2012 Masterchef Professional winner, Anton Piotrowski, is now running his successful Devon gastropub, The Treby Arms, on a specialist hospitality EPoS solution
6 months ago, talented chef Anton Piotrowski was crowned joint winner of the BBC Masterchef Professional 2012 competition. After a career in London restaurants and in his native Devon, Piotrowski had achieved a lifetime ambition to be chef-patron of his own restaurant. In May 2011, he had acquired and brought back to life an abandoned pub in the Devon village of Sparkwell, a few miles from Plymouth. Today, The Treby Arms is a favoured destination for locals and for foodies from across the globe; rustic pub meets fine dining.
For the first 18 months, the pub’s processes were carried out manually, with a cash register for POS. “All the orders and bills were done by hand,” explains assistant manager Stefan Piotrowski. “But once Anton had won Masterchef, the ‘phone rang off the hook and we were getting up to 500 emails a day!” It was at that point that Anton Piotrowski and wife Clare, maitre d’ of the business, realised they needed to invest in a contemporary EPoS solution to streamline processes.
Having spoken to industry contacts and evaluated options, the pair selected a specialist hospitality EPoS solution from Tevalis, which is used by chef-patrons such as Mark Hix. Tevalis EPoS runs on PC-based touchscreen terminals from J2 Retail Systems. Installation took place in March 2013.
“We recommended J2 680s,” says James Humble, commercial manager at Tevalis. “They’re the most powerful integrated touch terminals on the market; fast and very reliable.” In addition to the fixed-point J2 680s in the restaurant and bar, The Treby Arms have purchased handhelds, which they plan to bring into service this summer on their dining terrace.
Observes Stefan Piotrowski: “In choosing EPoS, we were looking for a modern solution to speed up processes and make us more efficient. The system had to be a user-friendly tool to make everyone’s life easier. I’ve recently come into the business from outside hospitality and within a day I was competent on it.”
That said, staff still write down orders and put them on the pass for chef. They like guests to pay at the till too. “It’s a final chance to engage with them, give them a card and make sure they come back. For us, it’s all about returning customers.”
Entering menu items and using the touchscreens is straightforward, with screens reflecting the menu - ordered by starters, mains, desserts, set menus, snacks, extras and bar drinks. Stefan speaks to chef about any daily specials and adjusts the system if needed, setting up new buttons. “The system is flexible and easy to programme.”
At this early stage, there is much more to the Tevalis solution than the business uses. “It’s a massively intelligent system and we’re only using a bit of it. Everyone is completely up to scratch with daily running but we now need to use more facilities and dedicate more time to training.”
When it comes to reporting, the management team relies on its final reports of the day, which detail all transactions by cash, cards and vouchers, and breakdown sales of beverages and sundries. Reports are automatically mailed to the business’s accountant using the Tevalis suite of Enterprise Web Reporting, which helps reduce the mass of administration of running a busy and successful restaurant.
A further result of the Masterchef success has been the necessity to expand the number of covers. A second large dining room has been created on the first floor, together with a new state-of-the-art kitchen, and has taken dining capacity from 35 to 80 covers.
“The Masterchef effect continues,” quips Stefan Piotrowski. “People come from as far afield as Australia where the programme was aired, from throughout Europe, in addition to locals and foodies from London. So we are both a popular gastropub for Devonians and a destination for connoisseurs of great food from further afield. The feel of the pub is informal but cosy and people love the chance to be cooked for by one of the profession’s top chefs.”
With its fortunes continuing on the up, The Treby Arms was recently awarded two AA rosettes. Open for lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Sunday, the pub offers set and à la carte menus, not to mention a gourmet tasting menu of 6 or 8 courses, which showcases some of the Anton Piotrowski’s winning dishes.
TEVALIS LIMITED www.tevalis.com
Tevalis specialises in the Restaurant sector within the Hospitality industry. Its product has evolved over many years of continued consultation with some of the UK’s leading restaurant establishments. A close relationship with the Mark Hix group of restaurants enabled Tevalis to produce a front-of-house platform suitable for Michelin-starred clients.
Notable features include allocating seating positions and gender positions for each food item, specialist messages for communicating cooking preferences from front of house to kitchen staff, set menu calculation, on-screen stock count display for food items and specific A5 bill printing instead of standard Thermal Receipt Printing for a more professionally presented customer account.
The Tevalis client base includes Ampersand Venues (Rum and Sugar Bar in the Museum of London Docklands, ZSL London Zoo and The Historic Royal Palaces), Roundhouse and Sadler’s Wells Theatres, Mark Hix Restaurants, Hieu Trung Bui’s Vietnamese Kitchens including Soho’s Cay Tre, the Matsuri Group of Japanese Restaurants, and Russell Norman’s Polpo Restaurants.
J2 RETAIL SYSTEMS www.j2retailsystems.com
J2 Retail Systems is a specialist manufacturer of PC-based touchscreens, LCD touchscreen monitors and point-of-sale hardware to the retail, hospitality and leisure industries. With 100,000 units+ installed worldwide, its clients include thousands of leisure operators, leading-brand retailers and hospitality businesses.
J2 products stand out for their innovation, exceptional reliability and one of the lowest costs of EPoS ownership achievable today. The company controls its own design and manufacture and constantly looks for ways to improve the cost and quality of its user experience.
J2’s history has been one of pioneering and market ‘firsts’, including the first EPoS to contain Solid State storage drives as standard. The company now offers clients the widest choice of leading-edge touchscreen technologies available. It recently brought to market the first system to proactively monitor EPoS hardware and automate fault diagnosis and resolution before a till failure occurs.