Ameer El-Issa is one-half of the brains behind The Bearded Bakers. Worlds away from the heat of hospitality, Ameer holds a background in architecture and, with his brother, combined his passion for food and design to create the much-loved group of venues that now includes Knafeh Bakery, Bar Biscotti and Zeitoun Bakery.
While growing a successful multi-site hospitality venue group remains a celebrated achievement, The Bearded Bakers were also faced with the challenge of nurturing and protecting the personality that has, for years, attracted punters to their businesses in droves.
As the business grew across various locations and in various iterations, Ameer was committed to designing a dining experience that was delightfully seamless and true to the essence of The Bearded Bakers – from walk-in, to dining, all the way to checkout.
The hurdle? A payments system that was stuck in its ways.
Like many businesses, The Bearded Bakers were weighed down by a legacy payments system that was inflexible and painfully manual, creating siloes across its various businesses and inefficiencies that took away from its ability to deliver a superior customer experience, every time.
“The way we were running our payments systems before Till was old school. We had different reconciliation processes for each venue and fixed terminals that made the checkout process stilted and feel like a process to our diners”
The business presented a clear brief. To make the leap and transform its payments infrastructure, it was seeking a solution that would provide a single view of its multi-site business, unified reconciliation and reporting capabilities and the flexibility to move.
Making payments a treat
“We worked with Till to design a bespoke payments solution that addressed every one of our business needs and, more importantly, gave us the opportunity to improve the end-to-end experience of coming into one of our venues”
The business implemented a tailor-fit version of Till’s Merchant Portal and rolled out mobile POS terminals across all three venues to successfully modernise its payments experience. The transformation was warmly welcomed by staff, patrons and the broader business.
Staff experienced massive efficiencies and time savings from a streamlined and automated reconciliation process. Business finances were less prone to human errors and intelligent analytics enabled accurate forecasting and planning. Most importantly, diners were delighted, with the warm personalities of waitstaff taking payments seamlessly from the comfort of their tables.
“It seems like a small consideration – enabling our diners to pay at their table without having to queue up at the counter at the end of their meals to settle their bills but it’s truly made a huge difference. Being able to provide memorable experiences for each person that steps foot at any one of our venues is our driving force and that final interaction – the payment stage – is a chance for us to connect with our diners, ask them how their night was and leave a lasting impression”
Partner in scale
As the business expands and looks to creating more dining experiences for its loyal fanbase, Ameer says payments is now an important consideration in the design stage.
“We’re an experience driven company and if we can continue to innovate in that sense, with Till as our trusted payments partner then we’ve got nothing holding us back. It’s a pretty cool combination”
Keen to see how transforming your payments experience could enhance your customers’ experience. Reach out to one of our friendly Till Force today to find out what we can do to help.