Gaucho Restaurants is a successful high end chain of Argentinian steak restaurants, primarily in London (16 restaurants), but also in Leeds, Manchester and now Beirut and Lebanon.
We first entered into discussions approx 18 months ago where we discussed their set up and day to day telephony issues. The main concern was that at each restaurant the front of house team that welcomes clients, also answers the phones and takes the bookings, which is fine, the only problem being that a member of staff could be welcoming a client and talking to them and then they suddenly have to break loose to answer a call. The other big problem was with cold callers and suppliers calling the same number, thus clogging up the lines and presenting engaged tones to potential clients.
We suggested at first introducing a dedicated number for bookings (0800/ 0845 etc.) which would allow them control and measure call volumes. Gaucho management were insistent that each restaurant had to retain it’s identity and in particular it’s phone number which many users historically had programmed in to their phones, laptops etc..
Our vision all along was to use our platform to run a centralised reservation office, handling all calls for all the restaurants. This would give Gaucho the flexibility to transfer calls ad hoc back to the restaurant or back to the central reservation office.
We proposed re-numbering all the BT lines at the restaurants with new numbers, thus releasing the traditional 0207 xxx numbers to be made virtual and ported onto our platform, thus making them behave like NGN numbers and being able to use cloud based functionality only reserved for NGN numbers.
We started with just one restaurant (Piccadilly) and installed a call logger so we could gauge some idea of incoming call volumes. From these stats, we then advised on staffing levels and designed and installed an Avaya telephone system with agent log ins into the small central reservation office at the head office.
The benefits were immediate and everyone was suitably impressed with the changes in customer service at the restaurants but also with the new statistics being received which was providing a measure of staff performance.
Once the first restaurant was converted, all the remaining restaurants were one by one converted into virtual numbers with all reservation calls handled by one office. Our Network whisper applied to the incoming calls identifies the call to the agent, so a call for Charlotte street, will be introduced to the agent in their earpiece by the whisper “Charlotte Street” and the agent answers accordingly, their next call may be for Canary Wharf, in which case they hear the whisper “canary” and so on.
If for any reason, the agents are busy an callers decide to abandon their call, Gaucho actively use the missed call alert, which send the central reservation an email with the time of the call and the callers number (if presented), the reservation centre can then call the client back and proceed with the booking.
This central reservation project has been so successful that in end of 2011, Gaucho took on a dedicated office in Regent Street, London specifically to house the Central Reservation team, which is now crucial to the business.
Financially it has been rewarding for the business as Central Reservation has an overview of all tables in all restaurants so if they can’t fit a booking into restaurant A, they will offer a table in restaurant B and not lose the client, this functionality has only been available since the introduction of Central Reservation.
The business uses the reporting tools actively and run daily reports to measure performance call volumes.
Club G is a VIP service offered by Gaucho to it’s top clients. They wanted a phone number that would bypass all standard reservation calls and be answered immediately. We set up a virtual 020 7xxx number again with a “VIP” whisper and Gaucho ensure this is targeted to a specific DDI at central reservation or to a manager’s mobile if required.
Gaucho have expanded globally with new restaurants in Beirut and Dubai. Due to the differences in timezones, management wanted to make the most out of all the working hours available to them in the different countries and the next development is for the UK to handle reservations for Beirut and Dubai and vice versa.
Call centre managers have access to our portal from any PC that has internet access (can be anywhere globally).