Introduction

65 years ago, a young Italian man by the name of Beppi opened a small eatery in Darlinghurst which came to be known as Beppis.

Back then TV did not exist, the Internet was still 24 years away and computers were larger than a kitchen fridge. A lot has changed since then, but Beppis restaurant still stands in the same location, providing high quality, traditional Italian food made with love and skill.

Over the years the restaurant has become and iconic dining destination for Sydney siders and accumulated over 40 awards for food and outstanding service. When you sit down for a chat with Mark Polese (Beppis son) you get a sense of the extraordinary amount of change this iconic restaurant has experienced since opening in 1956.

The Problem

Like most industries, the pandemic has changed the way we operate. Customer expectations have changed rapidly with the adoption of new technology and many business owners being forced to adapt, learn new skills and pivot quickly to remain relevant.

Beppis was no exception. Fast forward to 2022.

Marc Polese had been watching the trends in the restaurant industry changing quickly. Beppis were still using the good old fashioned paper diary technique. With multiple staff members taking bookings and juggling remote work – team members had to call the restaurant and double check availabilities in the booking diary! It was so time consuming and involved a lot of double handling. Of course, we also wanted to make the booking process easier and more streamlined for our customers.

In the back of my mind, Marc  had concerns about some of the more mature staff, and how they would manage the transition to a digital booking platform.

The Solution

In mid 2022 Beppis and Now Book It partnered together with a plan for Beppis to trial digital bookings with a remit to ‘’start small’’. Post covid, people were starting to dine out again and bookings were on the increase. It was time to trade in that paper diary system. Shortly after we launched, we could see how easy using Now Book It platform was and we took the leap to go 100% digital.

It was a great transition. It was a learning curve and a big change for us – but it’s been fantastic support wise – prompt service, call back, or answers from the support team right away – I couldn’t imagine another booking provider offering similar service. Having the support locally where we are treated and feel cared for is crucial.

One of the biggest advantages has been the time it saves the team, now all members of the team can be across reservations at any time and update bookings in real time. We have multiple people taking bookings at any one time and we can log in to add bookings from home.

The Outcome

We asked the team at Beppis what they loved the most about their new guest reservation platform. Here’s what they had to say:

Selling Gift Cards online: It saves us a load of time; we were handwriting every gift card. Our revenue through gift card sales has increased dramatically with Now Book it as well! We’ve sold $50k in gift cards in just a few months since going live with this feature.

Pre-Booking Deposits: Now we can hold booking deposits easily, securely and it’s not on us to collect as the customer does so at time of booking – there’s no risk of holding the credit card information.

Email Marketing – We can access our customer data in one single location, and  we’re sending tailored marketing campaigns to drive repeat bookings. This is such a big step for us, we can make sure that customers come back to visit us and create meaningful long-term relationships.

The whole platform is so easy to use and all of staff absolutely love using the platform (so do our customers).  

Any restaurant owners thinking of making the shift form paper diary to a digital platform, take the leap it’s well worth it.

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