Tillypad has helped 'transform' yet another cosy cafe. Boulevard, a homestyle restaurant in Ivanovo, has made the switch from an 'evening' a la carte format to the more affordable open-plan self-service style. As a complement to this change in format, the restaurant has also overhauled its entire concept. Dynamic service, a cordial atmosphere, an open kitchen and 'everyday' prices have all turned Boulevard into one of the city's most popular spots for business lunches and dinners.
Over the past five years, a concept known as 'free flow '— a self-service dining format in which guests move among several food stations in an open area — has gained popularity in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Now, thanks to Tillypad, this casual format has reached even the 'city of brides', Ivanovo. The concept offers several obvious advantages — it is no coincidence that it has become a favourite among those who want even their work lunches to taste like homecooked meals, in addition to being balanced, affordable and easy to eat quickly.
As customers move through Boulevard and decide what they want, they immediately take their selections from each station. In some cases, guests can even watch as their food is being made. Owing to the lack of a stark boundary between the cold and hot food zones and the grill and bar, queues tend not to form near stands or at the tills, making lunch here an entirely pleasant experience.
The new format has brought major changes to Boulevard. Before the transformation, peak traffic hours came on Friday and Saturday evenings when live music and hookah were offered out on the terrace. However, in the beginning of September, a major redistribution of customer flow took place, and peak hours began coming at entirely different days and times. As early as in the first month of the new format, the average number of closed guest tabs exceeded 800, and the average check total and frequency of repeat visits increased significantly.
In September, Boulevard ran several promotions to attract customers and announce its new concept. Special flyers gave customers a 50% discount on dishes made on site; dinnertime patrons were offered a 'Buy 2, Get 1 Free' deal on beer and house wine. Tillypad was instrumental in the implementation and analysis of these and other promotions at Boulevard. In the first days of October, at the conclusion of the promo period, reports helped the restaurant predict that customer traffic would remain high — guests who discovered the redesigned venue in September have returned to Boulevard to try its filling, inexpensive lunch options; meet with friends; and enjoy fresh, delicious baked goods.
Despite its new format, Boulevard currently has no plans to completely abandon traditional restaurant service. The restaurant continues to house an active banquet hall, where special events and business meetings are held.