The US southern state of Georgia has many claims to international fame, being home to many acclaimed musicians as well as providing the home to the world’s most well-known soft drink, Coca Cola. The state’s oldest city is Savannah on the east coast. It has many historic surroundings and districts filled with long-loved businesses — one of which is Crystal Beer Parlor at home in the city’s centre.
Crystal Beer Parlor has a long history. It has the proud distinction of being the oldest restaurant in the city. Since 1933 it has remained in business through key events in twentieth-century American history (apparently it was the very first American venue to legally serve alcohol after the end of prohibition), and holds a special place in Savannah’s heart.
Recently, we spoke to the team about business, discovering more about their experiences with Carbonara App.
The Local Favourite
Regulars know this Savannah favourite for its fresh produce that never fails to please. “[We’re] a full service restaurant with a full bar,” explained Paige, Crystal Beer Parlour’s general manager. “We serve American fare food with some Greek influences. We are famous for our burgers and our peach cobblers.”
The kitchen regularly receives recommendations from professional reviewers that comment on their selection of seafood and salads. “We basically have something for everyone” — a good vibe that has carried through the restaurant’s success for nearly a hundred years.
This has also meant that restaurant-goers hold Crystal Beer Parlour in high regard. “We all grew up going there as kids,” Paige told us. “People had their first beer with their dad there, got engaged there and people came after they went to prom. It’s a place where people make memories. It’s the atmosphere, the history of the restaurant, the nostalgia. It’s an experience.” Clearly, the restaurant’s place in the city is no small feat.
Riding through both the good and bad times, Crystal Beer Parlor remains as popular as ever — but high guest demand has also brought its own unique challenges to the table.
Off-the-cuff Customer Management
Before using Carbonara App, Crystal Beer Parlor ran an ad hoc service. “We don’t take reservations per se,” said Paige. “We have a million people calling us about large parties all the time, but we are not really a reservation restaurant.”
This meant that staff operated on a first-come first-served basis, sometimes smooth, sometimes a little chaotic. “Before [using] Carbonara App we were just screaming people’s names.” Often, customers were creating crowds at the parlour’s service stand, making staff jobs harder.
“There [was] a lot of ‘real estate’,” said Paige, “between the host stand and the bar where people were waiting. It was very time consuming and not very efficient”. It quickly became obvious that the team needed a handy tool to deal with the crowding problem in their restaurant, one that would both help customers enjoy their waits and help staff process guests.
Why Crystal Beer Parlor Chose Carbonara App
After investigation online, the team came across Carbonara App, and were very pleased to find that its useful features came completely cost free. When we asked why the team chose the app, Paige answered immediately: “the cost and simplicity.” “It’s easy to operate and it’s working out really well for us.”
That’s because the app is built rigorously for multiple devices, meaning most restaurants will no trouble starting up. Paige was pleased to share the news with us: “It is working out very well. The girls [the staff] have gotten used to it and it works out great. And when we do take the occasional reservation they can also go into the Carbonara App on the iPad. It has been great.”
Whether it’s web browser, android, or iOS technology, all restaurants can reap the rewards of Carbonara App’s features.
Positive Changes to Guest Processes
First, Paige told us about the changes the app has helped introduce to their ways and processes. “Yes, [it has increased] efficiency. We are also able to give a more accurate wait time. We have a lot of what we call ‘campers’ who hang out for a long time since they have such a good time at the restaurant. So the app really helps with efficiency.”
Good. We followed up with an extra question: Which functions enabled this and how? In short what are the app’s best features?
“Text messaging,” said Paige, “is the most useful feature for us. That saves a lot of steps for us and in the restaurant business that’s rule number one: save your steps.”
With cost-free guest messaging features, SMS text messages allow a digital waitlist to function. They cut down on the time it takes to process guests, reducing the hassle involved with processing crowds. SMS features:
- Offer customers a sense of security, guaranteeing their place on the waitlist
- Saves time, calling guests back to retrieve their seats on time as needed
- Boosts guest interest — the first snazzy text from a great venue like Crystal Beer Parlor generates excitement
Also, Carbonara App comes with WhatsApp functionality for everyone to connect.
Crystal Beer Parlor was very pleased with the features and services Carbonara App provided. So would the team recommend the app to their fellow Georgian restaurants and beyond?
“Oh my gosh, go for it! It’s so simple to set up, simple to operate. The customer service from [the Carbonara App team] is also great and we have no problems at all. Usually these systems are so complicated, but this one is not. It is straightforward. I would highly recommend it.”
Carbonara App helps to streamline the guest in-flow process. Wave goodbye to having to shout out customer names. Read about more American restaurants using Carbonara App in our article, “The Chicago Diner that Chose Carbonara App” for another great staff experience and feedback from our users.
If you liked this story, why not give Carbonara App a go? Contact us today.