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By Andrea Victory
Off the southwest coast of Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico you’ll find Pine Island. There you can walk into a cozy diner and sit down to enjoy homemade dishes like crab and corn chowder with fresh Pine Island crab, daily soup specials, and a dozen different variations of chicken salad. If you go there often enough you’ll be served something a little more personal: your own menu button.
Little Lilly’s Island Deli serves over 800 patrons each week for breakfast and lunch, and caters to a variety of clientele. Sportsmen order boxed lunches to take on fishing expeditions, there are office parties and private groups that come in, as well as a lot of regulars. And it’s no wonder locals keep coming back – they aren’t just given the pleasure of ordering off menu, but their names and their regular meals are on the menu.
Lilly’s decided to implement TouchBistro to cut down on the confusion of doing what seemed to be a simple task: Customers ordering the same custom dishes everyday. But because employees were all charging different prices and frequently the food wasn’t prepared right, a technology solution was brought in to save the day.
“We had a certain way of writing down the ingredients for sandwiches, but sometimes the orders wouldn’t get written down correctly which meant the food wouldn’t get prepared correctly and had to be prepared all over again,” Robin Lilly, the deli owner said. “TouchBistro solved this problem because all the menu items and options are programmed into the system in advance, with the correct prices, so employees just have to push the food and options buttons on the iPad screen for the correct order to be relayed to the kitchen for preparation and the correct price calculated.”
“The locals think it is hysterical that we have a button with their name on our iPad so we can order their regular meal without them having to spell it out,” said Lilly. “That’s a level of efficiency we couldn’t come close to when we were taking orders with just a pen and paper before we installed TouchBistro.”
And that’s not all their new POS did for Little Lilly’s menu. Lilly is a big fan of how easy it is for her to program in new menu items. The deli offers a new soup and special every day, and so staff can now enter things easily and correctly, meaning Lilly’s isn’t losing time or money on errors. The staff is happier with the new system too. “My younger staff in their 20’s don’t even need to be trained on TouchBistro because it is on an iPad and works like an iPhone. TouchBistro makes it a lot easier for all my employees. They have a lot less pressure on them as they don’t have to memorize prices or all the possible ingredients they need to be able to list out for a customer,” Lilly said.
Lilly loves that TouchBistro is a feature-rich point of sale that was clearly designed specifically for restaurants and has all the tools her deli needs, without cumbersome extras. “We use all the features in TouchBistro, including the reports. The end of day reports help us with taxes, and it is very helpful to see which items are selling and which ones aren’t to determine what to put on the menu,” she said. “We have a whole new, improved level of operation with TouchBistro.”
Andrea was a Content Marketing Specialist and Editor at TouchBistro where she wrote about restaurant and dining trends, restaurant management, and food culture. A self-affirmed food geek, Andrea devours cookbooks and food blogs. She also knows how to make a killer kale salad.
By Katherine Pendrill
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