19 Okanagan Grill+ Bar: How Squirrel is Powering One of Canada’s Top 100 Patios to New Heights of Service

May 22, 2024 | Customer Spotlight

Welcome to our Q&A Spotlight series, where we explore real-world stories of full-service restaurants finding success with Squirrel POS. We are excited to have Neil, owner/operator of 19 Okanagan Grill + Bar, one of Canada’s Top 100 Patios (OpenTable), and 19 Bistro @ Fitz, share his experience and how Squirrel has helped transform his restaurant’s operations since 2005.

Location: Kelowna, BC, Canada
# of Seats: 60 tables and 225 seats


19 Okanagan Grill + Bar, one of Canada’s Top 100 Patios, is a large and beautiful restaurant located at the Two Eagles Golf Course in Okanagan Valley, BC. It has amazing views of the 18th hole and Okanagan Lake. This upscale-casual restaurant is famous for its wide selection of wines and fresh Canadian cuisine, with each dish carefully prepared using local ingredients. With over a thousand positive Google reviews, it’s no surprise that 19 Okanagan Grill + Bar is a favorite among patrons. Squirrel has been their trusted POS system since 2007. They plan to open their sister operation, 19 Bistro @ Fitz, in May 2024, with a concept that emphasizes elegant, refined simplicity. Guests will enjoy a sweeping 180-degree view of the lake, vineyards, and Okanagan Mountain. Like 19 Okanagan Grill + Bar, diners can enjoy their meals while taking in breathtaking scenery from about 200m above the lake.

Could you describe your restaurant and POS setup?

19 Okanagan Grill + Bar operates six revenue centers, including a large patio, dining area, summer house for events, concession, beverage cart, and bar. With 60 tables and 225 seats, our restaurant offers a spacious dining experience for all guests.

Currently, we have five Squirrel POS workstations and two iPads equipped with QSR Kitchen Automation and OpenTable for reservations.

On your busiest nights, how many staff members are typically on duty?

During peak hours, we have 10 servers, 4 bartenders, 4 hosts, and 4 food runners serving events for up to 160 people, or table sizes between 4-6 guests.


Are you using Table Side Ordering?

Yes, we are using iPads for table-side ordering. Depending on the event setup and the servers’ preferences, they can use them to quickly take drink orders. They really like the ‘Send and Stay’ feature because they can send orders directly to the bar immediately, and by the time they are done finishing the rest of the order, the drinks are on their way. We’ve also got POS terminals spread out in different sections. Some servers still prefer to simply use pen and paper to enter orders when they return to their terminal.

What was your first experience working with Squirrel?

I have prior experience with Squirrel from my time working with Earl’s Restaurant Groups and Joey. When I moved to the golf course, I was not happy with the previous POS system, which solely relied on iPads and struggled to manage our large operation effectively. So, in 2007, we switched to Squirrel. We found it more user-friendly, intuitive, reliable and the support is much better than what we’ve experienced before.

What kind of impact has POS had on your operation and service?

Our Squirrel POS speeds up service and is more intuitive so that servers have more time to attend to guest needs and less time dealing with tech issues.

We have also added kitchen automation to our POS, and we like how it eliminates the need for paper, streamlines food preparation, and coordinates timing to ensure everything is ready at just the right time. We no longer worry about running out of ink or paper. Food prep time has decreased, and service speed has increased by 5 to 7 minutes per table, allowing servers to attend to more tables.

Would you recommend Squirrel POS to other restaurants or colleagues, and if so, how would you explain its benefits to them?

Yes, I highly recommend Squirrel POS to other restaurants or colleagues, especially for full-service restaurants. If your current system relies solely on iPads, I believe it would be a wise investment to make the switch to Squirrel.


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