The UK’s largest pub company, Ei Group, which manages more than 4,500 pubs across the nation, is partnering with global digital knowledge management specialist Yext to help pub-goers access more information about their venues, improve their customer experiences and ultimately increase footfall.
The Yext Knowledge Engine is a cloud-based platform that will be the single and central source of truth for information about the Group’s pubs, internal systems, and the Yext PowerListings® Network of maps, apps, search engines, social media platforms and GPS systems.
Yext will power data initially for more than 500 locations across the Group’s estate, including its Craft Union Pub Company, Bermondsey Pub Company, and Beacon businesses.
The move to the Yext system will ensure consistency of knowledge and information about the businesses including venue addresses, business hours, payment types, service description and other important attributes like wheelchair accessibility, outdoor seating and right down to the type of beer that’s served.
The system will also enable each venue to control, maintain, update and publish their menus across Facebook and Google, enabling potential visitors to conduct unbranded searches such as ‘burger’ or ‘craft beers’ while allowing customers to look at their menu without leaving Google search or maps.
With consumer reviews now impacting organic search results, Ei Group will also be utilising Yext’s location reviews service to enhance its visibility and improve its online reputation across publishers including Google, Tripadvisor and Facebook among others.
Retail concept director at Ei Group, Steve de Polo, said: “In this era of digital discovery we’re finding it increasingly difficult to manage and update in real-time the huge volume of public information available about our pubs.
“It’s crucial that when a customer searches for information about our pubs it is easy to find, correct at every customer touchpoint, and meaningful. Whether that’s location and opening hours, the food and drink it sells or the facilities. Consumers expect this information to be correct and we must get it right – our reputation depends on it.”
Jon Buss, managing director of UK & Northern Europe at Yext, added: “Consumers expect correct information from a brand in their moment of need, but managing the public information available and discoverable is an arduous task. Try it and you’ll see what I mean - Google saying a location is closed, Bing saying it’s open, menu data out of date, opening and closing hours are incorrect.
“Brands can’t afford for this to happen and need to be in control of what consumers see and read about them. Implementing the Yext solution and optimising their digital knowledge for local search, Ei Group can seize the opportunity to increase visibility of each pub, drive footfall, and enhance the customer experience.”