Toast Customer Story

Whisknladle Decreases Ticket Times by 20% with Toast Mobile POS System

Whisknladle has found itself a place in the hearts of San Diego locals. Since finding a more efficient and customizable POS system in Toast, they have been able to minimize costs as they plan to open more locations.

As one of the first farm-to-table restaurants in San Diego, CA, Whisknladle has been catering to local customers since it first opened its doors in February 2008. With a dedication to cooking from scratch, this modern full-service restaurant brings locally-sourced ingredients to the forefront of their dishes.

Minimizing Cash Outflows Through 0%-Interest Financing

When Whisknladle first opened, they implemented Aloha as their point-of-sale system. However, as the restaurant evolved, Aloha couldn't keep up. 

"Legacy systems like Aloha have been overtaken by mobile POS systems like Toast because they are open to more innovation and thinking outside-the-box," says David Balanson, COO of Whisknladle.

David cites cost as a crucial factor in his decision not to upgrade the restaurant's legacy system.

"In today's age where minimum wage is so high, spending around $15,000 per location to upgrade to the newest version of Aloha is very detrimental from a cash flow perspective," he says. 

After meeting with 25 different companies, David was quickly drawn to the financing options that Toast offered. Not only were the upfront costs far less than a legacy system, but Toast provided financing options that fit Whisknladle's budget.

"Being able to integrate an entire system in my restaurant without paying everything at once is extremely lucrative," David says. "When I'm trying to maintain cash flow, spreading out payments over three years with a monthly contract is a very attractive thing. From a cash flow standpoint, that's a huge opportunity that very few POS systems are willing to offer."

Whisknladle was approved for 0%-interest financing for their Toast system. With Toast, David avoided exorbitant upfront costs and paid for his system through manageable, no-interest monthly payments over 36 months.

“The servers can handle more tables now, so I can staff one fewer server per shift, which saves us around $50 a day.”

David Balanson

Chief Operations Officer

Decreasing Ticket Times and Labor Cost with Toast Handhelds

With Toast's mobile handheld tablets, Whisknladle servers can take orders, send them to the kitchen, and process payments all from the palm of their hand.

"It's very obvious that there's an improvement in the efficiency of the restaurant when tablets are being used," David says. "Our average ticket times have dropped by about 20% since we started using the handhelds. Overall table turn time has improved by five minutes because orders are getting into the kitchen faster."

With more efficient table service, Whisknladle can staff one fewer server per shift.

"The handhelds reduce our labor costs by not having to have so much manpower on the floor," David says. "The servers can handle more tables now so I can staff one fewer server per shift, which saves us around $50 a day. In addition to being more affordable upfront, Toast is saving us money in the long run too."

According to David, mobile ordering in food service has the potential to revolutionize the industry.

"In the past 20 years, handheld ordering is the biggest change I've experienced," he says. "I've watched how service has dynamically improved by allowing the tablets to really affect the whole flow of the restaurant. We want our guests to feel like family. With handheld tablets, our servers are spending more time interacting with guests and less time running back and forth to terminals."

Optimizing Toast's Benefits with the Kitchen Display Screen

Toast dramatically increased floor efficiency in the front-of-house and David felt it only made sense to do the same in the back-of-house.

"If you're going to take advantage of new technology, you should take advantage of all the functionality it offers," he says. "The digital kitchen display system is going to dramatically change our industry. Everyone who is going with Toast should use the KDS."

Using both handhelds and the kitchen display system results in a flow of service that is completely digital and paper-free. This was an enormous and admittedly scary change for David, but an operational change that he says has paid dividends.

"I've never not had tickets in my kitchen before," he says. "The most nerve-wracking day of my career was the day that we rolled out the kitchen display screens. But it only took a few minutes to see that it was the right choice. After one service I thought, 'Cool, this is going to work!'"

Plans For The Future

Mobile ordering and digital kitchen ticketing have improved operations at Whisknladle and prepared them to expand to more locations.

David aims to continue embracing Toast's powerful technology to be an innovator in San Diego's up-and-coming restaurant scene. "The restaurant industry hasn't changed that much over the years," he says. "When something comes along that rocks your world, that's an exciting opportunity."


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