7 mins read

GUTY Case Study – a powerful transformation in harsh times. Digitization of restaurant chain.

From the implementation of the omnichannel ordering system, through order handling along with the workflow process in the kitchen, to marketing and loyalty support.

OrderingStack GUTY case study

GUTY Foods is a fast food restaurant chain, established in the Czech Republic in 1998. Currently there are 28 restaurants across all Czech Republic as well as in nearby countries of Poland and Slovakia.

The company offers Asian food with a strong focus on vietnamese noodle soups, yet with a special twist of the national Czech cuisine and multiple inspirations from all Asia. Customers value the company for delivering a tasty food for a decent price with interesting taste twists.

Guty was operating in shopping malls in a model seen in many fast food chains, competing for customers in food courts and delivering lunch food to nearby houses and offices. Orders were collected by phone and manually transferred to the kitchen – the model has been low-cost and while it was becoming antiquated, it was still performing.

“The need for digitisation has been discussed for a long time. The first big step was the establishment of our own IT department, which kick-started the digitisation process. Gradually, the company built up a basic IT infrastructure, which was reflected in all parts of the company. This was absolutely crucial to be able to embark on much more challenging projects, such as this latest one in collaboration with 3e Software House. GUTY is a well-known and well-established brand. In order to bring a better service to our existing customers while reaching new ones who have already grown up on digital technology, this transformation was absolutely essential.”

The COVID-19 pandemic was a game changer.

The pandemic situation in Czech Republic

Covid has caused huge losses to the HoReCa industry.

The worldwide counter-pandemic measures had been adopted in March 2020 and Czech Republic was no exception. The University of Ostrava noted that the movement restrictions have been put in 24th March 2020.

The country has introduced a State of Emergency that resulted in deleting all public events and closing restaurants, bars and stores with exception for pharmacies, groceries and similar basic services. The restaurantes were allowed either to serve the take-away meals through the window or deliver the food to their clients.

The first wave of the pandemic was overwhelming. Sales dropped to zero overnight. Restaurants were forced to close and no one really knew what the future held. Online sales were the only way out for the entire restaurant industry. So all our efforts were focused on a project that greatly expanded the market in which the GUTY brand operates.

The state of emergency has heavily affected the czech economy, delivering an especially heavy blow to the hospitality sector. The IMF data indicate that the whole economy has shrunk significantly reaching 5.6% decline in 2020.

This harsh environment delivered a final motivation to transform the way the company operates.

The initial state

The company was operating in a partly-digitized model, with a strong IT skills in-house and an effective POS system already established. Yet the company lacked an enclosed system that queued the orders in the kitchen. The communication was purely offline, done by exchanging ordering cards.

Read more about the levels of digitalization in our blog post with the complete guide to online ordering!

Also, the company had no digital channel available, so the orders had to be processed via telephone. The channel was planned due to the customers’ shift toward online channels from calling-in. Yet the pandemic was a strong catalyst to do that.

Times are evolving and so is technology, which is spreading to all age groups at a tremendous speed. The gradual extension of our offer to the group of people who prefer to order online, either directly at restaurants or with home delivery, was a logical evolution of our company.

The first step toward delivering the system that responds to these requirements was to launch an audit and build together a clear vision of the system to deliver. After a workshop with GUTY executives and Ordering Stack experts, the set of requirements was delivered.

The most difficult thing about the whole implementation was the time in which it took place. Due to the pandemic, the transformation had to be accelerated, which placed greater demands on every staff member involved in the project. However, we all knew that this was the right way and the result shows. Of course, many new procedures had to be developed, staff had to be trained, and cars and drivers had to be provided for delivery. But GUTY has been on the market for a long time, with well-established procedures and clearly defined responsibilities for each employee so we made it work.

The whole implementation took a month, counting from the beginning of the work to the end of the testing phase.

The solution

Ordering Stack for GUTY – restaurants map.

After the consultation sessions, the company decided to use Ordering Stack further and enrich the existing processes with new digital tools offered by the Ordering Stack suite. This included:

A POS integration

The company was already using a tech-advanced POS system. Replacing it for the sole purpose of implementing the new tech would be both wasting time and resources. Thus, the new system had to incorporate the Agnis POS as a fitting component. And it was so.

From my perspective, integration with AGNIS (POS system used in GUTY restaurants) was a little challenging, however due to great cooperation with the GUTY team, it went quite well and final results are good. We achieve full integration for any type of the order, delivery, take away, but also dine-in in the restaurant. All orders go through Ordering Stack and are shown on KDS and customer status screens in each restaurant.

The integration enabled the user to import the product list directly from the POS system to the Ordering Stack environment, so there was no need to enter the menu twice. The integration was working two-ways and enabled the POS system to seamlessly collect the orders from the digital channel.

Kitchen Display System (KDS)

Kitchen Display System from Ordering Stack
Ordering Stack for GUTY – order view on Kitchen Display System (KDS).

A new element of the GUTY workflow was a full-scale KDS system, fully integrated with POS and the internet ordering. The KSD system functions as a communication hub between the POS, the kitchen and the serving room. The system is not simply delivering the information about meals to do and already prepared ones. It also queues the order to maximize the efficiency of the process and manage the usage of kitchen devices.

The communication process is made convenient by using large display screens both in the serving room and the kitchen, where the staff can see the flow of orders and customers get clear and reliable information about an estimated time of waiting and the status of their order.

Ordering Stack for GUTY – order status screen.

With the threeway integration between the ordering system, the POS system and the KDS, all orders are processed in an enclosed environment.

Digital payments

Ordering Stack system was also integrated with a GP webpay system used widely in the Czech Republic. The system enables the customer to securely pay online using a credit card  and Google Pay among others.

With that, the users were provided with an easy payment system that could be used in all channels powered by Ordering Stack, be that an indoor display system, web app or mobile app.

Delivery management

While collecting and queuing the orders is a great deal of improvement when it comes to GUTY processes, managing the orders is only the first step toward optimizing the restaurant operations.

Delivery management was the next key aspect that was augmented by the Ordering Stack system. The delivery management was done by integrating the ordering system with Placematic platform. The platform provides the company with a way to manage the ordering areas by the closest or the most convenient restaurant. For the customer, the system provided an autocompletion system compatible with addresses in the Czech Republic. Thus, both parties have witnessed a significant increase in the user experience and the overall convenience of the whole system.

Menu configuration

Another headache for a restaurant owner is to configure the menu in the convenient and time-efficient way. While the manual input is a simple method, it gets wearing and mistake-prone when done multiple times in many localizations.

For a fast food restaurant, menu is a great way to upsell before the actual sale occurs by offering a preconfigured set or an ability to order a bigger product for a lower price. Ordering Stack system has delivered a greater flexibility and convenience in building and ordering preconfigured sets of goods. While the Agnis POS don’t support this type of ordering by default, the integration with Ordering Stack made this possible.

By that, all systems used in the restaurant – POS, ordering system and KDS, easy process the ordering of either single, simple products like a dish, a soup or a drink, or sets like a soup with a drink or a dish with a salad.

Ordering Stack provides the client with not only a convenient, but also a highly appealing and aesthetic menu displayed on screens in the restaurant. Thus, the experience of the end customer has also improved.

Customer-facing application

Ordering Stack for GUTY – ordering panel.

The changes were not only boosting the convenience and effectiveness of the restaurant, but also provided customers with new options to order and interact with the company. While it is possible to use Ordering Stack out-of-box, GUTY team found it more appealing to have full access to the app and be able to configure or slightly modify the front-end on-the-go.

Ordering Stack for GUTY – Choice of dishes on the menu.

Ordering Stack is an app that works in a headless mode – it is built of multiple independent components joined by API, so the client can either use only several modules, the full product or join it with some other tools. It is also possible for the client to modify existing codes to build a better-fitting app that will better serve its business purposes. And that was the way-of-choice for GUTY.

You can check the ordering system on https://gutydelivery.com/

The implementation

As the pandemic period was hectic, we needed to move into the implementation phase as soon as possible. Therefore, many ideas and functionalities were created on the fly. Fortunately, the Ordering Stack team is very patient and professional, so everything went smoothly into a successful production run. However, the collaboration will be long term and we have a lot of great new features in the pipeline.

Due to the technical experience and proficiency of GUTY team, the Ordering Stack specialists could experiment with the technology to bring the best results possible.

  • Testng – GUTY team has delivered a testing environment for the Ordering Stack specialists to explore the possible ways to integrate the POS system with other components.
  • Source codes – GUTY IT team wished to modify some elements of the Ordering Stack systems, especially the display and the front-end aesthetics. That’s why they were provided the source codes to work on.

I was pleasantly surprised how well GUTY customized customer facing applications (ordering application, customer status screen and KDS) to their needs. We usually provide source codes of all Ordering Stack frontend applications which are implemented in React.js. It is really greate how the GUTY team could leverage it and achieve their goals. I also would like to mention how we solved GUTY requirements on internal reporting. Ordering Stack has a mechanism to incrementally load processed orders data into customer’s hosted warehouse. Thanks to that GUTY could use their standard business intelligence tooling.

The effect

The Ordering Stack system was deployed in all 22 restaurants in Czech Republic and Slovakia by 6th of April.

Our assumptions were confirmed – our customers were very hungry for new technologies and were waiting for GUTY to enter the online ordering business. What matters a lot to us is how many brand new customers we have gained thanks to Ordering Stack who only discovered the GUTY brand thanks to the PWA app GUTY Delivery, which is now available for download. We have chosen Ordering Stack for several reasons. First of all, they offered a Multichannel ordering system. Our goal from the beginning has been to cover multiple needs with one product. Ordering Stack fulfilled this to a tee. It not only provided us with new ordering options for our customers, but also a KDS system for our kitchens and a flawless connection to our current POS system. Hand-in-hand, we achieved improvements not only in the online world, but also in the offline world, thanks to KDS, which provided easier and faster order processing in our restaurants. An equally important aspect is the technology that Ordering Stack uses – PWA. It turns out that PWA applications are the future. We don’t have to manage and develop a bunch of source code for different devices. We just need one PWA app that will work flawlessly on mobile phones on traditional computers or as an app that you can install.

Lessons learned

  • It is always good to have a testing environment to work with when implementing the system. Every test possible reduces the hassle and the possible mistakes during the implementation on production. While testing is a standard procedure for every large scale software project, GUTY’s team provided us with an extensive ability to test the software with a real-life data and cases, so the system was super-polished before the launch.
  • GUTY was a clear example that a headless system is a better fit for an already established and working organization. The ability to tailor the solution using an API made the connection with a POS system and the payment gate easier and less time-consuming than a total digital revolution

I really liked working with the GUTY team. I value their professionalism and focus on goals, not to mention very high IT skills. It was a pure pleasure to work with GUTY team – they are great people with an outstanding team and an impressive ability to reforge business threat into the opportunity.

We have had nothing but good experiences with Ordering Stack and we are happy to be working with them. At GUTY, we believe in long-term collaborations, collaborations that move both companies forward. We are sure that 3e is the perfect choice for such cooperation. GUTY is a multinational and multicultural company. We therefore know that communication is absolutely essential in cooperation. Excellent communication, accompanied by a high level of professionalism, is something we would like to emphasize and is certainly not commonplace in such companies.

The success of the implementation encouraged both parties to work further on improving the experience and delivering new features based on client’s and end customers’ feedback.