Welcome to our Q&A Spotlight series, where we dive into real-world stories of restaurants finding success with Squirrel POS. We were excited to have Kate Billington, the co-owner of The BakeHouse in Dundarave, join us to share her experience with Squirrel Cloud POS and how it has helped her do more with the same team of staff.
Location: West Vancouver, BC
Service: Café and Bakery
Located in Dundarave Village, in West Vancouver, BC, The BakeHouse is a bustling bakery and café known for its freshly baked goods for dine-in or takeout. In a neighborhood where many businesses closed down after the pandemic or struggled with staffing and rising costs, The BakeHouse stands out as a success story. Despite the challenges, the business has grown rapidly, now handling over 300+ orders daily with roughly the same staffing level. Squirrel POS has become their trusted partner in this journey to becoming a more efficient operation.
Kate Billington, co-owner of The Bakehouse, shares, “Using Squirrel is definitely faster and easier. We no longer have to walk orders back to the kitchen like we used to, and the accuracy of orders has improved, with fewer mistakes coming out of the kitchen than we used to have.”
How long have you been using Squirrel POS, and what are your initial thoughts on it?
We’ve been using Squirrel Cloud POS since 2021. This transition has significantly improved our operations, especially with the assistance of Chris, our Squirrel POS expert.
Challenges: Can you describe life before you implemented Squirrel POS? Were there specific challenges you faced?
The previous POS system fell far short of our expectations, resulting in numerous challenges. We were particularly frustrated by the lack of support and the system’s complexity. The system’s inability to accurately handle penny rounding, a common practice, led to problems when providing change to customers. It also caused discrepancies in the numbers on reports, making it difficult to close transactions and manage checkouts effectively.
We also needed a faster and more efficient order processing system and better communication with the kitchen. We used to use thermal printers, meaning everything had to be printed in black. This posed a challenge because we had to handle tickets with care since excessive heat could cause the entire ticket to turn black, making it impossible to read the orders and affecting kitchen communication.
Transition to Squirrel: How has Squirrel POS made a difference in your restaurant’s operations?
Everything is just faster and easier – orders get sent directly from the POS to kitchen printers in the back. We no longer walk orders back to the kitchen like we used to. With 300 daily tickets, we’re saving each of our staff up to one minute per trip, which adds up to a total saving of 300 minutes each day. Additionally, order accuracy has improved, with fewer mistakes coming out of the kitchen than we used to have.
What do your staff appreciate most about Squirrel POS?
Squirrel’s ability to handle penny rounding was a major advantage for the team. It makes sure customers receive the correct change without errors. And discrepancies in the numbers on reports have disappeared, making it easy to close transactions and manage checkouts effectively.
The countdown system is one of our favorites, helping our staff monitor items that are running low and those that are not.
We can also track sales a lot better, and that helps us plan for bigger holidays. We had far less waste than in the past because we can now see which are heavier sales days and which pies were more popular overall.
Overall Experience: Positive Operational Impact
Kate’s experience with the Squirrel Cloud POS system showcases the positive impact of an efficient and supportive point-of-sale system for her business operations. By switching to Squirrel, Kate’s bakery saw improved efficiency, better order accuracy, and a significant reduction in operational challenges, such as reducing waste and doing more with same level of staffing. She appreciated the robust support from the Squirrel team during the transition and found the support invaluable. Kate’s experience with Squirrel highlighted the importance of choosing the right POS system and partner for a business, especially in an industry as competitive and dynamic as food service.