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TOA (Taste of Asia) Asian Fusion is a family-owned Asian restaurant that is known for its sushi, poke bowls, and delicious dumplings. The restaurants are a popular institution in Long Island, NY, with the first location opening three years ago and expanding to two additional restaurants in neighboring towns.
The family also owns a second group of restaurants, called MoCA Asian Bistro. There are five MoCA locations, one in Forest Hills, Queens, and four more in Long Island. The Forest Hills location is so popular, it expanded into an adjacent storefront, adding 2,000 square feet to its dining room in 2017.
TOA and MoCA are busy, fine dining restaurants with a large customer following. Although on-premise diners regularly crowd into the restaurants, the eateries are situated in bustling commercial areas and get a rush of lunchtime take-out orders too.
TOA and MoCA were using their staff and phone lines to take the orders, but the phone bills for multiple lines and payroll expenses soared to unmanageable levels. As orders continued to pour in during lunch shifts, the restaurant’s owners and management team started looking for a way to cut costs. An online ordering system that would reduce the restaurant’s overhead, while providing a better customer service experience for patrons, seemed to be the only solution.
And why not? Technology-driven customers, especially millennials, love online ordering. This valuable functionality allows diners to enter their orders online through the restaurant’s website, pay, and send orders automatically to the kitchen. Customers have more control over the ordering process and can peruse the menu at their own pace, securely process their payments, and never waste time on hold or redialing when there’s a busy signal.
The team chose the Munch online ordering system to be incorporated into their take out business in every location. The feature-rich software allows restaurants to build customized websites with an online ordering platform. Unlike more expensive online ordering and delivery services, Munch doesn’t charge hefty commission like other online ordering platform, it only costs $89 a month for the basic plan, and $129 for the feast plan.
Recently, TOA upgraded their printers to the Star Micronics mC-Print3 to save counter space in their eateries. The mC-Print3 has a stylish cube design that was created for busy kitchens and space-conscious restaurants. The mC-Print3 includes a “protected” control board and IPX2 splash-proof rating, to guard against spills and particles that fly in even the most well-run kitchens.
With a setup that takes less than a minute and receipts that are generated quickly, TOA staff says the new printer is better than any other receipt printer they have worked with. The mC-Print3 has a 3-inch compact footprint, fast 250 mm/second printing, and front feed and paper loading for high-quality receipts and graphics.
TOA’s ownership is also using Munch’s email marketing services, so the restaurants can issue discount codes, coupons, and points to new and returning customers. Munch built TOA’s entire website and assisted the team with branding, online ordering apps, and marketing. The electronic platform also allows the restaurants to save money on printing menus and other marketing materials.
The chain’s first location was installed and live within a week. The drag-and-drop software is easy to learn and use, so there was no formal training necessary, and the remaining restaurants went online two days later.
Free Online Ordering Resources
Social distancing has deeply affected our customers in the restaurant industry. That’s why Star Micronics is offering free online ordering resources for VARs and ISVs helping restaurants navigate the implementation of online ordering.
After implementing the online ordering software, the restaurant’s ownership was able to drastically reduce the number of cashiers and phone lines, which saves them over $10,000 every month.
The restaurants have also seen an uptick in order accuracy and efficiency, especially for larger orders. With a large volume of business coming from nearby offices, it’s not uncommon for the restaurant to receive orders for hundreds of dollars’ worth of food. That’s a lot of opportunity for mistakes, which cost time, resources, and energy to correct. The Munch system gives the customers control over their orders, so there are fewer mistakes made while inputting the orders. Tickets are sent directly to the kitchen, so the number of customer complaints has declined as orders are being taken, prepared, and delivered faster and more accurately.
Munch’s loyalty and marketing support through the online ordering app also increases customer engagement by offering discounts and reward points for purchases that can be redeemed by returning customers.
Heidi Orpilla is the Digital Content Specialist at Star Micronics where she creates and manages content for Star’s blog, social media, website, products, and more. Heidi has a passion for writing and has worked in the B2B marketing space for over five years. Prior to working at Star, Heidi worked at a large reseller for six years.