Warren Cato, the founder and innovator of Club Control Systems, explains why and how he’s been able to “artfully” delivers solutions to industry problems over the past three decades.

(NOTE: This story appears in the January 2024 issue of ED Magazine.)


or the versatile and resilient Warren Cato, Founder of Club Control, who has migrated the club industry from the ATM sector to the POS sector, and now, the network sector, with the creation of Pocketbook Network, problem-solving is his greatest motivator.

Among Cato’s many ambitions to provide a better POS solution for clubs, develop self-serve kiosk solutions, leave a legacy and paint in his free time, he’s careful not to make any promises he can’t keep. Cato, and by extension, Club Control, is in it for the long game!

ED: You’ve been around in the industry a long time. Who is your oldest client? And how have you seen the industry change? 

CATO: My first club in the ATM business was Boomer’s in Atlanta, then Tiffany’s/ Christie’s Cabaret. My first national chain was Spearmint Rhino.

The explosion of the gentlemen’s club industry and the ATM industry are on very similar paths. I got into the ATM business more than 30 years ago, and, like the ATM industry, the biggest change was the regulation that followed the growth of both industries. Legal and regulatory burdens led to consolidation in both industries. You had to be able to adapt, too. This led to us getting in the POS industry and now the network industry with the creation of Pocketbook Network, a cardless network that allows cash out (via ATM) and cash in (via kiosk to digital wallets).  

I built my ATM company by “answering the phone,” and we build all our other companies based on the same principle. Answer the call and solve the problem.

ED: You’re known as an ATM guy in the industry, so why are you offering POS now? 

CATO: We needed to adapt. My clients trust me and would often ask if I knew of a “good POS solution.” After a few years, I decided to hook up with long time friends that were in that space to create a customizable POS solution for clubs. We also wanted self-serve kiosk solutions to help owners with labor cost and efficiencies in the club. Believe it or not, the logistics of paying and managing VIP room operations can be a very time-consuming transaction, involving multiple employees. We wanted to help solve this equation for the club owners. The self-serve kiosk can also help reduce the number of hands that touch cash, and even payout the entertainer via a kiosk at the end of the shift. Pocketbook Network allows us to complete this transaction, eliminating traditional networks like VISA or MC.

ED: What’s one trait about yourself that people you conduct business with wouldn’t know about you or would be surprised to find out?

CATO: Money is a non-motivator to me. I am motivated by ideas and seeing if I can bring them to life. Finding solutions to problems creates a high. Success is determined by the relationships and legacy I want to leave in the club and ATM industry.

ED: When you’re not working on new installs or helping clients, how do you enjoy spending your time? What are your favorite hobbies? 

CATO: Art. I dabble in painting and quick sketches. I love sitting on a beach and am always interested in going offshore fishing. I hope to get back into golf soon, as well.

ED: What are some of the things on your personal ‘bucket list’? Places you’d like to visit, things you’d like to do? 

CATO: I would love to take time to travel, to really explore all the beautiful places in America.

ED: What’s the best part of your job, or what makes it fun for you? 

CATO: The relationships I have built over the years and working with my team are the best. I am blessed to work with super talented people that have a way of making me look good. None of this would ever happen without them.

ED: What separates your company’s POS system from other systems that club operators may have used in the past?

CATO: We have always wanted to develop self-serve kiosk solutions. We felt that it was the direction clubs would eventually turn to increase efficiencies and improve their bottom line. Unfortunately, we were a little ahead of the movement, but as labor cost continue to increase, our self-service kiosk applications are gaining momentum. We can integrate with Club Control Systems, and we are now providing a stand-alone version.

ED: What’s unique about Club Control’s VIP Systems?

CATO: The Club Control POS was designed to be very configurable. We pride ourselves on not forcing clubs to change their processes just to conform with the POS process. We were always conscious of the fact that clubs developed their processes over years, and we want to provide a solution to support that process and not necessarily change it. The self-service kiosks that we will be deploying follows that same concept. 

For more information, please visit www.clubcontrolsys.com.

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