Dojo was the answer to their connection conundrum

Located opposite Exeter's stunning cathedral sits Eat on the Green. With its 16th-century Tudor building, a wide choice of locally sourced food and drink, and its large terrace for al fresco dining, it is one of the city's most popular spots. 

But despite its location and popularity, its owner, Ben Mangan, struggles to enjoy running the restaurant – all because of problematic payments. 

Ben was so frustrated with payment machines not working, connections failing, and customers being unable to pay that he even tried introducing a second payment provider, but to no avail.

"We had 3 payment machines running across Wi-Fi and SIM cards, and we still had occasions where only one would work. It slowed everything down, and it was always in your mind that your machine might fail when customers wanted to pay. My staff were completely fed up with the situation, and so was I," he says. 

Having taken over the restaurant in 2009, Ben has worked tirelessly to improve Eat on the Green, changing its image from a cafe to a buzzing eatery. But the issue with payments was spoiling the experience for everyone.

Dojo transformed customer experience

In the market for a new provider, Ben met with Payments Consultant Stuart Doderer, who explained how Dojo's payment solutions are designed by people who have worked in customer-facing industries. "I was cynical because of the experience I had with other providers and the misery they caused," says Ben. "But I liked the idea that people like me had designed this technology, and I trusted Stuart. I thought, let's give this a go."

Equipped with 3 Dojo Go machines taking integrated payments, it's transformed customer payments. Transactions are now seamless, solving the restaurant's greatest pain point. 

"All that nervousness that my staff and I had when taking payments has disappeared. It's added confidence and speed and significantly improves the customer experience. We can chat with our customers as they pay – and leave them with a positive final impression, rather than waiting for a working machine to become available," he says. 

The combination of reliable technology and integrated payments saves an incredible amount of time. Between staff not searching for new machines or manually closing tables, around 2 minutes are saved per transaction. "Across a 120-cover day, we're saving around 4 hours that we can use to give customers a great experience or turn the table around for people waiting."

Ben says that as the weather improves, queues regularly build up to enjoy the sun on the restaurant's terrace. "Turning over tables will help us cut the size of the queue and enable us to seat people more quickly. Even if we only sit an extra table a day (and I think it will be more) – that's an extra £200 - £250 a week."

Dojo has also removed shortfalls caused by staff not picking up on failed payments, saving them around £300 a month.

Dojo bookings helped place them on page 1 of Google

Ben's confidence in Dojo meant he decided to try out their restaurant management system, Dojo bookings. Once again, the benefits of hardware and technology designed by people with industry experience became clear. 

"Every reason I've had previously that dissuaded me from using a third-party booking system has been considered by the designers. The system is easy to use, intuitive and customer-friendly."

Since signing up for Dojo bookings, Eat on the Green has seen a phenomenal 50% increase in bookings, which will likely increase during the Spring and Summer months. On top of that, there have been significantly fewer no-shows caused by booking confirmations landing in customers' junk folders. "We couldn't understand why people had booked and not shown up. But that's not happening now."

Using Dojo bookings has also helped push the restaurant onto the first page of Google, alongside some of the city's bigger chains that have paid for placements. "Now, when somebody googles where to go for breakfast or lunch in Exeter, we're there with all the big boys. And that's organic rather than something we've paid for."