From your trusty tongs to your dynamite delivery platform – in partnership with Square, we chat to a restaurateur about what tools they need to run a smooth service every time.
If you’re new to the game, opening a restaurant and running service can be daunting. Having the right tools takes you a long way towards success, so we caught up with restaurateur Vince Pizzinga (Mark & Vinny’s, Matcha Mylkbar and MVP Byron Bay) to find out which ones he can’t live without.
Around three years ago, Pizzinga and Matcha Mylkbar co-founder Mark Filippelli decided to expand operations from Melbourne to Sydney, launching a second venue, Mark & Vinny’s, in Surry Hills. Pizzinga says one of the most important aspects he considered when opening in Sydney was a great point of sale (POS) system.
“When I was deciding what we were going to use as a point of sale system, there were a lot of big platforms out there that most restaurants were using,” he says. “They seemed super expensive, really antiquated in their set-up, and worked off archaic operating systems or didn’t have much scope for tailoring to your needs.
“When we looked at Square, we thought it was more aligned with what we’d want to use. It provides the essential building blocks to design a POS system for your restaurant, and you can tailor that really specifically for what you need. From a restaurant’s point of view, it seemed like a brilliant idea. We’ve been using Square since day one, and having a great POS system is an invaluable part of the way we operate.”
Pizzinga says investing in quality equipment and sticking to a regular maintenance schedule is also crucial.
“If the fridge stops working, that’s a nightmare; if the dishwasher stops working, that’s a nightmare. It’s about investing in reliable equipment and maintaining it as you go to make sure it’s working optimally,” he says. “We’ve also got the docket system integrated with the Square Terminal, with separate tickets for the kitchen and the bar. When these things break down in the middle of service, you realise just how valuable they are.”
Pizzinga also emphasises that you need a reliable and customisable stock platform – and online store to match – to run a tight ship.
“We stock every drink, dish, bottle of wine – everything – on Square. We create an item on the terminal and it gives us the opportunity to add photos, change the description, change the price, add the tax, all those kinds of things,” he says.
“When we went into lockdown last March, we’d never done takeaway before. Within a matter of days I was able to create an online store with Square Online and integrate it with the POS in-store,” he says. “When lockdown finished, we kept the online store running and it’s created this other revenue stream that we never had before. It’s been really invaluable in that way.”
Lastly, Pizzinga says a suitable bookkeeping platform is an invaluable tool for keeping your finances in check.
“From a business point of view, you definitely need good bookkeeping software. We use Quickbooks, which integrates with Square every night when we finish our service,” he says. “Everything we’ve sold goes straight in there so we can reconcile the accounts much more easily.”
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Square.
Photography: Leticia Almeida