The Gondola Group is the market leader in the UK casual dining sector, operating PizzaExpress, Zizzi and ASK, together with the smaller brands of Milano (PizzaExpress’ brand in Ireland), BYRON and Kettner’s. The Group employs approximately 16,500 people, serving almost 40 million meals a year in over 600 restaurants.
Inconvenient ordering processes were taking restaurant managers off the shop floor at key trading times. Guy Croot, head of group distribution at Gondola, is responsible for ensuring supplier relationships run smoothly and do not interfere with customer service. He comments:
“From a group supply chain point of view, we should be making the back of house systems as easy and simple as possible for Restaurant Managers to allow them to be front of house with customers.”
The issues Restaurant Managers were experiencing with telesales ordering needed to be addressed, as Guy explains:
“All our restaurants were on a fixed telesales call schedule. Restaurant Managers were being called between 2-4pm in the afternoon, which is a key trading time for them. They were being taken off the restaurant floor away from customers for up to half an hour while they read out the order over the phone.”
After successfully trialling iTradeNetwork’s Multiple Operator Portal in 22 of their sites, online ordering for all grocery products was rolled out across the Pizza Express estate.
The new online ordering system has exceeded the expectations of all parties in the process, from head office teams, to restaurant managers and the supplier. Guy comments:
“Now restaurant managers can order at their convenience: early morning, late at night, whenever it suits them, three or four days in advance if necessary. And from a supplier point of view, there are no returns or recovery orders to be made as the order is processed correctly in the first place. It’s a win-win for everybody.”
Pizza Express restaurant managers are applauding the new system:
“As soon as I place an order I get the confirmation and I can see which items are out of stock so I can order something to replace these items. It’s really quick and really convenient,” says Ewa, manager of Pizza Express Shad Thames.
Vasken, manager of the recently opened Pizza Express Westfield Stratford, goes further:
“The system is just perfect. Managers of other restaurant groups should definitely go for this.”