Warm, extensive, and medieval — these are some of the words we associate with the bright, sun-soaked world of southern France.
Salon de Provence is no exception to the rule. It is a dazzler, a historic commune of twelfth-century buildings and sharp, snaking cobbled streets. It is also home to a brand new restaurant: L’atelier de la cheffe.
Summary — What’s Inside:
L’atelier de la cheffe is a small establishment, serving locally made ingredients, frais et français.
Unique in the village, they offer up a specialty — a culinary voyage, a gastronomic journey — in the name of a traveller’s menu. “It is a kind of blind menu,” said Margaux Mastriforti, hostess and baker at the restaurant.
Surprise is central to their mission. “The customer does not know what they are going to eat until the plates are in front of them.” Diners sit at tables and receive a small stylised sheet of paper, un billet or one-way ticket to a northern destination. No mistake has been made here: rest assured, to receive a traveller’s ticket at L’atelier de la cheffe means a menu from elsewhere across the world.
In partnership with restaurants abroad, this restaurant serves international dishes — for example, from Pekin to France. It is a food holiday, without all the travelling.
All prior caution is in L’atelier de la cheffe’s hands. Customers, as Margaux has said, have to communicate beforehand to let the restaurant know about any food allergies. Then they embark on a first-rate dining experience.
L’atelier de la cheffe’s singular approach to international cuisine has already secured their place in many diners’ hearts. As such, they have seen a climb in guest demand. The restaurant, open since early February 2022, required an easy, stress-free solution — and quick.
Here’s what Ms Margaux had to say about choosing us to go with us, to use Carbonara App.
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Self-described as simple and fancy, L’atelier de la cheffe has a steady footfall count every week. “We have around 120 people per week,” Margaux told us. Considering that L’atelier de la cheffe has opened so early in the year in the low season, they have done considerably well.
Despite not having many people in the village, the restaurant wanted and aspired to process customers in the easiest way possible.
Searching for restaurant tech, Margaux said, the restaurant unexpectedly came across Carbonara App, stumbling upon it without knowledge beforehand.
This proved to be a lucky find.
This was because L’atelier de la cheffe’s staff — already well-experienced in the restaurant world with a wealth of knowledge under their belt — worked with other reservation styles in previous roles.
“We’ve been using Carbonara App ever since we opened the restaurant. However, for other places we’ve worked for, they have either used [competitor reservation software] or pen and paper.”
Margaux explained that neither option was preferable for L’atelier de la cheffe.
First, with other software options, there comes a financial cost. Restaurants everywhere are already paying a plethora of bills for their upkeep — from the cost of goods to rent for their buildings. Any extra expense is an unwelcome prospect, especially when restaurant software companies typically charge restaurants far too much money, from subscription costs to setup fees.
Second, Margaux shared their opinion on pen-and-paper’s faults: that is, “a reservation book is messy”. Traditional paperwork is ill-suited to a busy restaurant environment. Frankly, messiness is not the only problem associated with pen-and-paper reservation systems. They promote poor workflow.
On the move most of the time, L’atelier de la cheffe needed an app to support their work ethic. “We immediately implemented Carbonara App as it is simple, clear, and easy to use.”
We asked what functions of the app got L’atelier de la cheffe excited the most. To no surprise it was Carbonara App’s online reservation features — a super useful tool in today’s internet-heavy world.
“All the options when booking,” Margaux said, were also helpful, including customer accessibility features, such as “emojis for dogs, children, and [seating] outdoors/inside”.
Not to mention that Margaux was extra complimentary towards the team behind Carbonara App — “always there in case of problems, which is very appreciated”. Tackling any modern-day hospitality needs, our restaurant team is here to help. Learn more about online reservations.
There is a sense of elation in Margaux’s response on whether or not they think Carbonara App has improved their restaurant’s customer relationships.
“Yes,” Margaux said. “They [the customers] appreciate booking online and especially the confirmation messages. They love the extra attention!”
Margaux of course referred to Carbonara App’s free SMS features including WhatsApp support — a bonus with zero tariff charges. Read more about why customers prefer these to restaurant pagers.
Upon the close of our conversation we asked a final question and our conversation with Margaux. Would they recommend Carbonara App to other restaurants?
A resounding Yes!
So what would Margaux recommend to restaurants making the switch to the app?
“I would say . . . adopt Carbonara App without hesitation. Carbonara App is clear, simple, and practical — quick and free, something not to be dismissed.”