Scaffidi’s Restaurant & Tavern in Steubenville, Ohio, is a family-owned, full-service restaurant that serves up “homemade recipes, generations in the making” with the help of cutting-edge technology.
In two years Frankie DiCarlantonio, director of the Scaffidi Restaurant Group, grew his business from a 25-seat location to a robust restaurant that seats 250 people with bar service and private event space. He adopted new tools to facilitate that growth. DiCarlantonio currently uses:
- Square Restaurant Plus
- Square for Restaurants Mobile POS
- Square Online Ordering
- Kitchen Display System (KDS)
- Square Loyalty
- Square Marketing
- Square Developer Tools (for kiosks)
- Square Invoices
Invest in technology for staff
To facilitate cross-training and onboard new staff efficiently, DiCarlantonio needed a POS that his staff could adopt quickly. Server-friendly tools are a must-have in today’s competitive labor market, and businesses often need to do more with less. With the restaurant industry facing a labor shortage, DiCarlantonio wanted to find tools that would help his staff. However, people can sometimes be reluctant to change, and the staff of Scaffidi’s Restaurant & Tavern was no exception. The idea of replacing paper and pen with new technology was met with some resistance from staff, and DiCarlantonio would need to find a system that would be easy to adopt.
Rising food costs are also a major concern for restaurants. DiCarlantonio was looking for a way to maximize cash flow and improve sales by using technology that could create a better dining experience. Improved customer service could foster loyalty, increase the average order amount and boost the wait staff’s tips.
Since opening his restaurant in 2009, DiCarlantonio has been driving his business forward. “Don’t be afraid to try something that’s not what your brand is known for,” he says.
DiCarlantonio isn’t afraid of changing things up to help improve his bottom line. The restaurant successfully implemented Square for Restaurants mobile POS as a beta seller. DiCarlantonio transitioned servers from having to crowd around a central POS station to place orders to tableside ordering and payments via tablets.
- Employee skillset growth: Initially the employees were reluctant to change. However, the technology’s intuitive software eased its adoption, helping servers who were attached to pen and paper quickly adjust. especially once they saw the benefit of being able to focus more on expanding their skillsets within the restaurant with the time they were saving and the flexibility of the technology.
- Doing more with less: Some of DiCarlantonio’s servers were already using iPads for tableside ordering and Square Terminal for payments but he saw an opportunity for an all-in-one solution, a single handheld device that was specifically designed to help servers to work faster and more efficiently.
Small changes can add up and make a difference on a business’s bottom line. Servers saw an immediate impact on business, smoother day-to-day operations and greater accuracy with placing orders.
Instead of scribbling on a pad and then entering the items into a central POS, which left the door open for errors, servers can now enter drinks and food into a tablet at the table and confirm customer selections.
“With the layout of our restaurant, Mobile POS is saving a lot of physical steps, which has increased staff satisfaction and alleviated some of the stress on their positions,” says DiCarlantonio. “We’re seeing a lot of additional efficiency in our operations because our staff is spending more and more time on the floor rather than out of reach putting in orders.”
Scaffidi’s also saw noticeable changes that positively impact their bottom line.
- Increase in sales: When you tackle efficiency and accuracy, it leads to profitability. The improved customer service helped boost sales. In fact, DiCarlantonio says one surprising result of faster ticket times was an increase in alcohol sales. Scaffidi’s Restaurant & Tavern diners ordered additional rounds of alcohol due to the speed of ordering and preparation, resulting in a 22% increase in alcohol sales since implementing the use of a tableside POS. “Our bar service is much faster now that we’re using Square for Restaurants mobile POS,” says Toni Morris, Manager, Scaffidi Restaurant & Tavern. “The server used to have to walk all the way to the back to put in a drink order and by the time they would get back to the table, the Jack and Coke would be diluted.”
- Decrease in voids: The new technology also provides up-to-date information that improved the customer experience. “It’s great to have all the 86’d items updated live during service,” says DiCarlantonio. “With Square handheld POS, you won’t be going back to the customer 10 minutes after taking their order to say, ‘Hey, sorry, we’re out of calzones.’” Because of the ordering accuracy from a tableside POS, Scaffidi’s has seen a 57% decrease in voids due to out-of-stock items. Food and drinks also came out faster, since servers didn’t have to walk to the back of the restaurant to place orders.
- Cross-train staff: DiCarlantonio invests in his staff and cross-trains employees to work in different locations and job types. Employees move from server to bartender to host, and they even assist with delivery. By training across functions, DiCarlantonio helps employees expand their skillsets and become more efficient. With Square for Restaurants handheld device, any Scaffidi’s employee can pick up the mobile POS and be a server for the day. Cross-training and easy-to-use systems also ensure that one team member’s absence doesn’t impact business.
Satisfied Customers and Staff
DiCarlantonio has been using the Square for Restaurants mobile POS since early 2022 and says he’s already made back his investment with faster table turnover and increased sales. His employees are happy, too, because improved service impacts their tips.
DiCarlantonio’s success is proof that being flexible is the key to running a modern restaurant.
“Within the 13 years we’ve been open, we have never done anything that we are not confident in,” says DiCarlantonio. “Whenever we enter into something new, we always make sure that what we currently have is unaffected. The biggest upside of Square for Restaurants mobile POS has been keeping my staff on the floor more of the time which has led to greater customer satisfaction.”
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