Sushi Sama, Le Poké Station & Vua
A Canadian-based restaurant franchise group thanks their crowd-pleasing menus, seamless delivery game, and MYR POS for their huge success
In large Canadian cities like Montreal and Ottawa, ordering sushi and poke bowls for delivery has become as common, if not more common than eating these dishes on site.
While fine dining may never go out of style, it’s safe to say that fast-casual restaurants that are well-equipped for delivery are exploding in popularity.
Two Montreal-based franchises, Poké Station and Sushi Sama are rapidly growing thanks to this trend. The notably successful restaurant group, Group S.I.N.I, operates fast-casual brands (Poké Station, Sushi Sama, VUA) and has a national franchise program.
Challenge: Finding the right POS
In the years leading up to 2020, S.I.N.I Group tried equipping their restaurants with many different POS solutions. Qishen Zhan, the group’s operations manager, explained that some of the POS solutions they tried were too complicated or time-consuming to learn. He was looking for something effective, but slightly more minimal compared to what he was working with. He was looking for something without “so many bells and whistles,” as he says, and reached out to a friend for advice.
“We tried almost every popular POS before we found MYR,” shares Zhan. “A friend recommended MYR based on the fact that it was designed specifically for fast-casual, or quick-service restaurants like ours.”
Adapting to the pandemic with MYR
For Zhan, the switch to MYR could not have come at a better time, because the pandemic was about to hit, and delivery would be crucial for survival.
Today, he says that delivery sales are even stronger than take-out sales, and that even with a return to in-person dining and living, people have become used to ordering in.
“The UberEats integration in 2021 was seamless, which is really important for us. We need to know that our POS can manage this important switch to delivery, and fortunately it works for us perfectly.”
“One admin panel to rule them all”
Ultimately, I think the best things about MYR have been the ease of use, and the central admin panel. We have over 80 restaurants running on MYR, and I can easily see the performance of each one from one central location,” explains Zhan.
The centralization of data is critical for franchises. Smart reporting functions that make use of real-time data helps them make better decisions including which items to add or remove, which locations to close, etc. “We need this kind of information if we want to improve sales at each location, and if we want to open new locations. Franchises have to run this way—with this centralized admin panel,” Zhan shares.
Saving time is everything for franchises like Sushi Sama and Poké Station. Zhan explains that everything from viewing a report to entering a customer’s order is faster with MYR compared to other systems. “Because MYR was designed for franchises, you don’t have to go through many layers when entering orders, such as selecting whether it’s dine-in or take-out, then finding various categories…it’s all laid out in one layer which makes it faster,” he says.
“The structure of the backend is also really intuitive. It’s easy to change menu items and prices. For a growing franchise like ours, that’s important. Other POS solutions don’t make it so simple. We used to use this one POS that required tedious data entry that wouldn’t be updated until after the restaurant closed and then restarted their system. With MYR, the data is all in real time.”
Qishen Zhan,Operations Manager
Ease of use
While S.I.N.I’s management team says MYR helps them save time because of the centralized reports and control panel, it’s important to remember how important it is for restaurant staff to save time by effectively learning and operating software.
“We employ people of all different backgrounds and experience levels. Some have never interacted with a POS before, and others are experts. They speak different languages and come from all over the world, so you can imagine that training them on a POS needs to be efficient. It took almost no time to get MYR set up at all of our locations, and the staff needed only one training session to learn it. It takes employees maybe an hour to learn—more time than that could potentially take away from our fast customer service.”
Growth with MYR, and looking to the future
With over 80 restaurants, and with 13 more about to open in the next 3 months, Zhan has some pretty important insights when it comes to franchises. One is that easy-to-use software makes a big difference.
“I think the fast-casual franchise model is perfect for today’s world, and I think we’ll see more and more of these chains and franchises pop up, particularly for all different types of international cuisine,” he says. “There are a lot of factors that contribute to a successful franchise including menu, management, the local population…the list goes on! For software, I recommend seeking out companies that were built specifically for franchises. It’s why we like MYR.”
S.I.N.I. Group found a system adapted to its fast-casual franchise model
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