Giraffe Restaurants increase profit with QSR ConnectSmart and CST
Giraffe Reaches Higher Sales with Clever Capacity Management Software – QSR ConnectSmart Hostess increases sales by 10%, even in busiest restaurant sites
“It paid for itself in the first two weeks of summer,” says Jerry Marks, business development manager of Giraffe restaurants, about the ConnectSmart® Hostess table and capacity management system from QSR Automations®, which is supplied and serviced in the UK by Edgware-based Call Systems Technology.
Giraffe is all about good quality feel-good food from around the world, served fast in a fun atmosphere. It’s also about good value and has a strong appeal to the family market. All of which means that while Giraffe focuses on giving customers a great dining experience, the restaurant also needs to maximise table turnover.
“QSR’s ConnectSmart Hostess system easily adds 10% to our sales in our busiest sites by managing our table capacity efficiently. It’s very simple for the staff to use and very accurate in terms of wait time estimates,” says Jerry Marks.
The system works around a highly intuitive screen sited at reception that shows the status of each table and tells staff, as guests arrive, how long they’ll have to wait for a table.
The new Giraffe site in the Westfield shopping mall, Stratford, London is typical of the chain in having several eating areas – in this case, the ground floor, upstairs and outside. “A greeter of the queue at the door simply can’t estimate table times accurately – for one thing, they can’t see all the tables,” says Jerry Marks. “At first, staff here thought they could run the queue manually – but then the manager from our Southbank site came to monitor it and found that when we were busy, we were losing one party in three. One in three! It was because the queue was long and estimated wait times were inaccurate, so people were moving on.
"It turns tables
– Jerry Marks, Business
“It’s exactly that kind of issue that the Hostess system sorts out. It turns tables faster and gives accurate wait times, so queues are shorter and people are happy to wait. At Southbank, which is a very busy site, it added significantly to our bottom line during the summer.”
Giraffe is positioned in a highly competitive market sector and often its rivals are close by. “That makes it even more important to give customers the most accurate and shortest waiting times,” says Jerry Marks. “Otherwise, even though they want to eat at Giraffe, if they don’t have time or don’t want to wait they can just go next door, or next door to that, to wherever the queue is shortest.
“Hostess minimises walkaways. It helps us catch the potential business and get them to spend their money here rather than next door.”
Another bonus is the Hostess system’s ability to cope with different table combinations. “When you’re really busy, the last thing the manager using a manual ‘system’ wants to see is a big party of, say, eight or ten people. How are you going to fit them in? Hostess copes with it easily, working out the best table combination to accommodate them and giving an accurate wait time.”
Some Giraffe sites also use CST CustomerCall pagers alongside QSR’s ConnectSmart Hostess system. “The party arrives and they’re given a pager. They can go and window shop or have a drink in the bar. When the table is ready, the Hostess system sends an alert and the pager lets the customers know.
“The pager totally eliminates walkaways – it’s like a binding contract with the customer. Because you’ve handed them the pager, they feel duty bound to give you their business.”
Jerry Marks has experienced lots of different guest and table management systems but, he says, many of those are really about bookings rather than true capacity management. “None is as clever or has the capabilities of this one.”
“It’s one thing to bring in extra business when a site is quiet,” says Ashley Sheppard, commercial director of CST. “QSR’s ConnectSmart Hostess has helped increase business in Giraffe’s busiest sites, at their busiest times, and that’s a huge achievement. It underlines the potential the system has for UK caterers.”
Jerry Marks agrees: “QSR’s ConnectSmart Hostess keeps our restaurants fuller for longer.”
Currently the Hostess system is installed in three Giraffe restaurants and the Group is looking to put it into more of its busier sites.
Call Systems Technology is the strategic partner for QSR Automations in the UK and Europe. For details, freephone 0800 389 5642, call 020 8381 1338, email the company at email@example.com or visit the CST website www.call-systems.com.