The Eastman Egg Company Builds a Mobile Restaurant App Using the Toast API
Hunter Swartz founded The Eastman Egg Company with the mission to change the way people eat breakfast on the go. Eastman Egg is built on the belief that breakfast shouldn’t be a compromise between quality and convenience. With modern technology and locally-sourced ingredients, you can have both.
"Breakfast on a Tuesday can be just as fun as dinner on a Saturday night with friends,” Hunter says over the noise of the post-World Series Cubs crowd in downtown Chicago. “We appeal to the ‘practical foodie’ - the folks who have day jobs and a budget but who truly appreciate high quality ingredients.”
With three locations in urban neighborhoods, Eastman Egg has invested heavily in efficiency and an exemplary customer experience.
A Mobile App for Commuters, Made Possible by the Toast API
Hunter understands that breakfast, while an important meal, is often eaten on the run. He knew that Eastman Egg’s success would be dependent on perfecting the grab-and-go concept. The key, they discovered, was a mobile ordering app for customers.
“People demand beautiful mobile technology,” Hunter says. “With our app, we’re bridging the gap between the physical and the mobile world - in breakfast form. If we can create a consistently great experience for you, you won’t skip breakfast.”
The Eastman Egg app allows customers to place and pay for orders from their phones. Orders are sent directly to Eastman Egg’s kitchen - but not until the customer is around the corner from the restaurant.
Using geo-location and the Toast API, the app is designed to delight customers with a piping hot breakfast just as they walk in the door.
“Our customers can’t control their commute and eggs don’t sit very well,” Hunter says. “With the geo-location functionality in our app, we’re telling customers, ‘We can be adaptable to your schedule and still deliver the best product.’”
Over 2,300 Chicagoans have downloaded the app — a 20x increase year-over-year. Hunter says that adoption has been primarily driven by word of mouth in store and through a “refer-a-friend” program.
Utilizing the Toast API & Kitchen Display Screens
Eastman Egg uses the Toast POS system in-store and calls on the Toast API to send orders through the app directly to the kitchen.
“We think of digitally enabled sales as about 30% of our business at this point and the Toast API is key to our app’s success,” Hunter says. “We need a consistent and reliable handoff from the app to the kitchen in order for this to work. The Toast API delivers that seamless mobile integration with no lag time. The handoff is almost immediate.”
The stores use kitchen display screens (KDS) to manage incoming tickets from the app and the front counter so line cooks never miss a beat.
“Toast’s kitchen display screens are a huge part of our throughput,” Hunter says. “For example, four people may participate in the making of an egg sandwich. With Toast, multiple stations can view the order at the same time so that sandwich gets made much faster than if we were passing a paper ticket. We can understand how fast things are being made and what orders are taking longer than expected. We're all about high quality and speed. It's much easier to read a screen than a ticket.”
Perhaps most importantly, the POS integration is reliable, enabling Eastman Egg to build a best-in-class app experience for their guests.
“The most important thing is that we’re seeing consistency and reliability from Toast,” says Hunter. “It works as it should, and that’s what matters.”
Aligned by a Mission to Create Great Customer Experiences
Ultimately, Hunter decided to partner with Toast because his mission to create a customer experience enhanced by modern technology was directly aligned with Toast’s.
“Toast was far beyond the other companies we looked at,” Hunter remembers. “At Eastman Egg, we start with an egg and build a relationship with our customers. Similarly, Toast has been committed to building a relationship with us from the very beginning. Toast treats their customers like partners. ”
The Eastman Egg company is changing the way Chicago does breakfast. Toast enables them to deliver consistently memorable and efficient experiences both in-app and in-store.
"The Toast API is key to the Eastman Egg app’s success. We need a consistent and reliable handoff from the app to the kitchen in order for this to work. The Toast API delivers that seamless mobile integration with no lag time."
- Hunter Swartz, Founder
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