Melbourne Industry Series Coverage – Part three
In March, we welcomed Angie Giannakodakis (owner of Epocha and Elyros), Naomi Lindon (Marketing and Communications Manager at DELIA Group) and Kristian Klein (Business owner and co-founder of Mr. Miyagi) to our panel at the OpenTable Industry Series in Melbourne.
Moderated by our VP of Asia Pacific, Lisa Hasen, Angie, Naomi and Kristian shared their experiences on how they have thrived in the restaurant industry, and tips on strategies and avoiding pitfalls.
Here’s the final part of our three part coverage.
Content has been edited for the blog.
How has technology supported all the things you’ve been trying to do?
Kristian Klein (KK): We started with a pen and paper and that’s how we used to manage our wait-list, before we moved over to ResPAK (by OpenTable). This meant that we had so much information at our fingertips that we could use to make their experience better, whether it’s quoting people on how long their table was going to be, or go back and look at a customer’s spending habits so that we can look after them better.
There’s also our speaker system in our venues, across three rooms; all with in-built with Sonos so that we can turn individual preferences up and down.
Do you see this having a greater role moving forward?
KK: Yes -We’re evolving the way we do our payment, we switched to Tyro about 12 months ago, which integrates with our til system. You can go to a table for payment, type in the table number and the bill just pops up on the screen. It stops the back and forth we have to go between til and tables.
We think about how long our staff spend walking around and how to eliminate the ways for them to have to go to the kitchen. If we can avoid that 10 sec walk, it adds up every night with all the staff on the floor. That’s the key for me with technology.
Angie Giannakodakis (AG): For me, including patron notes is very important, unless you’re good at remembering people’s faces and where everyone sits; something that would not happen if I’m not there.
To safeguard that from happening, our staff puts in notes, which is one of the things I love about ResPAK, along with knowing how much people spend.
If you want to look after people, the only way to that is to be in tune with people. If there’s a customer that drinks sparkling wine – then the expectation is that he gets looked after with what he wants.
Naomi Lindon (NL): POS integration is so key. Your POS, restaurant reservation system, capturing anyone that touches one of websites into our database. We capture the data of anyone that dines with us that and use it in the nicest possible way. All this integration allows us to speak to people who are interested enough in us.
Make sure you build authentic relationships. There’s a risk that technology can come across as being cold.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to avoid pitfalls and overcome challenges, and be successful in the industry?
NL: You need to be really clear about your goals and what you want to do. That’s the only way you can scope the work, execute it and evaluate it. And then you can make changes to make it more successful.
AG: Listen to your gut and always cover your arse. What I’ve learnt over the last couple of decades is: cover your arse.
Just because you think you’re successful, ask yourself what the meaning of success is. For you in might mean money, or it might be spending time with family. Always have a clear image of what success is.
KK: Listen and adapt. That’s what we do in everything. You can get the most ridiculous piece of feedback that you might think is insane, but listen to it as it happens for a reason.
Listen to your staff, to the reviews that you get and take it all on-board because there’s no such thing as a stupid review.
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