Joe Roman, Director of Information Services, Frisch’s has been with the brand for more than a decade and has seen the brand adapt to many changes, including a 2015 acquisition that took Frisch’s from publicly traded company to privately held. Since the acquisition by NRD Capital, an Atlanta-based private equity company that has stake in other restaurants including Ruby Tuesday and Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, one focus for Frisch’s is growing the brand through franchising. Today, 28 of the 123 locations are franchisees.
With the fervor for off-premise options reaching a fever pitch, the brand decided to revisit online ordering and delivery after an earlier successful pilot with NovaDine had to be put on hold in 2015 due to the acquisition. In 2018, once the dust from the sale had settled, the RFP process was revisited with some specific requirements. One key attribute Frisch’s was seeking included that a partner would be able to integrate to Frisch’s current POS system.
“We did not want to have to manage multiple vendors’ tablets on the counter while cashiers are taking orders and cashing out dine-in customers,” Roman explains.
NovaDine came to the table with just such a solution. In many ways, the partnership between NovaDine and Frisch’s picked up where they had left off, building on the previous positive relationship. Once contracts were signed, the solution went live at all 95 company stores in January 2019, taking just about three months to implement. Customers go to their delivery provider of choice – DoorDash, Postmates, UberEats or GrubHub – and those vendors transmit the order to NovaDine’s server. It is then passed down to the local Frisch’s restaurant to fulfill the order for pickup.
Frisch’s is able to manage the operational aspect of accepting and firing online orders
by setting parameters for when they are injected into the POS and sent to the kitchen. The automated nature of the system removes any friction for staff. “There is really nothing they have to do with an online order,” Roman says.
Menu management and consistency is a seamless process as updates to the website and third-parties all happen once changes are entered into the POS. “We don’t have to do anything more than enter a menu or price change into our POS system, which we would do anyway,” Roman says.
The online ordering experience is just as seamless for both diners and servers. The guest visits Frisch’s website, clicks on an image of a menu item and is automatically routed to the online ordering system. Diners can schedule pickups so that food is prepared at an appropriate time. Since Frisch’s has a drive-through as well as table service, online orders can also be routed to the drive-through lane if diners select that as their preference for pickup.
“Our online ordering has gone up literally a hundred fold,” Roman says.
Another benefit of the NovaDine system, according to Roman, is that it puts orders directly into the POS. With other third-party vendors, the rate of failure on orders getting through to the tablets sits at about 4-5%. If an order doesn’t go through, third parties will either cancel the order automatically or call the restaurant, and staff will need to manually enter an order. With NovaDine, Roman says Frisch’s is experiencing less than 1% failure rate.
“Our error factor is now almost nothing,” Roman says.