A new location of the Marketplace restaurant chain has opened on the fourth floor of the busy Galeria shopping mall in the centre of St. Petersburg. Its innovative automation project, implemented for the first time in Russia, may become a new industry trend. The idea, built on the technology of the Tillypad XL system, was carried out by the TechnoEngineering company (Restocreator project).
The concept of the new Marketplace restaurant differs from that of other venues of the chain. Here, guests take a culinary journey through a restaurant-market. The space accommodates several stations (salad, pasta, grill, wok, bar, oven, etc.) where guests choose from a range of dishes.
At the entrance, each client receives a card. During his/her gastronomic journey through the restaurant, all the orders he/she makes are added to this card. The tab is then settled when the customer leaves the venue. Each station has the following equipment: an iPad with the Tillypad XL system installed for chefs to use, an iPad mini displaying the guest's order, and a contactless card reader (the user need only hold the card up to the scanner) that adds the selected menu items to the guest tab on the card. The system is simple and easy-to-use for both customers and the venue.
First of all, it increases service speed, thus preventing long queues even during the busiest hours. Instead of waiting in line at the cash register, guests are free to choose their meals from different stations. This system also allows them to satisfy their hunger before paying, which guests greatly appreciate.
Second, the new automation format facilitates the business’s internal accounting process and accelerates the work of its employees. Chefs swiftly take orders in Tillypad XL using iPads; with this technology, they can move stock between stores, request deliveries from stock, calculate stock on hand and take inventories with ease. Inter-staff communication is fast and clear; all data are promptly sent to the central office of the chain.
Finally, the visual side of this arrangement provides a pleasant and attractive surprise for customers. Its modern look and small-scale workstations fit perfectly into the restaurant design.
Alexander Ushakov, Manager of the Galeria Marketplace: "We opened just a month ago, but already our average bill is higher than in our other venues, even though all our restaurants have the same prices. Guests like the new service approach and find the restaurant easy to navigate. Having multiple stations has helped us distribute the service load more evenly and avoid long queues. Chefs have enough time to enter orders and prepare meals - this has allowed us to reduce the number of cashiers".
Sergey Ashkadov, Head of TechnoEngineering’s Implementation and Support Department: "We enjoyed implementing this project. I want to emphasize here that it costs more or less the same as a classic automation. In this case, iPads replace standard POS terminals while preserving the full functionality of stationary equipment. This kind of automation is advantageous for restaurateurs and gives them a broader range of options for their venues".