How Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe upgraded their out of date technology and scaled to a 100 location chain using Fresh KDS.
Taziki's Mediterranean Café is a fast casual chain of franchised restaurants based in Birmingham, Alabama that purveys Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. Founders Keith and Amy Richards, while on a trip to Greece, were inspired by the food, culture and welcoming hospitality. Greece was so welcoming and reminded Keith and Amy of their southern hospitality roots.
In hopes to share the Mediterranean experience with more people in the US, they opened the first Taziki’s location in 1998. In 2022 Taziki’s celebrated their 100th location serving guests across 17 states.
Taziki's began as most early restaurants did—with paper tickets organizing and labeling each incoming order. As Taziki's continued to grow, however, paper tickets quickly showed itself to be a problem. Orders would frequently go missing in the transit from the cashier to the kitchen; tickets were handwritten, which allowed for mistakes in order preparation; and orders were prepared first come first serve, which increased customer wait times.
As orders for Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe began to flood in through third-party delivery systems, large catering orders, dine-in service and take-out orders, communication between the kitchen staff and management broke down as the staff scrambled to organize piles of paper tickets.
The expense of paper tickets soon became apparent to Taziki’s. Order preparation took longer than desired, and orders frequently came out incorrect. The frustrated guests were beginning to demand refunds for their incorrectly prepared orders, which cost Taziki’s time and money.
Taziki's was feeling the pain of its outdated ordering solution. In order to improve its operational efficiency, Taziki's needed to find a solution that would maintain clear communication between the front and back of house. Paper tickets were no longer sufficient for this purpose—they had become too cumbersome.
Taziki's decided they needed better technology in the middle that could receive and load-balance orders for its line cooks, chefs, and crew. A kitchen display system was the solution they knew they needed.
"One of the key things for a growing restaurant is technology. Fresh KDS came along and helped empower our business to structure what it does and prepared it to scale."
Taziki’s tried a number of kitchen display systems from different companies but were never completely satisfied. The systems were often static and not being updated to manage new problems their kitchen was facing.
Taziki’s was relieved to find Fresh KDS’s main focus was kitchen optimization. With regular updates and new features, Fresh KDS continued to better optimize its system to meet new emerging needs.
“Fresh KDS is not only meeting the core function of ticket routing but also continues to evolve, innovate and impress us with features that solve problems we didn’t even know we had.”
After Taziki’s set up Fresh KDS at their workstations, it was time to train the staff. Rather than having to waste time teaching staff to use an unwieldy technology, Taziki's was able to train its staff to use Fresh KDS quickly, enabling them to train on food preparation.
"When I think about the learning curve with Fresh KDS, the great news is it's intuitive, turnkey, and shovel-ready,"
Fresh KDS makes it easy to train both old and new employees in the restaurant industry.”
“I found that using fresh KDS is a great way for our team to communicate from the kitchen to the cashier. Fresh KDS is effective, easy to use, and really organized.”
Fresh KDS became an essential tool for Taziki's as it streamlined their ordering system and allowed the restaurant to provide fast and accurate dining experiences.
"Fresh is more than a vendor, they are part of the Taziki's family. I can say without a doubt that Fresh KDS has been integral to our success, and that we would not be where we are today without this partnership."
As a fast casual restaurant speed has to be a promise for customers. Fresh KDS provided Taziki’s with data that showed the average order completion time and showed areas to improve speed. With this data they were able to streamline their menu and operations to continue to get orders out to customers quickly and accurately.
With Fresh KDS Taziki’s crew is able to see each order and its modifiers accurately as well as the status of each order.If any station starts to get overwhelmed Fresh KDS communicates where extra care is needed which keeps operations running smoothly.