Could running a pub be the secret to making better business decisions? Yes, if it’s the decisionLab agent-based simulation game pub, as participants at the Young Operational Research Conference discovered.
Overseen by decisionLab Director David Buxton, a simulation expert, and modelling consultant Kevis Pachos , participants worked in small teams to build their own simulation of a pub service.
Each team was responsible for creating their own simulation of a pub and selecting the service process, which included setting their prices, deciding how many staff to employ and what the balance between tables and standing room should be.
Then it was time for the customers (the agents) to choose which pub to visit and, based on their experience in that pub, decide whether to stay there for another drink, move on to another pub or go home.
After each round, the teams discovered which pub has made the most profit, and were given the chance to adjust their resource levels and prices to compete again. After five rounds, the team with the pub that had made the most profit were declared the winners and awarded a bottle of champagne.
David says: “The best learning environments are often relaxed and informal so what better way to get people interested and engaged than by creating a simulation game based in the pub?
“It was great to see the participants really thinking about what adjustments they should make to ensure that their pub was the best in the village and, naturally, everyone moved from virtual rounds in our pub to the real thing in the bar afterwards!”
The conference also saw Kevis present a paper which described his experiences working on the development of decisionLab’s ground-breaking Thames Water model.