Using Toast's POS Helps Smallman Galley's Line Cooks Make $16/Hour

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Using Toast's POS Helps Smallman Galley's Line Cooks Make $16/Hour

By Tyler Benson and Ben Mantica, Smallman Galley co-founders - 12/07/2016
Smallman Galley is a restaurant incubator cooking up some of the hottest concepts in Pittsburgh's Strip District. The gourmet food hall selects the nation’s most talented emerging chefs to open their own place and learn how to run a business.
 
Smallman Galley co-founders Tyler Benson and Ben Mantica set out to bring high-quality food to this vibrant neighborhood and offer new opportunities to aspiring entrepreneurs. They also set out to find technology that could give their tenants visibility into their businesses and be versatile enough to work with different restaurant types.
 
Data-Driven Restaurant Startups
With four different restaurants, a coffee shop and a bar under one roof, the Smallman Galley founders knew that reporting on sales and labor could pose a challenge.
 
“We essentially have six different revenue centers,” Benson says, “We needed reports from our POS system that were easy to read. Toast reporting is crisp, clean and easy to interpret. And we can access the data from anywhere, immediately. It helps our chefs a lot, too.”
 
Smallman Galley equips tenants with business skills, helping them accelerate their brand by analyzing and understanding their restaurant data.
 
“Every week, we go through the numbers for each concept with the chefs,” Benson says. “Specifically, we use Toast reports to look at sales by day of the week and time of day. We’ll start to notice trends and patterns and can adjust the menu, prep, and staffing accordingly. It’s all data-driven, which is especially important for startup businesses.”
 
An Unobtrusive POS System  
Toast’s cloud-based system not only gives the Smallman team real-time visibility into reports but also enables them to be more efficient with space and interior aesthetic.
 
"Because of the way our space is laid out, a POS system that required a physical server was not an option,” Benson says. “Technology can really dictate the design of a restaurant. It needs to be efficient without having a negative impact on design.”
 
“The Toast hardware is relatively compact compared to other systems we evaluated,” Mantica adds. “Aesthetically, the customer is much less distracted by the minimalistic tablet on the counter and it doesn’t interfere with the chef’s concept.” 
 
Mantica and Benson also found the Toast interface to be unobtrusive and easy for the staff to learn.
 
“The Toast software is really intuitive,” Benson says. “No one had a problem picking it up. A few great people from the Toast team came out to train our chefs and then they taught the staff.” 
 
Higher Wages for Hardworking Line Cooks
Mantica and Benson were especially attracted to Toast’s Android tablets, which flip around for customers to select a tip and sign their name. They found that the customer-facing interface has had a huge impact on tip percentages and staff wages.
 
“The customer’s ability to tip at the point-of-sale has been great for the staff,” Mantica says. “Without the tip suggestions on the Toast flip screen, I doubt anyone would remember to tip. It’s increased wages for the people in the kitchen — the line cooks are making up to $16/hour! We’re proud to have some of the highest paid entry-level line cooks in the city.”
 
A well paid kitchen staff is great news for the aspiring chef-owners, who are set up for success with low turnover and happy co-workers.  
 
*Photos courtesy of Smallman Galley