According to co-founder Kent Nhan, patrons are often attracted to XO in Narrabundah, Canberra, because of their interpretation of South East Asian classics, and their commitment to flavours that aren’t tamed or misrepresented.
Nhan recently converted a second restaurant – formerly known as Morning Glory – to ILY, which applies a modern eye to European classics. “Everything about ILY is clean, elegant and refined. We explore classical methods without adding unnecessary noise. For example, one of our menu favourites, Steak Au Poivre, is steak cooked in pepper sauce. We let the quality of the meat and our approach do the talking,” Nhan says.
‘Like the set, shared menus at XO – which change every month – the dishes at ILY are bold and big. There’s a time and a place for food to be over-complicated, but we wanted to be relatable and accessible.”
Nhan started using ResDiary shortly after XO opened in 2015, and – after a brief period away – they returned to the table management system because of its simplicity, versatility and user-friendly nature. Over the years, he says ResDiary has never let him down.
“With ResDiary, you can do it all. We’re able to advertise events, close out idle service times and create different segments to promote that we’re only offering a product or service at that moment in time. There’s an opportunity to concentrate it on the thing that you really want it to do,” Nhan says.
“You can also tailor the diary to your business. With ILY, for example, the menu is divided between snacks, lunch and dinner. With some platforms, you can’t have those definitive services and specific time slots. It’s too complicated. [But] you can do this easily with ResDiary.”
He adds that ResDiary’s customer service team is a point of attraction.
“They’ve helped us create custom diaries that best suit our venue, and they understand us as humans and operators,” he says.
“It’s a real, genuine partnership between us and ResDiary.”
“The service relationship and the versatility of the platform are what sets ResDiary apart from other reservation systems”
While ILY takes walk-ins and online bookings, XO almost-exclusively takes bookings through the ResDiary widget on the website. Nhan says that they collect and use booking data for a variety of purposes.
“The data is not so much about spending habits, but about the demographics of people, including where they live, how far they travelled and other data that help us identify changes and trends in patronage. This data enables us to socialise with customers, communicate with them regarding the next event and promote bookings through ResDiary in the future,” he says.
“It also enables us to connect with our customers, and has made life easier for us, particularly engaging and re-engaging with our customer base coming in and out of lockdowns.”
For each booking, XO takes credit card details in advance, and they have the option of charging for no-shows. This, Nhan says, provides a commitment that the patron will honour the booking. He adds that the ability to chop and change table joins and move tables around is “one of the best things that ResDiary has over other reservation systems.”
“It saves us so much time, because – with other systems –table movement isn’t as smooth. When you want to make a change, the system might ask, ‘are you sure you want to do this’. It’s inefficient, and you can lose track of where you’re up to. But, with ResDiary, you can simply swap and go, and staff can continue with service,” he says.
“Unlike other systems, all of our staff have no issue using ResDiary.”
It’s accessible at any moment
Nhan says that ResDiary’s accessibility at all hours is another appealing feature.
“Everything is digitised, which is a plus over pen and paper diaries as no one can read handwriting, and it works when you sleep. Everyone can see what’s happening in real time and can communicate and move tables around accordingly,” he says.
“I’d definitely recommend ResDiary to others and, in fact, I have recently recommended ResDiary to a new restaurant that opened in Canberra [that was] looking to ensure they had the best infrastructure in place from day one.”
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Disclaimer: This guide is general in nature and does not take into account your individual circumstances. Before acting on any information, you should consider whether this is right for your business.