From its 1998 beginnings in Sydney’s outer western suburb of Mount Pritchard, Bellissimo’s has defied the odds in what is undoubtedly one of the most hard-fought and difficult industries – the restaurant trade.
When Cathy Valenzi and four partners set out to open a third Bellissimo’s, this time in the Sydney’s Chipping Norton, the goal was to establish a restaurant that would ultimately take rightful place as one of the city’s premier destinations for Italian cuisine. The partners understood, though, that a restaurant’s success is dependent just as much on quality of service as it is on quality of food.
Challenge: Deliver quality service
According to Valenzi, while the other two Bellissimo’s have been operating solely on a docket-based ordering system, the new 160-seat Chipping Norton restaurant required something entirely different – and much more efficient. “We needed a solution that would eliminate errors, speed up the ordering process, and help the
front-of-house staff deliver the levels of service that Sydney people now expect from quality restaurants,” she explains.
Solution: Toshiba Tec and National POS Systems
After considering several possible hospitality POS solutions, most being PC-based, Valenzi and her partners eventually selected a fully integrated system from National POS Systems, one of Australia’s foremost Toshiba Tec solution providers. Consisting of three Toshiba Tec FS-3700 Electronic Cash Registers, various docket printers and custom software developed by National POS Systems, the solution was recognised by the partners as one that would deliver on the key requirements of accuracy, speed, efficiency and reliability. Importantly, it was a solution provided and supported by an organisation with a strong reputation in the industry, due in no small part to the fact that most National POS Systems staff members have worked in the hospitality industry prior to joining the company. This experience is crucial in their ability to assist clients in implementing problem-free installations.
This reputation was evidenced starkly when, barely a week after placing an order for the solution, National POS Systems had customised, configured and fully implemented it at the new restaurant. “I can only imagine the team didn’t sleep for an entire week,” Valenzi says. “During that week they set up our entire menu – which meant also taking into account an enormous range of variations to almost every dish – and had it set up and ready for us to use.”
Eliminating mistakes and improving efficiency
In commenting on how the new system helps streamline the order process, Valenzi is quick to point out that by eliminating mistakes resulting from the misreading of hand-written dockets, Bellissimo’s is already gaining a name for itself as restaurant that delivers quality food and operates efficiently. “Once a waitress takes an order, she immediately enters it into the system using one of the Toshiba Tec FS-3700s,” she explains.
“The result of all that is actually a fourfold benefit. First, there’s a dramatic reduction in wasted produce, so profit margins are protected. Secondly, customers are always presented with precisely those dishes they ordered – and that’s crucial when it comes to building a reputation for efficiency and customer satisfaction. The third benefit is that with the order entered into the system, every item ordered by a table is accounted for in the final bill. Lastly, because our waitresses aren’t constantly taking dockets to the kitchen, bar and reception, there’s significantly less wasted time and we’re actually able to service more customers with less staff numbers than we had initially planned.”
According to Jeremy Dakis, National POS Systems’ Hospitality Systems Manager, a telling factor in the restaurant’s efficiency is the Toshiba Tec FS-3700’s design. “It’s a touch-screen electronic cash register that, aside from being extremely easy to use, has a very high operational speed – processing an order around three-to-five seconds faster than other touch screen products on the market,” he says.
“When you have five waiting staff looking after 100 plus customers, that increase in speed is a definite advantage.”
Total reliability and full support
While some restaurateurs hold fast to docket-based systems with the claim that there is no chance of “system failure”, Valenzi is of the opinion that the reliability of the National POS solution is so high that it relegates such claims to the history books. “From the moment the system went live,” she says, “there has not been the slightest sign of any slow down or failure.
According to Dakis, while National POS Systems is considered unique in the industry in regard to its around-theclock customer support, without the inherent reliability of every component that goes into its systems, there would soon be major problems. Again, it’s for that reason that the FS-3700 is taking centre stage with its installed solutions.
“We’ve been selling Toshiba Tec equipment with our solutions for 27 years,” Dakis states. “We’re proud of the fact that with every installation we have around Australia, there has not been one reported system failure. The reliability of our systems, is hugely dependent on the reliability of the components we use; and that’s key to our focus on building systems based on Toshiba Tec POS equipment.”
That same sentiment is echoed strongly by Valenzi. “That level of reliability is important in the restaurant industry where customers expect a relaxed environment in which they can enjoy themselves with good company, good food and good wine,” she explains. “The fact that we have a totally reliable system and partner in National POS Systems is regarded by all of us here as being fundamental to the success of this restaurant. So much so, that we’re considering implementing the system at the other two restaurants as well.”