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Francos, St James

Case Studies - Francos, St James

Franco's combines a ground-floor restaurant with private dining areas.
Franco’s has been serving local residents and visitors to St James’s from early morning to late at night for over 60 years. In fact, some believe Franco’s was London’s very first Italian restaurant. When new life was breathed into it in 2005, new co-owner Jason Phillips turned to TISSL. Having previously introduced the solution to London’s Cipriani Restaurant, he had first-hand experience of its flexibility and suitability.

Franco’s has had a long history, including at times being the meeting point for the more colourful elements of London’s Italian community. Over the decades, its fortunes had waxed and waned until, by 2005, it was crying out for a new sense of identity and direction. In that year, it was acquired by Savoy-trained Jason Phillips and entrepreneur partners. As part of a complete make-over, the adjoining coffee shop and sandwich bar were merged into the main restaurant. It was decided to keep the Franco’s name and to bring back to life what had once been a great eating destination.

Today, Franco’s combines a ground-floor restaurant with private dining areas. Its personality evolves from a breakfast cafe to an animated lunch venue, a relaxing setting for afternoon tea and elegance and romance in the evening. The menus showcase both traditional and modern Italian dishes and have benefited from the influence of talented chefs.

“I like the flexibility of TISSL EPoS.”

Jason Phillips had previously been General Manager at Cipriani Restaurant, part of the iconic restaurant group which was launched with Harry’s Bar in Venice in the 30’s, which opened in London in 2004. “I introduced TISSL to Cipriani. I liked the flexibility of the solution. So when we opened Franco’s, it was natural to use the TISSL here too,” he explains.

Phillips found the business benefitted from taking its time, for perhaps as much as the first 12 months of trading, to learn what TISSL EPoS was capable of and precisely how it could be tuned to support and drive Franco’s restaurant operations.

“We got the foundations right and overall are very pleased with it.”

Jason Phillips and his team appreciate the service they have received from the outset from TISSL. Time was spent working through the new business’s initial requirements and personal support continues to be provided.

“TISSL’s customer service is something I’ve appreciated. They’ve worked hard to maintain this and they respond well to any issues we have.”

“TISSL is not just software that works on its own, it works with other systems.”

Not only do the staff like the fact that TISSL EPoS is colourful and easy to use and streamlines their daily processes, but they also appreciate its seamless integration with other systems that the restaurant relies upon to run efficiently and profitably. These include FNB Manager to control stock and OpenTable for restaurant reservations.

“There’s flexibility in our reporting, what we can report on and its detail.”

The rest of the managerial team are equally comfortable with the TISSL solution. “We like its’ easy to lay out reports,” says Phillips, “and our ability to get information off in a clear way, just as we need it.”

There’s flexibility too in product and pricing definition. “Using the user-friendly Modifier function, we can take a single stock product and redefine it with different tweaks. It’s also very simple to create new pages, set up new product buttons and even define different time zones for products so our pricing can vary according to the time of day.”

“We find our hardware reliable.”

The TISSL EPoS solution runs on five J2 625 PC-based touchscreen terminals. One is located in reception, another in the bar area, a third in the basement dining room space and the remaining two within the ground floor restaurant.

“They fit in well and are appropriately sized. In fact, we’ve just upgraded to bigger display screens so we can fit on more buttons.”

“All in all, we have a system that works really well for our business in many ways. However, if I had to sum up TISSL EPoS in just one word, it would be flexibility,” concludes Jason Phillips.