Solving the time crunch conundrum – and saving money, too

Darioush Shahidi is hugely invested in his work. Having worked in hotels since 16, he moved on to managing restaurants before joining Lucia Restaurants in early 2019 as its Operations Manager. Darioush has spent the last four years working side by side with the company’s two directors – overseeing marketing, finances and operations, as well as making many new hires across the business.

Today, the business has five sites, soon to rise to six. Its Lucia brand opened its first location in York 14 years ago and has added another two in Harrogate and Beverley – while The Cut & Craft has two restaurants in York and Leeds and another to follow in Manchester.

The business doesn’t have a huge leadership team, so my role is very hands-on. We have wanted to expand the group ourselves, so there’s been no luxury of working 9-5. The goal over the next six to 12 months is to scale the teams and hand over some of the responsibilities – although I’ll still be very involved.

Efficiency as standard

Like many working in hospitality, Darioush can be spread pretty thin and is often lacking time. General managers report to him, so he has to be across all the details in both Lucia and The Cut & Craft.

In addition to saving the organisation a lot of money, the introduction of integrated payments with Dojo across the group of restaurants has given him and his teams the most valuable commodity – time.

“It’s given us time back in several different areas of the business and enabled me to prioritise how I spend my days. We operate fast-paced restaurants, and there’s often a good chance that customers will be waiting for their table to become free, so the speed we can get guests paid is critical. The speed of payment with Dojo is instant, enabling us to turn those tables faster. Small service points like that make an enormous difference in the hospitality industry.

“Dojo saves three to four minutes per table. The previous process could slow the restaurant down; you’re entering payments manually into machines and checking against receipts, and then splitting bills a lot of the time as well. Now the table is logged on the terminal already and splitting the payments takes seconds. There’s nothing worse than customers waiting around after they’ve turned up on time, and when we are back-to-back all day, all of those extra minutes are crucial for our restaurants to run smoothly and deliver a great customer experience.

“The efficiencies and improvements we’ve achieved with Dojo save us around 10 hours a week across all of our locations.

Real-time data insights

The intuitive Dojo for business app and the integration with till systems at the restaurants are also achieving serious time savings. Darioush says he uses the app many times daily and that it has significantly streamlined operations. Transactions and takings are immediately visible – significantly reducing issues such as declined payments or overcharges.

With the previous system, if there was an error or a discrepancy where payments weren’t balanced at the end of a shift, it meant having to call the provider, and it was always a lengthy process to get to the root of an issue. Whereas with Dojo, we have significantly fewer problems and we know that if we do, they’ll be at the end of the phone.

Prior to Dojo, we averaged £60-£80 a week in discrepancies. We’ve cut that number by 90%.”

And the app's comprehensive data display ensures that there is no need to spend time investigating payment mismatches. Everything is readily available on the app, allowing Darioush and his team to address any potential discrepancies promptly and efficiently.

Taking the pain out of training

Prior to adopting Dojo, training new staff members was a time-consuming process. New hires had to complete their training before being allowed to handle payments and cash transactions. Even then, errors could occur – leading to the painstaking task of reconciling accounts at the end of each day.

However, with the implementation of Dojo, the group's training process has undergone a significant transformation. New staff members can quickly start using the integrated system, and the ability to match transactions with employees makes it much easier to monitor progress and nip any issues in the bud.

Dojo has been a real game-changer for us, it’s improved us and made us much more efficient from an operational perspective. They’re so open to feedback and developing new features to keep up with changing trends. I wouldn’t consider using any other payment provider.

The Dojo Go card machine

Mobile and portable payments

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