Bill’s picks up the tab-let
The historic town of Lewes in East Sussex has several claims to fame. Home to the ancient Lewes bonfire night and also the site of The Battle of Lewes in 1264. Less well known is its claim to fame as the site of the original Bill’s restaurant – originally a greengrocer’s, set up by a local man, Bill Collinson.
Now run by the team that developed Strada and then Côte, Bill’s has grown to nearly 80 restaurants across the UK.
Bill’s prides itself on being “somewhere that people want to come back to”, and it sets a lot of store by the level of customer service that it offers. Therefore they looked at how they might further increase customer satisfaction and identified the introduction of new technology as a means of improving the dining experience.
New technology to help customer experiences
The obvious area where technology, and tablet based applications in particular, can really make a difference is at the front of house and at the table. Bill’s is a very busy environment where many people drop in on the off chance of finding a table. Being able to quickly see what is booked and what is available and preventing queues from building is critical to their success and their reputation.
Using the RBTE trade show in London as a means of looking at potential solutions, Bill’s discussed the issues surrounding the use of tablets within a hospitality environment with Ergonomic Solutions. Requiring a fixed position for the front of house services, the solution also needed to be mobile to allow their teams to also use the tablet to take orders at table to speed up the process and generate much clearer and more accurate order information for the kitchen team.
Custom solutions using tablet sleds
In just one week, Ergonomic Solutions used its knowledge to develop a prototype bespoke solution to address Bill’s fundamental requirements. Using iPad mini compatible SlimCase sleds to address the issue of tablet protection and portability, Ergonomic Solutions also developed a customised fixed position work station whereby the solution could be mounted using their highly adaptable DuraTilt and SpacePole product sets – in use in over 5 million other technology mounting solutions around the world.
A quick release function was also added which enabled the device to be instantly mobile for order taking. This simple to operate solution also provides a level of “snatch-proof” protection for the tablet if left unattended on its stand.
Following a highly successful trial, Ergonomic Solutions, through its partner EPoS Central, has supplied 100 solutions which are now rolled out and in use across the Bill’s chain of restaurants. It is proving popular with the staff for its functionality and ease of use, and is delivering enhanced customer service; which should be at the heart of any successful restaurant’s business strategy.