Islands Restaurants, L.P. announces that it will make a company wide implementation of a graphical kitchen solution from QSR Automations. Islands is relying on QSR's ConnectSmart Hospitality Automation Solution, including the ConnectSmart Kitchen (CSK) graphical software along with eXpert hospitality controllers and KP-4000 keypads, to help ensure the growing sixty site restaurant company gives each guest a taste of paradise.
Islands decided to test QSR's CSK in early 2007, starting with a restaurant with extremely experienced back of house team members who found the solution made food go out faster and fresher. The test was then expanded to its highest volume location, where the restaurant succeeded in surpassing some of its highest volumes the very first weekend.
Finally, a third test location with a new and less experienced crew put the CSK to task, where team members improved extremely quickly by relying on the Islands-customized CSK configuration, including specific color combinations and font formatting to denote item and order statuses as well as graphical menu cards to show how items should be prepared.
"We ran the gamut when testing the CSK, ensuring all of our team members agree that the solution brings value to our employees and our guests - and we believe the system will pay for itself within a year - which doesn't even include the greatest benefits, the intangibles," says John Townsend, vice president of corporate services for Islands Restaurants. "We look at a number of metrics including ticket times, guest satisfaction, and employee satisfaction when evaluating our restaurants, and we are seeing encouraging improvement in each category in the locations that have the CSK. Not only are we seeing happier guests, but our employees are thrilled because the solution is helping them create experiences that bring guests back."
Using five CSK stations within the kitchen, Islands has found that the solution simplifies operations. Relying on the CSK's delay routing capabilities, each menu item is prepared based on its cook time so that all items within an order complete at the same time. Cutting down on maintenance, item cook times are automatically passed from the Profit Series point-of-sale system, provided to Islands by Hospitality Solutions International.
Islands also relies on the real-time speed of service data available within the kitchen, as well as historical reports for management and corporate level analysis. Also helping enhance efficiency and quality, the CSK offers graphical capabilities and is fully customizable, guaranteeing flexible use of the screen real estate and maximizing space.
For instance, Islands was able to share one physical kitchen screen across two preparation stations. Taking advantage of the CSK's split screen functionality, Islands placed a large monitor in between the two stations, ensuring viewing ease with the use of large font sizes within each of the preparation management areas of the screen.
"We were already extremely proud of our operations and guest service, but we're never satisfied - the customized automation we were able to put in place with the CSK truly gave us a tool to take it up a notch," continues Townsend. "And because the CSK gives us more visibility into our operations, especially as we change and add menu items, we identified some inconsistencies we were able to solve with training. To top that off, we have seen a reduction in our ticket times and our problem pays to the tune of about fifteen percent each, which are dollars added right to our bottom line."