Saving money and serving more customers with Dojo

Since opening in 2013, Glasgow’s Bank Street Bar, Kitchen and Cafe has been serving up popular food and drink for the breakfast crowd right through to late-night drinkers, seven days a week.

Located in the West End of Glasgow, the clue to its success is in its name: Bar, Kitchen, and Cafe. Its cafe is open from 8am-6pm serving take-out, while its kitchen opens at 9.30am, and its bar is licenced from 11am to 1am the following morning. It serves up reliably quick, good grub to punters all week, and is a mecca for University of Glasgow students and busy workers either looking for breakfast, lunch, or post-work drinks. 

In other words, Bank Street is busy from dawn to dusk. “There’s food flying, there’s drinks flying, and our staff are fast and on the ball at all times, so we need our payment machines to be fast,” says Gurdeep Rai, who manages the business with his brother, Peter. 

In such a busy environment, time is money. Tables need to be turned around quickly, and customers need to be able to pay efficiently. “That’s what Dojo has given us,” says Gurdeep. “It has helped us so much in our fast-paced environment.”

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Increasing table turnaround with faster payments

Bank Street started using Dojo in early 2022, and has four payment machines - one in the café area, and three in the restaurant/bar area.

Before switching to Dojo, Bank Street had issues with its payment solution. “We had real difficulty with our previous machines,” says Gurdeep. “We’d lose connection, they were slow, and you’d have to take the batteries out and put them back in to get it working again.” 

When Gurdeep and his brother were looking for a new payment system, the main thing they wanted was speed of transaction. 

“With our old card machines, it would take around 45 seconds to get the transaction done. Now, with Dojo, it takes a tenth of that time. Sometimes the old card machine would lose connection, and so you’re losing a staff member for a few minutes – they’re out of the game. That never happens with Dojo. It’s like having an iPhone as a card machine.”

The café is particularly hectic, with great fast food being pushed out to people on a short lunch break or students with lectures to get to. While the chefs are used to that turnaround and can meet demand, the speed of payment used to be a real sticking point. 

“You often get big groups all paying individually at lunchtime, so the time we’d lose having to wait for payments to go through used to really add up,” says Gurdeep. “Using Dojo is almost like having an extra member of staff! We now have more time to wipe down and turn over tables because our staff spend less time taking payments. That means we don’t lose customers at busy periods like we used to, so we’re able to get more customers through the door every day. During busy periods, we can add four or five covers during our lunch service."

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Saving money by removing failed payments

One of the major complaints with the previous machines was how long it took to notify staff that a card had been declined. 

“Sometimes it took so long that the customer will have walked away, so we’d have to chase after that person to let them know their card had been declined,” says Gurdeep. “Occasionally the person will have gone, and we’ve lost that payment forever. That used to happen to one or two payments a day, which really add ups. Even if it’s just £10 a day, across a week and a month, that’s a considerable amount of money.” 

Over the course of a year, the money lost to customers who have innocently left before Bank Street staff could see that their card had been declined would amount to over £3,500. That’s an awful lot of money for a business at any time, but particularly so during a cost-of-living crisis when people aren’t eating and drinking out as much. 

“With Dojo, if a card is declined, it tells us instantaneously,” says Gurdeep. “A customer doesn’t even have time to walk away, so we’ve never lost a payment with Dojo.”

Staying on top of cash-flow 

Unlike the payment solution Bank Street previously used, Dojo pays the following day. This helps Bank Street keep on top of cash-flow. As well as helping the brothers manage the finances more efficiently, it has another crucial benefit.

“The Dojo app helps us judge and analyse which periods are busy and which days might be a little quieter,” says Gurdeep. “So it helps us plan better and save costs. For example, if we see there’s a quiet time between 12pm and 2pm on a certain day, we can ask a staff member to come in at 2pm instead of 12pm, and that’s saving the business two hours’ worth of wages every time. That could save us £100 a week, and £400 a month."

“It’s been a godsend. My staff keep saying, ‘I don’t know why you didn’t get Dojo before’! It is exactly what I was looking for, it’s exactly right for our business needs. Every machine I’ve used in the past feels so dated in comparison.”

The Dojo Go card machine

Mobile and portable payments

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