How Haven Found Success with Squirrel POS
Welcome to our new Q&A Spotlight series, where we dive into real-world stories of full-service restaurants finding success with Squirrel POS. We were excited to have Hayley Ruscheinski, the owner-operator of Haven Kitchen + Bar, join us to share her experience with Squirrel POS and how it transformed her restaurant’s operations.
Location: Langley, BC, Canada (30min east of Vancouver, BC)
# of seats: 180 seats, 40 tables spread across a mezzanine, lounge/bar and a fully covered patio.
Annual Sales: ~$5M per year
How would you describe your restaurant to someone who’s never been there?
Haven is a little piece of Downtown Vancouver that we brought to Langley amongst all the chains. We are a family-owned restaurant offering casual comfort food with an adventurous approach. Our chef, Spencer Watts, developed our menu, and we’re well-known for dishes like our Tofu Peanut Bao Buns.
Can you describe your Squirrel POS setup, including the number of terminals and tablets you use?
Certainly! We use three terminals—one in the mezzanine, one in the lounge, and one in the bar. In addition, we’ve got eight tablets that our servers use regularly for table-side service, especially on our covered patio.
What other restaurant technology are you using with Squirrel POS?
We’ve got QSR Kitchen Automation in the kitchen and Push for scheduling and HR management. OpenTable handles our reservations, and we use Optimum Control for inventory. Squirrel integrates with everything and makes reporting easy and efficient for our team.
Do you have any online ordering, gift card or loyalty programs?
While we offer gift cards through Moneris, we’ve decided to step back from online ordering. After initially using DoorDash for takeout, we realized we wanted to focus more on providing our guests with an outstanding in-house dining experience.
Can you describe life before you implemented Squirrel POS? Were there specific challenges you faced?
From a reporting standpoint, our previous POS system caused a lot of headaches. Cash-out numbers from the system’s backend did not match the server’s cash-outs. We spent hours with their customer service team, getting moved to different levels without resolution. It was becoming an absolute accounting nightmare.
In terms of service on the floor, tablets were frequently losing connectivity, and terminals would go offline. Servers would send orders, but they would never make it to the kitchen, and items never got made.
How has Squirrel POS made a difference in your restaurant’s operations?
After we put in Squirrel, the discrepancies between cash-outs and backend reporting disappeared. Pulling general sales reports and getting them emailed daily improved daily operations. Connectivity and reliability for table-side ordering have improved, and our servers find the system much more efficient.
In what ways has Squirrel POS impacted the guest experience at Haven?
Yes, it has definitely impacted the guest experience. It’s been great to have a POS in the hands of the servers. They can provide instant information to guests about menu items and answer common questions such as beers we have on tap.
What do your staff, particularly the servers, appreciate most about Squirrel POS?
Our staff loves the user-friendly, colour-coded layout that makes it easy to get around and find items. They also love the integrated payments through Eigen – all their debit slips match their cashouts, and they are no longer looking for slips and making check adjustments at the end of their shift.
We also love the ability to set up discounts by hours and days and run special promotions. Squirrel’s check-splitting feature is one of the best I’ve ever worked with. Not many systems I’ve come across have this or do it as well as Squirrel.
How long does it take to train new staff members on Squirrel POS?
Training new staff on Squirrel POS typically takes 5-6 hours, spread over two or three shifts. We’ve developed custom training and run servers through different scenarios and speed tests.
From an owner-operator perspective, how has Squirrel POS impacted your day-to-day operations?
Moving from our previous provider to Squirrel POS has made a world of difference. We now have a system we can trust that streamlines our operations, ensuring we have access to the data we need when needed. I’m spending less time on the admin side trying to resolve issues in reporting and accounting.
Would you recommend Squirrel POS to fellow restaurant owners, and if so, what would you tell them?
Yes, definitely! Squirrel stands the test of time; it’s been around for a long time, and your team understands the restaurant industry. It’s the most reliable POS with a great support team.