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By Katherine Pendrill
One Mexican restaurant in northern California isn’t afraid to call itself the best in town. Esmeralda’s 2.0 The Best Mexican Restaurant in Eureka serves up tasty staples like quesadillas, tacos, burritos, and more.
And if you ask any Esmeralda’s customers, they’ll agree that the restaurant really is the “best in Eureka.” Customers love Esmeralda’s 2.0’s delicious flavors, great value, and friendly service.
Of course, running a booming business comes with certain growing pains. And for Esmeralda’s, one of those challenges has been finding a way to keep up with the growing demand for takeout and delivery.
The restaurant has become so popular, in fact, that they were having trouble managing the high volume of phone calls they were receiving for takeout and delivery orders.
“Sometimes a customer calls us and the phone’s ringing and ringing and ringing and you lose their business because they can’t even get through to you,” explains Owner Marco Ramirez. “It’s a great thing to be in demand, but it’s also a problem if your clientele can’t get to you.”
However, busy phone lines were not the only challenge the restaurant faced in managing its takeout and delivery operations. Esmeralda’s was also using third-party online ordering and delivery apps to try to keep up with demand, but that led to a lack of control over the diner experience.
If something went wrong in the delivery process “with third-party apps, it was a bigger hassle to remediate the situation for the customer” than if they’d done the delivery on their own, Marco says.
Marco realized his restaurant needed a better off-premise ordering solution that would help his team keep up with demand, and maintain control over the entire customer experience. That solution was TouchBistro Online Ordering, which integrates seamlessly with the restaurant’s existing TouchBistro POS system.
“When I introduced the TouchBistro Point of Sale, our sales doubled. We’re saving money because it maximizes our staff’s time. And TouchBistro is far superior to any other point of sale system in terms of how user-friendly and customizable it is, which makes it easy to train my staff on how to use it. Plus, it lets us give our customers the best experience possible because we have more time on our hands.”
And Marco’s staff weren’t the only ones enjoying the switch to TouchBistro Online Ordering. Marco explains that customers also found TouchBistro’s direct online ordering system to be incredibly easy to use.
“I found almost no problems at all with my clients adjusting to TouchBistro Online Ordering. It’s been pretty seamless and pretty easy.”
Marco’s team has made online ordering even more intuitive and accessible to customers by placing “Order Now” buttons across various pages on the restaurant’s website. With these handy buttons, customers can place a takeout or delivery order in just a few clicks.
Esmeralda’s has experienced major wins since introducing TouchBistro Online Ordering, including increased revenue, a better customer experience, and significant time and cost savings.
“With TouchBistro Online Ordering we’ve increased sales between 27 and 31%,” Marco says. “We used to average anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500 per hour in takeout orders over the phone during our peak times. Now, with TouchBistro Online Ordering, we’re doing between $1,800 and $2,100 per hour in takeout sales. We can take on an additional $500 in orders per hour because we’re not busy holding up the phone lines.”
In addition to the extra revenue, making the switch from relying on third-party food delivery apps to having an in-house online ordering system has created a better customer experience overall.
“With TouchBistro Online Ordering, you end up with a customer who’s much less frustrated, and much happier,” says Marco. “Unlike third-party food delivery apps, TouchBistro Online Ordering lets us control the entire customer experience, from when a customer submits the order to when we deliver it. If there is a problem with an order, we can remediate it easily because we’re dealing directly with the customer. TouchBistro Online Ordering has saved us heartaches and headaches. And our customers are returning more frequently because of it.”
Customers are also returning because of the pleasant experiences they’re having with staff – staff who are much more productive since the restaurant implemented online ordering.
“TouchBistro Online Ordering has made customer interactions more genuine. We’re not in a rush anymore to just pass by, greet you, meet you, sit you down and get ongoing because we’re in a hurry because we have a line of people waiting,” says Marco.
With more orders coming in online than on the phones, the Esmeralda’s team is free to build relationships with customers. And those online orders are also more accurate than phone orders.
“I’ve noticed that we have fewer complaints from our online ordering than we do with our phone orders, because we do run into human error with the phone call interactions,” explains Marco.
A misheard order or address used to mean hungry customers and costly comped meals.
“TouchBistro Online Ordering has really just cut all of those mistakes from phone call interactions. You give the customer exactly what they ask for – seamlessly,” Marco says.
And finally, implementing TouchBistro Online Ordering has saved Esmeralda’s time and money.
“It takes three to five seconds to review the online order, and accept it, instead of taking three to five minutes” to take the order over the phone, Marco says. “We can maximize our employees’ time because kitchen staff isn’t waiting for us to wrap up a four-minute phone call. They can start putting out more food because they’re not being held up by us going over the order with the customer.”
Marco’s team also saves time because TouchBistro Online Ordering integrates with TouchBistro POS, which means online orders are immediately synced with the POS, instead of having to be input manually by staff.
Plus, Esmeralda’s is “making more money and we get to keep all of our sales because we don’t have to give anybody a commission. We get to keep 100 percent of our profits with TouchBistro,” he says.
TouchBistro Online Ordering has helped Esmeralda’s reduce its reliance on third-party food delivery apps and gain more control over the business and customer experience. By giving customers an easier way to place takeout and delivery orders, Marco and his team boosted sales by 31% and saved staff countless hours of time.
Ready to revolutionize takeout and delivery with an in-house online ordering system that charges $0 in commission and lets you retain total control over the customer experience? Book a TouchBistro Online Ordering demo today.
Katherine is the Content Marketing Manager at TouchBistro, where she writes about trending topics in food and restaurants. The opposite of a picky eater, she’ll try (almost) anything at least once. Whether it’s chowing down on camel burgers in Morocco or snacking on octopus dumplings in Japan, she’s always up for new food experiences.
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