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Grillshack launch pioneers MPoS app

By Retail Technology | Monday November 4 2013

London’s new grill restaurant collaborates with developer to launch with mobile ordering and payment app, giving customers control of orders and payment

Grillshack, the casual counter-service grill restaurant that opened recently in Soho’s Beak Street, has revealed its pioneering use of mobile technology is the result of collaboration with specialist hospitality technology provider, TISSL.

The hospitality venue is leading the field in the use of technology to speed up ordering and service. Alongside counter ordering, the all-day restaurant provides touchscreen kiosks for guests to select and pay for food and beverages. The restaurant has also gone live with an app developed by TISSL, believed to be the first of its kind in use in the UK, that enables guests to use their smartphones and iPads to order and pay.

Deploying up-to-date technology 

Hannah Bass, operations director, explained the inspiration for Grillshack. “We looked at opportunities to open a new, affordable dining brand in the mid-market,” she said. “We felt there could be a way to serve fast food, in a more comfortable environment, with a focus on quality. We wanted to be ‘of the moment’ but not too trendy.”

Grillshack devised a very precise menu to prevent the restaurant being typecast. “We wanted to challenge preconceptions of what fast food can be: fresh, healthy and affordable, thoughtfully prepared and presented,” she added. But Bass was also quick to explain the company did not set out to create a high-tech restaurant but that their research revealed this was how people were thinking.

“We wanted to offer counter service, something informal with fast turnover, and it turned out that technology offered us the best solution for operational issues. At pinch-points in the service such as selling second drinks, technology can help and can give guests a little more control,” Bass said.

Exceeding customer expectations

She also reported that the new in-restaurant technology is giving guests more freedom: “Interestingly, the touchscreen kiosks seem to be proving most popular. That said, when guests do use the app, they’re very positive and come back again and reuse it.” This is borne out by social networking sites, which reveal that the app is a draw for many diners.

Before collaborating with TISSL, Bass and her colleagues looked at the market and explored potential partnerships with a number of suppliers. “We chose TISSL because they could build the app we wanted and produce a complete technology solution on time, and they came in at the price we expected,” she added. “Importantly too they have a strong EPoS [electronic point-of-sale] solution and integration between the app and EPoS is critical.”

The bespoke development took four months to complete. “Everything was driven by the functionality in the restaurant and TISSL created new elements for us,” said Bass. Nothing was bought off the shelf. The screens are entirely new and they re-skinned their EPoS solution for us.”

Good innovative development fit

And Grillshack staff have reacted enthusiastically. “They’re all young and tech-savvy and so have responded really well,” she stated. Guests too are positive. “Overall, they’re happy using the technology. The app will take a while to bed in and it’s a departure to be using PayPal to pay in a restaurant but they really love it.”

Work hasn’t stopped there and collaboration is ongoing: “We want to continue to innovate rather than rest on our laurels. As for working with TISSL, it’s essentially a family-run business and the service is very good.”

Bass concluded: “Guests will make a decision to come to Grillshack based on our great food, great drink, great service, and great people. They wouldn’t come for the technology alone but it’s all part of the mix and something we’re proud of.”

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