Success Story

How a full-service restaurant and food truck optimized their menus with sales data provided by Solink

March 29, 2022

Concerns

  • Not getting enough sales data from POS in a consumable format
  • Old camera system provided insufficient security
  • Employees unaware of company policies

Results

  • Optimize menus for improved profitability
  • Easily monitor restaurants and parking areas
  • Retrain staff and lock down POS controls

The client:
Negril, a full service restaurant and mobile food truck

Ralph Ramsey spent 20+ years in Silicon Valley before taking on the position of COO and Co-Founder of Negril Group. Negril Group operates two full service restaurants, one in Brooklyn, NY (Negril BK(™) Park Slope), and the other in Atlanta, GA (Negril ATL(™)). They also have a state-of-the-art food truck operating in Atlanta (Negril Streets(™)). Currently, Solink is used in two of the Negril locations with plans to implement the platform in the third location in Brooklyn.

Negril food truck parked with Solink camera

“Solink is currently in our two Atlanta locations and we are planning on bringing it to Brooklyn too.”

The challenge:
Collect better data to secure and optimize

Negril is an expanding operation. With multiple locations, it becomes harder to track information and monitor the security of the restaurants. Ralph sees value in data, and he wanted more than what could be found on Negril’s point of sale (POS).

Negril was looking to leverage their current security equipment with a better video analytics platform.

Negril was also hoping to improve their employee training. When the restaurant is busy, employees would sometimes not follow the proper processes to get work done efficiently.

“I want to be able to see some really specific data trends, like sales at 2 pm this Friday versus last Friday.”

Summary:

  • Negril’s POS system wasn’t providing the data and dashboards needed to really understand how sales are evolving week on week and month on month.
  • The older camera system was not providing adequate security, but the pandemic left little budget to replace the current cameras with newer ones.
  • Employees were not always following the defined protocols, especially when entering voids and discounts into the POS.

Why Solink?

Negril was in a difficult position. They needed better security but on a tight budget that wouldn’t allow replacing all of their security cameras. Solink works with almost all cameras on the market, offering better security without a huge upfront cost.

“We needed to update our surveillance infrastructure. Especially during the pandemic, money has been tight. Being able to use a mix of old and new cameras and Solink’s low startup costs were major selling points for me. Having the integration with our POS was a huge benefit, giving us correlated data. The main challenge was locating an advanced surveillance system that can leverage machine learning and advanced analytics to provide deep insights. Solink has provided this and much more.”

Ralph was also looking for advanced data to help track the revenue performance of the restaurant and mobile food truck. He comes from a tech background so he is comfortable with data, but he also doesn’t always have time to extract information himself. Here, the Customer Enablement Team at Solink has been a huge help.

“The biggest benefit outside of the surveillance and data insights is the Customer Enablement Team that works with us after Solink is installed. I view them as an extension of my team. From loss prevention to data insights, they allow us to manage our core competency of serving our guests. Whenever I have questions, it is just so easy to call Joel [Customer Success Manager at Solink] and get any help we need.”

Learn how Solink can support your business.

The solution:
Solink provides revenue insights, better surveillance, and more employee oversight

Negril was seeing increased guest engagement but not necessarily big profits. Their margins were low. Even though they were busy, the current menu was not cost-optimized. Ralph could see these numbers clearly with the help of Solink and perform some much-needed menu optimization.

“We use a POS system and just saw Solink listed as a partner on their website and it looked interesting. I come from tech and really wanted more information. It’s funny because we were looking for surveillance, but it’s all the sales data that I use the most. It’s helped on the revenue side, but also helped with employee training too. And, we’ve actually used this data for menu optimization. The Solink system helped us know that, while we are really busy, we weren’t making much on margins. So we successfully adjusted the prices with this information.

Most large cities have seen some increases in crime. Restaurants have been targeted with car break-ins in the parking lot while patrons are enjoying their meal. Having a sophisticated surveillance system such as Solink is an absolute must.

Solink gives them eyes on the restaurant and parking lot.

Ralph could also see interesting things happening inside the restaurant. Sometimes customers would wander into areas that are off limits. This information was used to improve signage.

“We were also able to see strange things like customers going into areas of the restaurant that should be off limits to them and work on that.”

Negril gets busy. The employees work hard, and they want to provide timely service. However, this can lead to shortcuts in the interest of service continuity. One place this was happening is when punching in voids. All voids should be processed by a manager and this wasn’t happening all the time.

When the employees couldn’t find a manager, they were able to go in and do it themselves. Solink provides insights into training shortcomings. This helped Negril institute a new code in their POS to make sure the voids were done correctly.

“All voids are supposed to involve a manager. Servers were just going in and doing their own voids when they couldn’t find a manager. It wasn’t malicious. They were just busy and wanted to get it done. We were able to see this thanks to Solink and enforce company policy to end this practice. Not everything is negative, but employees make mistakes and we can see the opportunities to retrain them.”

The result:
Negril has the additional data insights they need to run efficient restaurants

Ralph was looking for better security. Now that Negril is using Solink, the data analytics have been a huge boost to their company. Having actionable insights has improved employee training and boosted their profit margins.

“It isn’t all zeroes and ones on the dashboard. Solink gives you real, actionable information.”

Negril’s three favorite features

Negril originally signed up for Solink to help with their video surveillance. However, as with most Solink customers, they find themselves using the platform for a lot more than just security.

Here are three of the key features Ralph loves about the Solink platform.

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Dashboard

The dashboard shows you all of the data you need to see. The Customer Enablement Team sets it up with the specific graphs and feeds you find important. It is fully customizable to fit the needs of each customer.

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Customer Enablement Team

Solink is an easy-to-use platform that can be taught to new employees in a few minutes. However, it is packed with a lot of interesting functionality that you might not notice at first. The Customer Enablement Team is there to make sure you get the most out of Solink.

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Surveillance capabilities

Events-based reporting, motion search, and more work together with your existing video cameras and equipment to provide security. Best of all, these capabilities can be accessed anywhere from your mobile device.

Learn how Solink can support your business.