July 22, 2020
COVID-19 forced the restaurant to take orders online, driving more revenue and diners.
By the middle of March, COVID-19 left many restaurants to make a tough decision — close down or find other ways to drive revenue. Gan Shan West, a chef-driven, Asian-influenced restaurant in Asheville, North Carolina decided to shift operations to takeout and delivery.
“I knew I wasn’t going to shut down. I wasn’t going to wait for the bailout,” says Owner Patrick O’Cain. “When COVID-19 began, I realized we needed to diversify our order-taking.” O’Cain signed up for Bento Ordering. The online ordering solution ultimately drove a 36X return on investment, 2K additional email subscribers and supported his business during an uncertain time.
Many restaurants were (and still are) in a similar situation: adapt or close. As city governments started issuing shutdown and stay-at-home orders — restaurant operations, along with diners habits — changed dramatically. Restaurants pivoted to takeout and delivery and with that, diner demand also grew. Choosing an online ordering system that empowers the restaurant by maximizing profits — commission-free — while delivering a seamless guest experience was key. When comparing other platforms such as Toast, Breadcrumb, and others, O’Cain admits “they were more confusing and not as streamlined [as Bento Ordering].” As for the guest experience, “They didn’t include pictures of food and didn’t seem to work as well.”
Prior to setting up direct online ordering through their website, Gan Shan West took pickup orders and payment over the phone. “We had 2 phone lines to field orders. It tied up our staff, which slowed down operations,” says O’Cain. Guests would have to be placed on hold when incoming calls came.
Another pain point before Bento Ordering is that O’Cain’s staff were working 10-hour days, putting a strain on employees.
Since partnering with BentoBox, O’Cain has increased orders and streamlined operations by accepting incoming orders and payment online from a single all-in-one system. “I saw that you integrated with Square P.O.S., and once we signed up, our store was live in days.” Revenue quickly followed. “Half of our sales are online now. [Bento Ordering] is the best online ordering system out there. It's the most intuitive from backend and frontend.”
Now O’Cain has been able to trim his operating time to 5 hours per day, saving money for the business, while giving guests the ability to accept orders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, eliminating wait times or being put on hold.
In the first week of using Bento Ordering alone, O’Cain saw a 36x return on his investment. When it comes to the importance of owning valuable customer data for marketing purposes, O’Cain was able to gain 2,000 new email subscribers through integrating with his email marketing platform, Mailchimp.
He knew that it was time to get the word out that they were accepting orders online through their website. Along with sending emails, O’Cain partnered with a local design agency to send copies of their takeout menu to local residents by mail, which provided a huge boost in new diners and revenue. “BentoBox has been a boon to what we do. We’ve increased sales and trimmed our labor, becoming more profitable now than before.”
Restaurants like Gan Shan West can greatly benefit from direct online ordering by avoiding crippling commission fees and denied access to valuable customer data.
To learn more about Bento Ordering, an online ordering solution for restaurants, get in touch with your account manager or sign up for a free demo today.
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