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A thousand people in a single day

For one day, the Swissam business school opened three training restaurants in which its students had a chance to spread their wings and try their skills on a real-life model. The Tillypad company provided technical support for this project. During this day, the students served over one thousand people.
Three teams of young restaurateurs competed against each other in a real-world setting. Future chefs and HoReCa managers designed their venues for full-scale operation for an entire day. The students had to consider every detail, including cuisine, menu, table layouts and entertainment for children and adults. However, a modern restaurant cannot survive without an automation system; this is why Tillypad provided technical support by installing Tillypad XL in all three restaurants. Each venue had a POS terminal and a receipt printer, as well as an order ticket printer in the kitchen. The Tillypad XL system helped to ensure high service quality and speed.
We asked Patrick Farran, Director of Food and Beverages of Swissam, to tell us more about this project.
Patrick, can you explain why it was so important to recreate a fully functional restaurant? I mean, the venues only had to work for one day.
The goal of the project is to let our students see how the establishments they have begun to conceptualise would work in real life. Everything should be true-to-life, just like in a real restaurant, and this would include a hospitality management system. Without it, students can’t get a true understanding of the connections between different processes in their venues. We are very grateful to the Tillypad company for offering technical support for the project, as it really gave the students a close simulation of actual operation.
How did the students allocate different responsibilities?
The division was pretty fluid, and all participants got to try on different roles, such as waiters, hostesses, chefs, bartenders and administrators. Plus, since customer volume was so high and the project required a lot of work, the students naturally pulled together into a unified team. Everyone did more than their share of work and made a point of helping out their classmates. And almost everyone had a chance to work with Tillypad XL.
Did the students find it hard to manage Tillypad XL? Did they learn anything by using the system?
Everyone learned to operate the system quite quickly, and some of the students even picked it up on the fly in the middle of the day. In Tillypad XL, managing orders is very easy. We had no problems serving all our guests without any delays—even during the busiest times of the day.
Tillypad XL also helped the students analyse the efficiency of their restaurants, as well as how accurately they had set up their menu prices. After the exercise, each student received reports with numbers of customers and guest tabs, revenue amounts and even which dishes were most popular. We would like to thank your company for supporting our non-profit pop-up Swissam restaurants. We hope we will have the chance to work closely with you in the future—we have many projects ahead that will require solid automation!