You worked less than 40 hours a week and made more money than people who worked 80 hours a week, and you had very little in taxes, too. (laughs)

(Laughs) Right! Well, has the magic worn off over the past 23 years? Is it still as exciting as it was back then?
It is still as exciting! Of course, now I work more in the upper management section of it all, but it’s still just as exciting to me. I just can’t do anything else, honestly. I tried to do something else for a little while, but I just wasn’t happy. I couldn’t be happier doing what I do. Of course, the work is a lot more intense now…

Had you used a POS system prior to HungerRush, and if so, when did you make the switch and what can you tell us about the experience?
Yes, I’ve actually used three different types of POS systems in the past – I’ve used Micros, Aloha, and Digital Dining. But when we first started out, we didn’t have a POS system at all, and we actually did a lot of research first, probably about a year and a half, almost two years’ worth of research, and then we got lucky and ran into you guys at the Nightclub and Bar Trade Show a year ago. I’ve had a chance to deal with them all and the one thing I like so much about HungerRush is that it is extremely user friendly. I’ve trained every single one of my managers and I’ve been at every single install. When it comes to the programming, and when you have to make adjustments, or if you want to do time pricing specials and all of these sorts of things, working with Aloha was literally a complete headache – it was a nightmare. I was calling tech support constantly and even the tech support guys were having the hardest time dealing with my calls. You practically had to be a program installer or an IT tech yourself to even run their program. But with HungerRush, it’s just so simple; it’s literally click and go. I’m training a brand new GM in my Dallas store right now and he picked it up in less than a day.

That’s so awesome! How many locations do you have?
We have a grand total of 14 locations. We have HungerRush installed in 6 locations, and we’re working on setting up the 7th location now. Each of those locations has anywhere from 8 HungerRush terminals all the way up to 15 terminals, which is our biggest location.

After implementing HungerRush’s POS system, in what areas did you immediately see positive results?
We were able to drop labor about 10% right away, which is really good. As for sales, we were able to increase those anywhere from 15% to 25%. We track sales year to year, of course, and there have actually been times when guest accounts have dropped in a year, but we still exceeded sales from the previous year because we were able to expedite service.

So because of the ease of use, you were able to make more sales more quickly?
Exactly right. Also, the credit card processing is really great. The other really great thing about the HungerRush system that Aloha didn’t have, that Micros didn’t have, is definitely the biometric time clock. We were really able to watch labor drop simply because, you know, you have to use your fingerprint to clock in.

Exactly! Were there any other particular reasons that led you to choosing HungerRush?
There are so many things…the system is very, very user friendly, as I’ve said. When compared to competitors, we just couldn’t get the other guys to encompass our needs, our format, and our brand – they just couldn’t do it, or if they could, it was just such a headache; we’d rather not deal with them. But you know, probably the ultimate factor was price. HungerRush came in around 35% lower in price than everyone else; the price was just so much less expensive. It was very cost effective for us to take the step withHungerRush. POS terminals are such a huge investment and choosing HungerRush has really paid off for us.

Businesswise, do you feel that modern technology, specifically an all-in-one solution such as HungerRush, is mandatory in today’s highly competitive Nightclub & Bar industry?
Oh yes, definitely. If you aren’t using POS terminals in your venue, then you’re missing out on opportunities. You have to consider it almost like a hidden expense, kind of like when you’re building a new property, well, you’ve got to have electric and plumbing, and you’ve got to have cash management systems, too.

If you want to run a business, you’ve got to have the internet, you have to have social networking, you have to be on Facebook – you need modern technology, and that includes for handling your cash, too. If you’re not using modern technology, you’re looking at taking at least 15% to 20% of potential profits right out of your pocket. It’s almost like not even opening your business on time, you know? If you say your doors are going to open at 7:30, you’d better be open! It’s that basic.

Can you share anything about your experiences with the HungerRush Support Team?
Well, of course our business is not a 9 to 5 one, so if and when we do need support, it’s going to be during late hours of the night. Now that you guys have 24/7/365 support, it’s been great; there’s actually someone there at the call center that can always help us out at any time of the night. We’re high volume, we’re a nightclub, so if our credit card terminal or our systems go down, we need support and we need it FAST. The 24/7 support team makes sure we get it.

Great! Well, we really appreciate you taking the time to speak with us, Troy. Thanks so much!

About Electric Cowboy
Electric Cowboy is a Country and Dance Nightclub with locations scattered all over the south – Arkansas, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Missouri each boast one or more of these popular nightclubs. HungerRush had the good fortune of meeting Troy Guidash, Electric Cowboy’s President of Operations, over a year ago at the Nightclub and Bar Trade Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, and we’ve been working with him to install HungerRush POS terminals in his locations ever since. Troy recently took the time out of his busy schedule to speak to us about the positive results HungerRush has brought to his chain of nightclubs.