Every year, hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to Taos, New Mexico to enjoy its ski resorts, booming art scene, and Native American landmarks. When they’re hungry, many of these tourists and locals alike go to Taos Pizza Out Back for its signature sesame-seed topped pizza crusts and inviting patio, as well as its sister restaurant, Taos Cafe Up Front, for a hearty breakfast.
When John Arnold and Kim Rhodes originally bought Taos Pizza Out Back from its previous owners in 2018, they wanted to upgrade operations at this local icon, all while staying true to the restaurant’s roots and delivering the same great food that their customers know and love.
Challenge: Modernize a Taos Hotspot
The first step in modernizing the restaurant was upgrading its technology.
“We were still using handwritten tickets and an old cash register for the first few months we owned the restaurant. Our first significant change was to get a point-of-sale (POS) system and iPads,” Kim says.
To keep up with busy tourism seasons and serve customers on the patio and at both the restaurant and cafe, John and Kim knew they needed a POS system that had an offline mode, was easy to use, looked good, and offered reliable customer support.
Another aspect of modernizing the restaurant was offering takeout and delivery. While customers could place off-premises orders over the phone, there were often times when the restaurant missed orders because servers were too busy helping dine-in customers to pick up the phones.
“If they get busy, they’re not answering the phone,” John says.
So, Kim and John set off looking for a POS system and another way to accept takeout and delivery orders.
Solutions: TouchBistro POS for Data-Driven Decisions and Improved Efficiency…
When shopping for POS systems to replace the restaurant’s cash register, John says that TouchBistro POS rose to the top. The POS system’s robust restaurant reporting stood out during the search, and has since helped him notice trends and make data-driven decisions.
“We have data going back four years. I don’t know how [we would] get by without it now,” he says.
For instance, this POS data helped John realize he should shift Taos Cafe Up Front’s opening time to maximize margins. He suspected that the cafe’s opening time of 7 a.m. was too early, but wanted to verify his concerns.
So, John looked at the TouchBistro data and noticed sales were really slow around 7 a.m. That information confirmed the cafe should open at 8 a.m. instead, ultimately saving the business money on labor and operating costs
“It seemed that business was slow before 8 a.m., but it was really good to have data that backs it up,” John says.
Data from TouchBistro POS also helped John notice how inflation was affecting the business.
“The data that we have from TouchBistro shows that [customers are] coming in, but what’s tamped down a little bit was the dollars per ticket, so they’re trying to spend a little bit less money on operating costs now. We wouldn’t have been able to tell that without having the data that we have from using TouchBistro,” he says.
Another TouchBistro POS feature John enjoys is the Shogo integration for QuickBooks, which gives him even more data and tracking.
“We have TouchBistro integrated with Shogo and then QuickBooks, so all the data is in there. It’s streamlined across all those platforms,” he says.
TouchBistro POS’ offline mode, sleek iPad hardware, and top-notch customer support have also been a great asset to the restaurant.
“TouchBistro’s ability to operate without the internet is kind of a big deal. It can just keep on going. They [also] just have a really great looking system, it’s been easy to use, and the support’s been good,” John says.
Equipped with a powerful POS system, John and Kim could now address the problem of the missed takeout and delivery orders.
… and TouchBistro Online Ordering for Capturing More Orders
With TouchBistro’s POS already helping to streamline operations, it was natural for Taos Pizza Out Back to turn to TouchBistro again for a restaurant online ordering solution. TouchBistro Online Ordering enabled Taos Pizza Out Back to accept online orders directly through its website, independent of the phones. As a result, customers now have multiple ways to order food to go so they can always get their order in.
“There’s times where we’ve got a lot of in-house diners, and the waitresses are running around, and the phone’s ringing off the hook, and nobody’s answering it, and all of a sudden, the online bell starts going off because [customers are still] going to find a way to get their order in [so] they go online,” Kim says.
Beyond the ability to take on more orders, Kim and John are also enjoying the perks of TouchBistro Online Ordering’s integration with TouchBistro POS. With all orders flowing from Online Ordering into the POS system, they can seamlessly manage on- and off-premises tickets.
After using both TouchBistro Online Ordering and TouchBistro POS at Taos Pizza Out Back and Taos Cafe Up Front, John highly recommends TouchBistro to other restaurateurs.
“I think TouchBistro is one of the premier POS restaurant systems in the world,” he says.
No matter what Taos Pizza Out Back and Taos Cafe Up Front have on the horizon, they know that TouchBistro can support them every step of the way with solutions for the front of house, back of house, and guest engagement.
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.