Point of sale software developer Volante Systems and healthy dining restaurant chain Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp. have partnered in a 119 store enterprise point of sale rollout.
Volante is currently installed in 44 of Garden Fresh's casual dining restaurants nationwide.
Since 1978, Garden Fresh has been committed to delicious and healthy dining. For a number of years, the company had sought an enterprise point of sale system that was as unique and individualized as their concept. Wanting to move beyond basic cash registers interfaced to a back office computer, Garden Fresh had struggled to find a reliable point of sale system that went beyond the traditional functions of PoS. The company felt it already had a firm grasp on cost control, and opted instead to take an aggressive marketing approach to help grow revenues.
What Garden Fresh was seeking was transaction level detail, not simply aggregate totals on lunch and dinner periods, but the ability to instantly study patterns of guest behavior and purchasing to enable further marketing analysis. What was needed was a technology partner that could not only help them do that, but help them do it more intelligently. The POS vendor also needed to be able to adapt to Garden Fresh's ever evolving needs and goals, both quickly and easily.
Garden Fresh found that individuality and flexibility with Volante Systems Enterprise PoS.
"Because our ultimate needs for functionality would be in a state of development for quite some time, we wanted to partner with a company that had a demonstrated ability to help us meet developing needs," states Rich Thomson, VP for Information Technology for the San Diego California based chain. "We didn't want to be a small fish in the big POS pond. Volante showed a continued interest in delivering workable innovation. In the final POS `bake off', we saw Volante demonstrate features that we expressed an interest in just a week before."
For instance, Garden Fresh had a strong desire to influence targeted guest behavior. One way the company hoped to achieve this goal was by issuing a bounce back coupon based on certain decision criteria in the sale, with the hope of providing guests an incentive to do something they might not otherwise have done. After looking at 13 different companies, all with some kind of frequency program, getting the POS terminal to come up with something "on the fly" was something several companies said was possible to do. However, Volante already offered incentive based marketing, and according to Thomson, "only Volante was actually able to show us how it was done. Volante had a credibility factor that was unusual."
"Through this new partnership, we can now offer Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp. multiple ways to increase revenue and improve customer service, while reducing costs at the same time." says Annette Ennamorato, Vice President of Sales for Volante Systems. "Volante is thrilled to partner with such an established and respected chain as Garden Fresh."
Volante also offers a full data-reporting suite to aid management in decision-making. The suite is designed to provide a clear insight into all aspects of operations, with filtered data reported whenever necessary, all accessed quickly and easily. Tailored summary reports have provided Garden Fresh with the ability to view only information they want to see, on demand, allowing store owners and managers more time to focus on operations and guest service.
"We're a low cost operator," admits Thomson. "Our fundamental interest was to automate everything. From the point in time that we put in electronic registers and electronic time clocks, it was so the cashiers and managers wouldn't have to enter information more than once. So we really like things that are batch oriented, behind the scenes. With Volante, we not only have been able to automate both POS and time & attendance for all staff, but to continue that automation in a reliable way that is still manageable."
Garden Fresh's needs when it came to an enterprise POS system were also complex. Each of the company's one hundred plus stores are unique onto themselves.
"With respect to Enterprise, we did not want simply the ability to remotely log in and make changes, which most of the companies we examined did quite well. We also didn't want our store managers to have to touch anything related to programming, and with lean staff we couldn't afford time-consuming data entry at Corporate. We wanted the ability to make universal and exception based changes to an expanding array of more than a hundred locations, almost all of them with their own issues. We also chose Volante for its ability to run transparently to the operator under Linux. We firmly believe a Linux POS system to be superior from the standpoint of reliability, security and cost. Volante has performed flawlessly in this regard."
According to Thomson, Volante has changed how Garden Fresh looks at a point of sale transaction. "In the past, the transaction was something that was there, and that was it," he says. "With Volante, we can not only look at and analyze the transaction, we can now also try and influence the next transaction."
About Volante Systems Enterprise POS
Since 1993, Volante (volantesystems.com) has been providing open standards, point of sale software solutions to the hospitality industry worldwide. Volante is the perfect POS software choice for venues requiring a flexible yet comprehensive enterprise wide POS solution.
About Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp
Garden Fresh is a company with 119 Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes restaurants (souplantation.com) operating in 15 states, offering fresh produce and salads, made-from-scratch soups, hot-tossed pastas, freshly baked breads and more. Since 1978, Garden Fresh has kept a commitment to delicious and healthy dining.