Between South Carolina’s Arcadian Shores and Woodland Park, Myrtle Beach sits slap-bang in the middle of America’s Atlantic coast. Built up by beachland stretching for miles and miles, the city is a bustling summer attraction for thousands all over the country. However, make no mistake: even during autumn and winter, Myrtle Beach enjoys temperate weather providing visitors with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.
Turf-green golf courses, circus-red amusement parks, and shell-pink beach huts are all a familiar feature to the locals here, and behind the beaches, among the interlanes and the coastal crossroads, tall skyscrapers overlook the city streets. This is where the city’s catering scene can be found.
With a pair of cloud-clinging skyscraper hotels in sight, Soho Steak and Sushi is one of the many food attractions Myrtle Beach’s visitors can reach on the coast. The wide stretch of white sand to the pier and the world-famous Skywheel (at almost 200 feet tall, one of the biggest in the state) are both well within walking distance.
Among the beach’s top places to go out in the city’s vibrant, after-dinner nightlife, Soho Steak and Sushi recently brought in Carbonara App to help facilitate their guest management processes. Here’s what we found out about the improvements the restaurant has made with the help of the app.
Not all restaurants are neighbours to giant wheels — but being busy is a common experience across the worldwide hospitality sector. Contact us to discover how Carbonara App assists busy restaurants, big and small, with non-stop crowds.
The Holiday Crowd
As a popular vacation city, Myrtle Beach is host to hundreds of high-profile restaurants. Any venue close to the beach is guaranteed to draw in big crowds. Open since 2004, Soho Steak and Sushi is well-placed to catch customers near the shoreline.
Their location has boosted customer counts over the years. On average, they see about 2,500 customers per week. With around 10,000 customers per month, the Soho Steak and Sushi team were managing customer details via an age-old system: pen and paper.
Admittedly, the Soho Steak and Sushi team winced whenever they used their own management system. When we spoke, the team illustrated some of the problems it caused, including:
- Incorrectly recorded phone numbers
- Illegible handwriting
Such problems at hand meant the team knew that their management system was damaging their workflow. Illegibility, for instance, was a serious issue when the team had hundreds of names to go through every day. Since a manual system requires staff intervention, a phone call to a customer never guaranteed their return; sometimes, the call would not connect at all.
Hanging on the Telephone
In addition, Soho Steak and Sushi felt it worth mentioning that a manual system using phone calls failed to work for them. This was mostly because:
- People failed to respond to phone calls
- People failed to respond to say they had gone somewhere else
Mostly, the team were left hanging on the telephone, making cold calls to customers — and worse, when they went elsewhere, no indication came from the customer themselves.
Yet, even when phone calls did connect, the Soho team struggled to communicate. “Too loud in the restaurant to be on [the] phone,” the team told us. Getting in contact with customers was one problem; the struggle to hear them was another.
Choosing Carbonara App
Finding out that the app cost nothing, Soho Steak and Sushi were pleased to introduce Carbonara app into their guest arrangements. They were also astonished to discover the speed of integration, discovering that it takes less than five minutes to get started with the app. “Ease of use to integrate it into the restaurant with employees (easy to get them started).”
Immediately, Soho Steak and Sushi found that Carbonara App helped to alleviate some of the headaches associated with pencil and paper guest management. Their favourite feature? “Two-way SMS — so easy to get customer answers, find them an alternative seating area. [. . .] Very easy to understand if someone isn’t coming back.”
A two-way SMS system is the ideal way to interact with today’s restaurant customers. When on the move with a smartphone in their pocket, it is easy for a customer to miss a call. Text messages, on the other hand, allow customers to respond in their own time.
Carbonara App’s reminder messages are automatic — meaning no-one on the team has to worry about sending them out themselves. As a matter of fact, the team found that customers were already expecting this service. In today’s hospitality environment, it is a leading customer trend.
“Ease of communication is much better for customers,” the team said. “Customers always asked, ‘Will you text me?’ [after booking a table].” They were already used to it at other restaurants — but as the team said “Soho wasn’t doing it”. That is, until they downloaded Carbonara App.
A Final Recommendation
Overall, has the app brought any benefits for the Soho Steak and Sushi team?
“Yes,” the team said, gladly. “Customer satisfaction [has] improved. Not missing out on being able to reach people. Good, clear-cut estimation on their wait.”
Carbonara App’s wait times feature provides customers with accurate calculations on when to return for their seats. As such, a wait app for restaurants can help venues keep their tables full.
So should other restaurants try Carbonara App for themselves?
“It’s a fantastic idea,” they said, “do it”. In the end, they said, Carbonara App “will not only increase the efficiency of staff and operations, it’s going to increase customer satisfaction as well (ten fold). If you’re on the fence, just do it — 100%.”
Read more about how restaurants in Europe are experiencing success with the app: “Opting for Online Reservations in Southern France.”