Francis House Charity Project

Manco Automatics is very excited to announce about our ongoing project with Francis House Children’s Hospice and Ashton on Mersey school.

It is an honour to work with such an amazing charity and to make a real difference to people’s lives across the Greater Manchester region.

Francis House provides high levels of clinical care in a home from home environment, supporting the families of children, teenagers and young adults with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions. All services are given completely free of charge and include respite care, home care, sibling support, end of life care, emotional and bereavement support.

Kate Puć who is the fundraising officer for Francis House said “I was absolutely delighted to hear from Ashton on Mersey Sixth Form that Francis House had been chosen to be their charity to support during their week of fundraising in school. Every day this week I have been in to talk to the different year groups in assembly and Freya and Hannah from the sixth form have been informing the school of next week’s fundraising activities. I thank the sixth form for all their fundraising ideas, their hard work and most of all their enthusiasm to raise funds for their local children’s hospice.”

One of their activities is a good old-fashion game of pool! Not only is it a great way for the students to relax and have fun during break times, but as the pool table is on a profit share arrangement with us, we will be donating all of our proceeds during the 16th March week commencing to Francis House to help them reach their target of £3,500, so that they can continue the special work and care provided there for all the children and their families.

Ways music can boost productivity at work

Have you ever considered installing a jukebox in your workplace? Music can have a big impact on productivity (for the better) and can help to keep employees more motivated and less bored over the course of a day.

In 2019, research in the journal Economics and Management argued that “music makes our daily life more beautiful”.

“Music is one of the most effective methods of reducing anxiety, relaxing the body and mind, and positively affecting memory,” the author wrote. “Music can also improve productivity and quality of work.”

But what type of music should you have on your workplace jukebox? The study found several options that have proved beneficial in research in the past:

• Individuals tend to work faster when listening to music they enjoy.
• Individuals focus more when listening to music with sounds from nature within it.
• People are more productive with music they don’t focus on directly.
• Instrumental music removes the risk of employees being distracted by lyrics.
• Different tempos can have different effects, with medium tempos reducing stress.

The joy of a jukebox is that you have good control over what to play – both at management level and by opening up the playlist to employees too.

How to control workplace music with a jukebox

Simply putting a radio in the workplace gives you very little control over the songs that are played, and commercial radio stations can be very distracting with adverts, news bulletins and traffic updates.

A workplace jukebox gives you direct control. You can compile your own playlists of only the songs you think are appropriate to boost productivity among your employees.

You can restrict song selections to certain categories – no unexpected drum and bass blasting across the office – but still benefit from regular updates of the latest chart songs via the jukebox’s network connection.

And by giving your employees a sense of agency over the songs they hear, you can help to keep them motivated and happy, even while generating an additional revenue stream if you ask them to pay a small amount for each song they select.

Finally, there can be positive reputational impacts too, for example if you choose to donate your takings from the jukebox to charity or spend them on something nice for your workforce.

If you’d like to learn more about how to put a jukebox in your workplace or office, give Manco Automatics a call today on 0161 870 7777 and we’ll be happy to talk you through the options available to you.

What does the new £20 note mean for the gaming machine industry?

The polymer £20 note is now officially in circulation, which means any of your future punters could walk in with one in their pocket – so are your gaming machines ready to accept them?

It’s been a challenging few years for the gaming machine industry and for manufacturers of coin-operated machines in general, such as parking meters and vending machines too.

We’ve had polymer £5 and £10 notes, the new 12-sided £1 coin and now the new polymer £20 note, all of which could be incompatible with older coin-operated machines.

Hopefully all long-term customers of Manco have now had their fruit machines, pool tables and jukeboxes updated for full compatibility.

But if you have older fruit machines from other suppliers or mechanically operated ‘push to vend’ pub pool tables, you might still be in a pickle.

Here we’ll look again at some of the options to make sure your gaming machines are compatible with the new polymer £20 note, as well as the plastic £5 and £10, and the new £1 coin.

New coin/note slots

The hardware fix is to install a new coin slot or note feeder, which is designed to work with the new shape of the £1 coin and the materials used in polymer banknotes.

In many cases this can be done quite easily, but there’s always a surge in demand immediately after a new coin or note launches, so contact Manco as soon as possible if you’re having problems accepting the new £20 polymer note.

Updated software

Software updates can restore compatibility in modern coin slots and note readers, which are designed to be updated in this way when necessary.

Even if you had a new note reader installed into your gaming machines when the polymer £5 and £10 notes were released, you might need a quick update to be able to accept the plastic £20 note, so make sure you check this or call out an engineer to be certain.

New gaming machines

Unfortunately, some old gaming machines just can’t be economically updated – either with a new hardware note reader or via a software update – to accept the new £20 note.

It can be a wrench letting go of an old favourite fruit machine, especially if it’s been a nice little earner for your establishment, but generally speaking you’re likely to make more with a modern fruit machine or quiz machine that can take £20 notes.


Whether you’re looking to replace old gaming machines or you’d like to add a new fruit machine, quiz machine, pool table or jukebox to your premises with complete compatibility, contact Manco Automatics today by calling 0161 870 7777 or emailing us and we can let you know your options.

The increase of pubs opening in the UK

British pub numbers have been in decline for a period of years, if not decades, with BBPA statistics showing the number of pubs in the UK down from 60,800 in 2000 to 48,350 in 2017.

During that period there wasn’t a single year when the number of pubs in the UK went up – but the times, they are a-changing.

The latest ONS figures under the heading ‘Economies of Ale’ show the sector finally found some forward momentum in 2018-19 for the first time in at least a decade.

Because of the different methods used in their research, the ONS figures are lower overall – putting the number of pubs in the UK around 52,500 in 2001 and 39,000 in 2017.

Since then, the ONS report counted 38,815 bars and pubs in Britain in 2018 but a slight increase to 39,130 in 2019.

Where is the growth?

The good news is, growth in UK pub numbers is being seen across the industry, including small and larger pubs alike.

Among those with fewer than ten employees, growth was 0.4% in 2019, with a net increase of 85 new venues opened over the preceding year – the first positive growth in this category in the past 15 years of ONS measurements.

This was part of a 0.8% growth rate for the wider industry, as a net 315 new bars and pubs opened their doors for the first time between 2018 and 2019.

How are pubs succeeding?

It’s been a turbulent time for the pub sector since the start of the century, and many venues have worked hard to update what they offer to customers.

In 2014 ONS figures showed an almost identical proportion of bar and pub staff worked in preparing and serving food as worked in traditional bar roles.

Since 2015, foodservice roles in pubs and bars have consistently outnumbered those whose main duty is to serve drinks – a sign of how venues have diversified to cater for customers who want to eat out rather than those on a night out drinking.

With trends like ‘Dry January’ gaining in popularity year by year, pubs are also doing more to serve non-alcoholic options not only for designated drivers, but for those who are trying to cut down or eliminate their alcohol intake entirely.

What else can pubs do?

At Manco Automatics we continue to see pubs thrive by offering diverse entertainment, including traditional coin-op pub machines like fruit machines and pub pool tables.

Quiz machines have become a familiar fixture over the past 20 years and continue to offer new gameplay thanks to the ability to update the games and titles via a network link.

Finally, modern pub jukeboxes no longer just play music. They offer both music and video, along with interactive entertainment like automated pub quizzes that can keep customers engaged for longer.

All of this adds up to a diverse range of pub entertainment at a time when the sector is finally finding its feet once again, and we would urge all interested bar managers and pub owners to get in touch with Manco today to find out more.



Prepare for the new year with pub fruit and quiz machines

A new year has begun and as business returns to normal, it’s a great time to consider installing pub fruit machines and quiz machines to attract more punters during the remaining winter weeks.

There’s nearly three more months of winter still to come, followed usually by a rainy spring, so indoor entertainment can play a big part in keeping people on your premises for longer.

If you have the floor space, you could opt for pub pool tables as a way to entertain customers while adding a new revenue stream to your business.

But if floor space is at a premium, pub fruit machines and quiz machines create instant entertainment without requiring a very large physical footprint.

Just place them against a wall, up against a pillar or in a quiet corner and you can add an immediate revenue stream to a part of your premises that has perhaps been underused in the past.

Why fruit machines and quiz machines?

It’s not just about the amount of physical space they need. Pub fruit machines are a familiar fixture in many establishments up and down the country and having the latest titles installed can help your premises to look upkept and up to date.

Quiz machines are an even more modern addition and cater for small to medium-sized groups of friends who either take turns or designate one person with the authority to touch the screen.

Together these coin-operated pub machines raise revenues, provide entertainment for customers and help your premises to look relevant to present-day punters.

Revenues without the risk

If you want a low-risk way to add to your revenue streams, opt for a quiz machine or pub fruit machine on a profit-share arrangement.

This means instead of paying a fixed rental fee for the machine, you instead pay a percentage of any profits you make.

You get to keep the rest – so in a good month you make more, and in a slower month you pay less.

In this way, you get added peace of mind that your operating costs for the fruit machines and quiz machines on your premises should be more than made up by your profits.

Add fruit machines and quiz machines to your venue today and you can immediately start to benefit from this direct revenue stream, as well as the indirect increase in food and drink sales as customers stay for longer during each visit.


If you’re looking to hire a fruit machine or quiz machine for your venue, call Manco Automatics today on 0161 870 7777 or ask for a quotation via our contact us page.