Increasing revenues and reducing queue times with Dojo
For 10 years, Guapo has been serving fresh Mexican food to the people of Derry, Northern Ireland. Open and busy seven days a week, it pulls in up to 400 customers a day, hungry for Guapo’s selection of freshly-made burritos, fajitas, tacos and nachos.
With all meat and veg sourced locally, Guapo has a well-earned reputation as one of Derry’s finest fast-food restaurants, with a TripAdvisor rating of 4.5. Owned by Claire Mankoo, she opened Guapo on March 1st, 2013, after moving back home to Derry from Manchester with her husband. To make the change possible, Claire changed jobs from HR management into the brand-new world of hospitality, and has never looked back.
Guapo, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in May, has grown significantly from three staff to 24 staff in that time. It is in an enviable position: its main challenge is how busy they are. “It’s all about keeping up with demand for us,” says Claire. “Last year, I took on another premise, just two or three doors away, and turned that into a prep shop to create a bit more space for us.
“We’ve got three staff serving customers at all times, with another staff ducking between serving customers and dealing with online orders. So my main problem is space versus the demand – we want to make sure the customers are getting served promptly, but without feeling like they’re being rushed.”
Without any tables for sit-ins, it is entirely over-the-counter service, which means speedy, reliable service is the name of the game.
Step forward, Dojo.
Integrating to improve turnover speed
For its first six years, Guapo was a cash-only business. That changed in April 2019.
“I’m a bit of a dinosaur,” says Claire. “I hate change! I imagine it annoys the staff, as I’m always like, ‘This works, so why change anything?’”
However, Claire realised she was losing out on orders with the cash-only policy, so decided to embrace card payment. Initially, she used Gaupo’s bank as the card machine provider, but that changed when Dojo contacted Claire in 2021.
“I thought it was going to be a big drama moving over to Dojo, but the Payment Consultant was really lovely, and explained the process, gave me all of the figures, and I showed them to my accountant. We looked at Dojo’s figures versus who we were using, and it was clear that it worked to move to Dojo – not just because of the competitive rates, but all the other benefits, too.”
The original attraction for Claire was Dojo’s integrated system. “Our previous system wasn’t integrated, and I knew we were losing money,” she says. “For example, if someone was typing in £5.50, I could see sometimes they would accidentally just type 50p. That’s £5 lost. Also, sometimes my staff would forget to not hand over food to a customer until the payment was processed – it can happen when it’s busy – and sometimes the card would be declined, but the customer’s already gone. So we were losing money there.”
“Integrated payments gives me the security that we’re capturing the right revenues,” says Claire. “The payment errors just don’t happen anymore, and that’s saving us a good amount of money every month.
“So the speed of every transaction with Dojo has been a massive game-changer for us.”
Improving the customer experience
Guapo gets an enormous volume of lunch trade, so customers need to know they won’t be standing in a queue for longer than necessary.
“We’re busy, and we’re known for being busy,” says Claire. “I always say to the staff, it’s fine people are willing to queue as long as the queue is moving fast. Now, with Dojo, it has helped make the customer journey much quicker.”
“The processing and payment happens in a flash – and if a card is declined you are alerted within seconds. With the previous provider, it honestly felt like hours at times! It would freeze, and you’d have to reboot, and that’s a nightmare when you’ve got so many people waiting in a queue.
“It also means that if you’re seeing the queue moving quickly, more customers are likely to join the queue, which I believe will have increased our revenue since moving to Dojo.”
A helping hand from Dojo
Whenever there are any small issues or questions, Claire says she knows she can rely on Dojo’s dedicated helpline.
“I know that they want to resolve it ASAP,” she says. “They’re so helpful, and go out of their way to resolve any small issues we may have, instantly. With our last provider, I was without a card machine for four or five days, waiting on a technician to come out. But with Dojo, they deal with issues straight away. For someone like me who hates technology, and is a dinosaur, it’s really great – they’re so patient. It’s a great service altogether and head and shoulders above what I was using before.”