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Lucille's Smokehouse Keeps its Wait Times Down with Front-of-House and Online Table Management Solutions

Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que is implementing a comprehensive table management solution from QSR Automations. Using QSR's ConnectSmart Hospitality Automation Solution, all thirteen of Lucille's locations are now relying on the ConnectSmart Hostess seating and wait list management and ConnectSmart Reservations in-store solutions. Lucille's is also planning to add QSR's ConnectSmart WebAhead and ConnectSmart WebReserve online solutions to provide guests with the added convenience of joining the wait list or making a future reservation via the internet.

"After our experiences using QSR's kitchen automation solution for the past two years, which has dramatically helped our operations, we are thrilled at gaining the same flexibility and benefits from QSR's table management solutions," says Paul Williamson, vice president of operations for Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que. "The sheer size of our restaurants and our menu, along with our significant store volumes, make our operations extremely complex. To keep our guests delighted, we knew we needed to gain better control at the front-of-house like we have within our kitchens."

Maximizing seating efficiency
Gaining such benefits as improved ticket times by two to four minutes per check from QSR's ConnectSmart Kitchen (CSK) graphical software, Lucille's decided to add QSR's ConnectSmart Hostess to maximize seating efficiency and provide accurate wait time quotes. Offering an extensive lunch and dinner menu of over a hundred items, including slow smoked, down home bar-b-que, the Lucille's restaurants typically go on a wait during most lunches and every night within their 10,000 square foot restaurants. Additionally, the entire menu is available family style, which ensures regular visits from many large groups. With ConnectSmart Hostess, the restaurant managers now have tools to determine if they are over quoting wait times, which can turn guests away. The system also helps drive seating efficiency, with suggested seating capabilities and an intuitive graphical interface that shows the real-time status of every party.
To better service and compete for guests, Lucille's added in-store reservations capabilities with ConnectSmart Reservations, which eliminates overbooking and ensures more reservations can be processed more accurately with less training. Prior to adding the system, Lucille's could only support taking reservations for large parties, which was done manually and only by the restaurant managers. ConnectSmart Reservations is also fully integrated with ConnectSmart Hostess, so that guest reservations automatically move into the seating system and all guest information can be easily captured, viewed, and searched from a central database. This not only adds speed, but also empowers the entire restaurant team with critical guest data at all times in order to provide the most personalized guest service.

Online solutions
Already offering guests a number of ordering choices — including dine-in, takeout, catering, and online ordering options — Lucille's will be providing even more choices for its guests by adding online wait list and online reservations capabilities. Also fully integrated with the ConnectSmart applications and offered at an economical monthly fixed price per restaurant, the addition of WebAhead and WebReserve will ensure Lucille's can successfully manage all guests at the front-of-house — whether the guest walks in to the restaurant, calls ahead for that night or a future date, or puts themselves on the wait list or reservations book via the internet.

"With QSR's pricing model, we can make use of online reservations at a cost-effective, fixed subscription fee — making the value large without a bill that grows along with our increasing guest counts," adds Williamson. "With QSR's comprehensive in-store and online table management solutions, we have even more touch points to reach and care for our guests. And combined with our kitchen automation solution, we have the critical capability to capture, track, and manage the entire guest experience."

Another concept owned by Lucille's, Hof's Hut is a high quality, upscale diner that has become a cultural icon in Southern California over the past fifty years. Looking to expand the successes experienced at Lucille's, the company will be implementing QSR's CSK along with QSR's highly reliable kitchen hardware in all six Hof's Hut restaurants during 2010.
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