Civil Liberties: Finding the Perfect Pineapple

February 4, 2016

The owners of Civil Liberties, a Toronto cocktail bar, pinned their business prospects on a pineapple. “We knew from the beginning that we wanted Civil Liberties to be about comfort,” said Nick Kennedy, who owns the bar alongside David Huynh and Cole Stanford. “That’s why our logo is a stylized pineapple, it’s an homage to the international symbol of hospitality.”  

All three worked in the bar industry for years, honing their skills and developing a knack for crafting classic cocktails. “One day we started talking about running our own bar and that conversation turned into planning, which turned into what Civil Liberties is today,” he said.

Neat Cocktails Does Not Equal Messy Payments.

But making Civil Liberties a reality required some major work. “We knew in order to succeed, we’d have to offer an exceptional experience,” Kennedy said. “Since bars are experiential, deciding on the right seating was just as important as deciding what’s on the menu.”

Another big decision was how they would serve customers when it came time to cash out. They considered operating as a cash-only business or accepting debit and credit cards. The debate ended when all three agreed they couldn’t serve a neat cocktail with a messy payment experience. “We wanted to make sure all of our customers felt comfortable,” he said.

“Not accepting cards meant we’d have to interrupt our customers’ experience. That didn’t feel right.”


Polishing the Glass

Civil Liberties needed a point-of-sale solution that could handle the complexities of multiple tabs — and payment methods — without impeding staff members or customers. As veterans of the service industry, they went with one they trusted. “I’ve worked with a lot of different cash registers, and Touch Bistro is simply the easiest and fastest,” he said. “You’re always juggling something owning a business, so I was happy to rely on something I knew would just work.”

For their payment solution, they chose a wireless terminal from Moneris because of the Touch Bistro integration. With the two systems in place, staff are able to ring in orders, split tabs, and process credit or debit payments on portable devices.  


The Right Touch

Using Touch Bistro and Moneris, staff spends less time processing transactions and more time with their customer. The result is that they’re able to craft a cocktail that appeals to each person’s taste. Using a wireless terminal makes closing a tab easy, and allows customers to enjoy their drink without interruption.

“At first we used a wired terminal and it forced staff to bring customers to the back of the bar to pay their tab,” Kennedy said. “Now its way quicker for both my staff and customers to finish a transaction.”

Nick, Dave and Cole opened Civil Liberties with eight bottles on the shelf and a passion for serving quality drinks. Now, after a year in business, all three have tattooed the Civil Liberties pineapple logo on their arms and there are more than 150 bottles on the wall. 

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