"There's a thriving food scene here in San Francisco and an extremely competitive restaurant industry," Angela says. "We're driven to have the best ingredients, service, and execution. In the current business environment, any operational edge, including our restaurant technology, is part of that equation. Our industry is in transition and it's all intersecting in San Francisco."
The House itself was in transition after their iPad point-of-sale technology vendor was acquired by another company and the system became inconsistent.
“We had been using a tablet-based system for a few years," Angela remembers. "But the company we were working with started to lose its footing and we knew we needed a stronger, more supportive partner."
Specifically built for restaurants, Toast was the right fit for both the casual lunch and fine dining dinner experience at The House.
“Toast is exactly what we need it to be,” Angela says. “It’s as simple or as complex as we need it to be throughout the day. We can run an efficient service with takeout at lunch, and a 3-course dining experience at dinner. Plus, my staff loves it."
With just 40 seats, The House is an intimate dining experience. To ensure quality and accuracy, efficiency is key.
“Things move quickly here,” Angela says. “Our staff is seasoned and we run like a well-oiled machine. Toast has made us better, faster, more accurate, and more efficient. We’ve been able to do more business because of it.”
Not only does a tablet-based system help The House move faster, it’s also saving precious physical space. Like many urban restaurants, square footage is a hot commodity they can’t afford to waste.
“Our kitchen is the size of a closet,” Angela laughs. “We max out every inch of storage and service area - we certainly don’t have room for a back office. With the Toast tablets and data stored in the cloud, we can have all the functionality without a lot of equipment. We will never go back to an on-premise solution.”
In addition to spatial efficiency, Angela found that Toast’s Android tablets are a better fit for heavy use at the restaurant, despite being a fan of Apple products for personal use.
“I’m an Apple person,” she says. “However, having been in this industry for a long time, I’ve found Android is extremely easy and I would choose it again. The Toast tablet is built for commercial use. The iPad system felt like an app. Toast feels like a dedicated system that’s made just for our restaurant. It’s a focused piece of equipment.”
Not to mention, The House no longer has to rely solely on WiFi for system connection.
“The fact that the Toast tablets are hardwired makes a big difference,” Angela says. “We’re in an older building and sometimes the wireless connection is unreliable. A hardwired POS system gives us much-needed consistency and system reliability.”
You don’t stay in business for 25 years without being seriously committed to customer service. To install their new POS system, it was important for Angela to maintain consistency of service.
“Consistency is very important in the restaurant industry,” she says. “People really come to depend on you. Like most small businesses, we don’t have the luxury to shut down for a day to install a new system.”
Because The House was using a cloud-based POS system prior to Toast, installation was particularly quick.
“Installing Toast was painless. I scheduled my install at 7:00 AM, and we were up and running by lunchtime. The learning curve for the staff is less than a day. We were able to completely transition to Toast without skipping a beat.”
Once they were up and running, Angela was thrilled with the level of service provided by the Toast team.
“The support is the single most important thing about Toast,” she says. “Every time I call Toast Support, I know I've taken a real step towards active problem resolution. I always feel like there's someone to support us in a timely manner - that's exactly what we need in a partner.”
After two decades of delivering exceptional guest experiences, Angela is optimistic about the future of The House and their technology partnership with Toast.
“Toast is very much needed in the restaurant industry. I’m so glad I found it.” she says. “There are a lot of restaurants that could benefit from Toast - they just need to discover it.”