iPad POS Keeps Restaurant Rolling In Dough

A Family Tradition
Twenty-six years ago the Teng family opened a restaurant in Richardson, Texas, specializing in delicious dumplings, homemade noodles and steamed buns from Taiwan and mainland China. Three years ago, the restaurant outgrew its 3,000 square-foot building and relocated to a larger 8,300-square-foot location, with a bakery and cafÉ. The busy restaurant is open every day, 10 am to 10 pm, all year long.
For decades, things at Jeng Chi didn’t change. The owner and patriarch, Mr. Yuan Teng, stood guard at the counter with an electronic cash register (ECR) and an abacus by its side. Wait staff hand-wrote orders in duplicate on small order forms, tore them apart and delivered them to each chef. The customers then got the top copy, which they took to the counter to Mr. Teng and his abacus.
“For decades, he ran that cash register, and sometimes used an abacus,” said Janelle Teng, daughter-in-law and restaurant manager. “I playfully refer to it as a doughnut register, like the old ones you see in doughnut shops. People loved paying him that way.” But it wasn’t working for the business.
Trying On New Tech
When Jeng Chi moved to their new building, they purchased a point-of-sale system—a big step up from the company’s old ECR and abacus. Although the new POS system had mobile functionality, it was unable to grow with the business. “We needed to expedite orders and digitally send them from the dining room to the kitchen. We needed ordering at the table, and the real kicker for us was flexibility of payments,” commented Janelle.  
After two years, Jeng Chi migrated to Lavu iPad POS with Epson thermal receipt printers and OmniLink intelligent printers. The new mPOS system provided multi-lingual functionality and features that better supported restaurant operations. The OmniLink enabled web-based printing from iPads, and also powered slaved kitchen printers. The Epson printers print in both English and Mandarin, which minimizes errors and speeds orders through the kitchen. “Even though most of our diners are multilingual, we like to give them an authentic experience, so receipts print in both Mandarin and English,” Janelle said.  
“We get a lot of big parties that want to split checks a hundred different ways. With the Lavu system and Epson printers, I can split checks and print a dozen separate receipts without batting an eye,” Janelle explained. “When you’ve got a party of twelve and they want to split their check a dozen ways, you’d better have a flexible system. With Lavu and Epson, the sky’s the limit. You want the dumplings split ten ways, and everyone to pay for individual dishes? I got it.”
The wait staff uses iPads and PayPal/EMV chip readers to serve customers at the table. Before the server leaves the table, the order is sent wirelessly to an Epson kitchen printer at one of five different stations,  depending on which chef is preparing the dish. “I have three cooks, two steamers, a bunch of cutters and four chefs, so it can be hectic. Printing kitchen orders in Mandarin and English is huge for us,” Janelle said.
When it’s time to pay, the Lavu system is programmed to suggest 15, 18 or 20 percent gratuity. “Our guests have the option to tip whatever they want. My American customers tend to use the buttons. They don’t want to do the math in their heads, but my Chinese guests tend to be a lot more conscientious, and will enter a manual amount,” Janelle said.  She admits Jeng Chi runs a unique business, and must remain culturally sensitive to core Chinese patrons while continuing to appeal to new customers.   
Data Drives Dollars    
The Lavu system generates reports that allow Jeng Chi to see which foods are performing better than others. The reports also provide specifics such as who made the sale and when, how much of each food is being sold, etc. With this information, managers can execute incentive programs for staff. For example, to increase sales of desserts, they offered an incentive that increased staff percentage of sales and incented servers who sold the most desserts in 31 days. “One young man sold 112 desserts last month and after I gave them the challenge, the same server sold 146 desserts in the first seven days,” Janelle noted.
The Lavu iPad POS solution with Epson printers has brought a new level of performance to Jeng Chi, both on the floor and in the kitchen. As Jeng Chi continues to serve its most popular dishes to regular customers, it’s also attracting new patrons. Using advanced technologies to serve up delicious Taiwanese dishes is a winning combination. It’s no wonder Jeng Chi is rolling in dough.  
Interested in this solution? Call 512-868-2498 or email to find out more. Or stop by to see Epson America at MURTEC, Booth #75.
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