Restaurant Case Study: How Boston Pizza Leveraged QSR Technology
An institution in Canada, Boston Pizza launched in the mid-60s with a traditional restaurant setup: pen and paper tickets to collect and send orders from the front to the back and vice versa. Twelve years ago, Cavin Green, Vice President of Business Technology & Systems at Boston Pizza International Inc., saw where the industry was going. He and his team turned to QSR Automations to find a solution that could help automate their kitchens and ensure consistency across the chain. We spoke with Green for our restaurant case study, about how the chain implemented and benefited from QSR Technology.
QSR Automations: Tell us about Boston Pizza.
Cavin Green: Boston Pizza is Canada’s number one casual dining place. We have 396 restaurants coast to coast. We’ve been operating for 55 years. Really what makes us uniquely positioned is that we have three concepts under one roof. For our dine-in business, we have a sports bar element, a full-service casual dining side of the building, and a very large off-premise take-out and delivery business.
QSRA: What was your operation like before bringing in ConnectSmart® Kitchen?
CG: I think it was 2007, we began to update our restaurants from paper to (QSR Automations’) KDS, at the time. It was very much a slow migration. In fact, we were under mild repair at the time.
QSRA: What do you look for in a technology change?
CG: Number one, it has to create or enable value for our franchises. We operate as a franchisee. And you know, like any franchiser, we still can standardize and employ new technology. We want to make sure that it is good for our guests, good for our staff, and good for our franchises financially. That would probably be right at the top of it.
QSRA: Once you started that integration, what were your next steps in employing CSK into your restaurants?
CG: From 2016 onward, we made a concerted effort to do a systemwide rollout of both CSK and ConnectSmart® Host (Formerly DineTime). We now have CSK, in more than 80% of our restaurants, intending to be in all 400 by the year’s end. On top of that, we’ve been deploying ConnectSmart® Host in parallel.
QSRA: How did the transition to CSK change your operation?
CG: Going from paper to KDS, the most obvious change is that you can literally see it and hear it and feel it in the kitchen. We’re reducing stress, improving communication, improving coordination, and improving ticket time. There is a whole bunch of things that removing tickets does for a kitchen.
QSRA: What has CSK brought to your back-of-house?
CG: We made a significant effort with both platforms because there are some sure benefits. Most obviously, in CSK, there is some improved functionality in the kitchen. A good example would be some of the color-coding and highlighting, being able to address modifiers, allergens more easily, and make sure their food is accurate.
We’ve deployed images, so training assets. So when cook Johnny doesn’t know how to make an item, he can press a button and see a visual job aide come up. So in terms of product consistency and quality, those are some of the key elements, improved timing, and routing.
QSRA: What comes next?
CG: We’re doing open menu counts for ConnectSmart® Host to tell us how many people are seated but haven’t ordered so that now we can give the kitchen a forecast on that. We’ve been trying really hard to use it for forecasting prep items. Those are some of the key things we already see in the BoH, not to mention a lot of the FoH benefits tied to expo screen functionality.
QSRA: How has CSK and ConnectSmart® Host paid off?
CG: The implementation of CSK and ConnectSmart® Host has been a tremendous enabler as we look to modernize our technology ecosystem, for both Team Members as well as Guests. We’ve been able to maximize our reach and enable new functionality such as online reservations through ConnectSmart® Host. Additionally, within the four walls of the restaurant, the combination of CSK and ConnectSmart® Host has allowed us to introduce new features that assist in quality/consistency, growing off-premise revenue, and overall execution.
About the Author
Dylan Chadwick is the Content Marketing Manager at QSR Automations. He graduated from Brigham Young University with an English degree and journalism focus and loves to write, draw and paint. When left to his own devices, he enjoys loud music, adorable dogs and documentaries about the aforementioned.