If you head down the various winding two-lane roads near Brent Knoll, England, you’ll eventually come across a sizable yellow building that stands among triangular trees, sitting at the base of the hilly Bristolian countryside. Look up and you’ll immediately see a large sign in red, placed on the road-front portion of the building: OLLIE’S.
Welcome to Ollie’s Café — a popular establishment that serves customers from all over west England that sits snugly on a road parallel to the ever-busy M5 motorway. This café provides an ideal stop-point for weary drivers journeying far from any town.
Figure 1. Ollie’s Cafe
Ollie’s traditional menu caters to all customers, providing both vegan and non-vegan options, from jam-packed breakfasts to hearty mid-afternoon meals.
However, the cafe’s hotspot location for drivers passing through has meant its guestlist grew rapidly. Soon Oliver, the owner, was struggling to manage swelling guest numbers. The café had to even illustrate the problem on their dedicated website, politely asking customers to book tables beforehand to prevent any unexpected disappointments.
Thankfully, Oliver found a trusty solution to handle the steady stream of drivers entering his café. The team at Carbonara App recently spoke with Oliver to find out how this has worked out for both him and his staff.
Striking a Balance with SMS Messaging
Figure 2. Ollie’s Cafe Interior
To balance time spent between serving indoor customers and anticipating new arrivals is one of the biggest challenges in any hospitality venue.
Oliver told us that trying to balance the workload — between managing waiting customers and getting back to customers over the phone — was a struggle. Then, he found out about Carbonara App.
After simply downloading the app on his phone, the struggle became no trouble at all. “We like how we can process answer machine messages,” Oliver said, “without having to call customers back”.
With Carbonara App’s automated SMS message feature, Oliver’s team was able to provide better customer service and operate more efficiently behind restaurant doors. Potential customers making phone calls will have little tolerance for restaurants that put them on hold.
Likely, they’ll hang up, not call back, and go somewhere else, especially if they’re in a rush.
Automated SMS messages solved Ollie’s problem — to balance indoor workloads. His team was able to inform customers on their wait, giving them accurate wait-time quotes, and helped to make Oliver’s job much easier while also maintaining control over the customer waitlist.
Enhancing Efficiency with a Virtual Queue
Now Oliver’s guests join Carbonara App’s virtual queuing system without all the hassle — the typical hang-up on the café’s answering machine.
“We like how the waitlist feature means that our customers can join the virtual queue,” Oliver also said, gladly. The advantages of this system are manifold.
A virtual queue allows restaurateurs like Oliver to use a sophisticated seating technique to ensure that their restaurant tables stay full. It’s simple: you can use text callback features to create an in-flow system at your venue — meaning that as one party of customers leaves, another party will enter. Think of it as a revolving door.
These in-app strategies help restaurants maintain restaurant efficiency — and the best feature of all? Carbonara App is totally free.
Figure 3. Coffee by Winhide via Flickr
Reducing Costs with Free Restaurant App
Oliver’s team had a great experience with Carbonara App. “The fact that this app is totally free,” Oliver rejoiced with flying colours, made Carbonara App a really, “really good booking system”. That means, in Oliver’s words, “no monthly fees, no message fees, and zero commissions”.
Like most restaurants across both the UK and Europe, Ollie’s Café toughed out government-mandated restrictions and closures due to COVID-19. Now more than ever, restaurants need to strengthen their customer base, improving both efficiency and quality of customer service.
In other words, instead of short, scattered tactics, restaurants now need a reliable system with tried-and-tested techniques to ensure future success.
Using Carbonara App Ollie’s Café now has a long-term solution to today’s hurdles and challenges.
Take Oliver’s word for it — Carbonara App works. So why not try it out today? Let’s secure your restaurant’s trade together — contact us to find out more about what Carbonara App can do for you.