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.

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 info@mancoautomatics.com 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.

 

 

Keep a crowd in for autumn with pub quiz machines and jukeboxes

Autumn is an unusual season for pubs and clubs. There are the isolated events such as Halloween, Bonfire Night and the run-up to Christmas, but you need a strategy for the weeks in between.

It’s seven weeks from November 5th until Christmas Eve – realistically giving you six weeks in between to host any events you might have planned to draw in the crowds.

A regular schedule can be a big help at a time of year when the nights are drawing in and many people are looking for ways to brighten up their evenings, as well as to start getting into the seasonal spirit.

Here are just a few ways pub quiz machines and jukeboxes can help you to do just that, keeping customers on your premises for longer and encouraging them to make the cold journey out into the autumn evenings from home.

Pub quiz machines keep pals entertained

Pub quiz machines are a great way to entertain groups of friends and family, and although in theory only one person can play at a time, you’ll see patrons stood two and even three deep around your quiz machine at times.

Anyone within arm’s reach of the screen can lean in to tap the correct answer to a question, so this kind of huddle is not unusual.

It’s also an easy way to introduce trivia into your establishment – so even if you’re not holding a full-blown pub quiz at the time, customers can still challenge their wits.

Jukebox bingo and pub quizzes

Another low-effort way to offer pub quizzes and even bingo is to install a pub jukebox such as the Sound Leisure VenueHub.

It features free, professionally recorded pub quiz and bingo audio, plus other marketing capabilities like the ability to display adverts for upcoming sports events you will be screening.

This of course is all in addition to its functionality as a pub jukebox, playing music as audio and/or video to generate an additional revenue stream from customers who want to choose a song.

Pub pool tables and fruit machines

Finally, give pairs and individuals some entertainment by installing pub pool tables and fruit machines, again allowing customers to play whenever they want.

Coin-operated pool tables are a great source of revenue and can keep customers on-premises for longer while they complete a game, increasing the chances of them buying drinks, snacks and other products in the meantime.

Compared with leaving to head home in the cold, dark and probably wet conditions of an autumn evening, any of the above can provide a compelling alternative to keep patrons on-site and purchasing for longer.

 

https://soundleisure.com/digitaljukeboxes/products/venuehub/

How games rooms improve staff morale in a working environment

The fact that games rooms improve staff morale in working environments is nothing new – back in 2003, Kevin Desouza of the University of Illinois at Chicago found the benefits include on-site entertainment and inter-department competition.

Yet many workplaces still fail to provide any form of employee entertainment for break times, missing out on a valuable opportunity to boost engagement and productivity, while getting employees back to work sooner.

Coin-operated pool tables are one way to add some breaktime entertainment that your workforce will appreciate, and you have plenty of flexibility when it comes to setting the price per play, or even offering free play as a perk.

At Manco Automatic we supply coin-op pool tables to all kinds of premises, including pubs and clubs, as well as pool tables for workplaces across Greater Manchester, and we’ve seen time and time again the positive impact they can have.

Keep employees engaged

Employee engagement is largely about feeling ‘at home’ in the workplace, and while nobody wants their workers to become too relaxed at the cost of productivity, there’s an important balance to strike.

Providing entertainment in the form of a coin-op pool table for break times is a good way of increasing engagement on the employee’s own time, while getting maximum productivity once they return to work.

As Kevin Desouza found, employers also see the benefits of running inter-departmental competitions such as mini pool leagues and knock-out tournaments as a way to increase team morale in addition to individual morale.

There are plenty of ways to do this – either by having employees compete in one-on-one games as part of a team, participating in doubles matches, or even more flexible rules that allow entire teams to compete in the same game.

Why have on-site pool tables?

You might wonder why it’s useful to have a games room in the workplace, as opposed to letting those employees who want a game of pool to go to a local pub on their lunch break.

There are multiple benefits, even on top of the engagement and morale mentioned above.

You get good control over the pool table – so it’s more likely to be available when someone wants a game, and people are more likely to be civil about taking turns.

It can represent an additional revenue stream or a way to raise funds for charity if you charge per game, or you can offer free play as a staff perk.

And finally, by keeping employees on-site during breaks and lunch, they are more likely to return to their desk on time than if they go off-premises and are delayed.

This all adds up to make Manco Automatics pool tables the ideal addition to a workplace games room to boost staff engagement, morale and productivity alike.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378720603000272

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