Little Pancake Company’s Sweet and Savory Recipe for Success
Small pancakes run on big team effort at Little Pancake Company, a new family-run business at the Coles end of Casey Central Shopping Centre in Victoria. Rick, Wendy, and their staff specialise in poffertjes, a traditional Dutch sweet treat. The Dutch often serve poffertjes with powdered sugar, butter, and maple syrup. But their menu offers more than just the traditional serves, with sweet and savory toppings inspired by different cuisines. Little Pancake Company doesn’t just serve these decadent poffertjes either — they supply everything you need to make these delicious delights from the comfort of your own home, or for your own business. Running this operation can’t be easy, so we asked Wendy just how they get it done.
Maintaining an online presence
Many first-time business owners forget how important it is to have a strong online presence. Even fewer understand the importance of a well-curated one. Little Pancake Company understands the need for both, making their Facebook and Instagram accounts a treat for the eyes. Keeping these pages updated allows customers to engage with them through tags and stories. Thus, their experience doesn’t end when the pancakes are finished. The information age provides countless advertising opportunities that business owners can use to elevate their brand. With a keen eye and enough social media savvy, your business can also maintain a strong online presence.
But Little Pancake Company doesn’t stop at updating their pages with high-quality photos and menu recommendations. They also pay attention to what customers say on restaurant review sites like Zomato, where they take the time to respond, regardless if the feedback is positive or negative. When businesses engage customers this way, they know their thoughts are appreciated. They can even quickly turn a less-than-satisfactory experience around. Listening to your customers is the best way to adjust your services. Little Pancake Company knows how to do just that.
Investing in workforce technology
As first-time business owners, Rick and Wendy knew that they would need a straightforward rostering software.
“We knew when we started our business that we wanted something simple and easy to use,” said Wendy. And because they could read rosters at a glance on Tanda, it won out over other platforms. “The other big thing that we use a lot is the costs that are attached to the staff members and the changing of shifts. It was easy to change shifts and notify the staff members.”
Freeing up an owner’s or manager’s time by lessening administrative work is one common way that workforce platforms like Tanda helps businesses. This is also the case for Little Pancake Company. As Wendy said, “The great thing is we’re having more time to spend on staff and obviously with training and making sure that the service level for what we’re doing in our business is up there. […] That’s the important stuff, because at the end of the day, the staff are the ones that help us bring in the money and keep the quality and service there as well.”
Staff also benefit greatly from an easy-to-use platform, especially the mobile app. “I think they found it straightforward. So for example, with the availabilities, especially casuals, I’ve just sort of mentioned to them what they need to do. I haven’t given any in-depth explanations and they’ve managed to work it out and do it correctly. So obviously the system is very user-friendly,” she remarked. Overall, when implemented in essential business areas, technology can increase employee engagement. It can also improve the relationship between owners, managers, and employees.
Inspiring customer loyalty
According to Michael Barnard, General Manager of consultancy firm Customology, the most important customers are “those that come back consistently and invite their friends.” Little Pancake Company’s online presence and investment in workforce technology contribute to another important aspect of running a business in the competitive restaurant industry: customer loyalty. In crafting programs that cater to their target market, they put the customer first and understand their needs. This is evident not just in loyalty programs, but also in their menu.
Having a diverse clientele with different dietary requirements is the reality for many restaurant businesses today. Customers are more conscious about their diets and what they consume on an everyday basis. Little Pancake Company also offers allergy-free poffertjes as an alternative to the traditional recipe. Customers with specific needs can definitely enjoy them without problem. This includes vegan, wheat-free, yeast-free, nut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, coeliac-certified, halal-certified, and kosher-certified products that can be purchased in their store or online. Won’t you keep coming back for more if you know a business is ready to cater to your needs?
Little Pancake Company’s journey as a family-run first business is relatable to many, and serves as an inspiration for those thinking of breaking into the food industry. Like cooking up a scrumptious serving of poffertjes, businesses need to get the right mix of listening well, implementing modern solutions, ensuring an engaged staff, and responding to the target market. This is Little Pancake Company’s sweet and savory recipe for success, and there’s no reason it can’t be yours too.
Clients & Partners AU |
Serving up innovation on Gill Street with Feedlot Eatery
A charming chalkboard on Gill Street advertises Feedlot Eatery’s specials, a hearty mix of freshly prepared meats, vegetables, and fruits enjoyed daily by customers in this quiet corner of Queensland. Priding themselves on affordable meals and friendly service, this dedicated restaurant has been serving up kebabs and desserts for about five years. New owner Christian Sieg, who took over the business in April, has begun introducing a number of changes to make it a more modern and sustainable one. Transitioning to new menus and methods in Charters Towers can be difficult, but Christian and his team are up to the challenge. Living by the innovation mindset “We have a very loyal following with many customers coming in daily to eat,” says Christian, who also offers catering and delivery services. His penchant for improvement wasn’t dampened by Charters Towers’ hesitation towards change, as he began introducing new menu items to complement the old ones. “We liven it up with new healthy specials such as salads, Vietnamese spring rolls, low and slow pulled pork and beef burgers, gluten-free cakes, and the like,” he says. But customers with a sweet tooth need not worry, as Feedlot Eatery’s famous cinnamon donuts are freshly made upon order. The risk paid off; today, the more diverse menu is a hit with locals. Christian’s innovation mindset doesn’t stop there, however, as he leads his team of ten employees out of the tedious, manual era of rostering and management. “I wanted to save admin time and find ways to save staff cost,” he reflects, having grown up with more time consuming methods like handwritten rosters and Excel Sheets. “I wanted a program that’s easy to use, includes automation and integrates awards and birthdays, and gives me an accurate, to-the-minute idea of where I am at.” His search for a workforce technology platform that would fit Feedlot Eatery’s needs eventually led him to Tanda. Read more: The Digital Workforce Success Revolution: Why you need to shift to cloud-based HR today Leveraging automation technology “I aim to keep my team happy as most of them are long-termers who know many of our customers by name, and the Tanda Mobile App has certainly had a positive impact with the ease of requesting days off/leave and getting shift info,” Christian says. His staff, aged anywhere between 20-60, found Tanda very easy to operate and saw its benefits, even if they weren’t used to automation just yet. Indeed, Tanda’s rostering and leave management features have helped other businesses out too, whether smaller bars like Windsor Alehouse, or larger restaurants like Arabella’s. Tanda’s Cognitive Rosters® is also a key tool in Feedlot Eatery’s day-to-day operations. “Tanda allows me to plan my human resources better according to peak times and slow periods and its integration with my Point-of-Sale (POS), KOUNTA, gives me invaluable data to adjust staffing quickly and efficiently,” he shares. Predictive suggestion of staffing requirements by using existing roster templates saves time and money for business owners, while ensuring the customer promise is met. And for Feedlot Eatery, the bottom line is always keeping the customers coming back for more. Read more: Michael Barnard’s Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Customers for Life Modernising Feedlot Eatery What’s next for this Gill Street mainstay? Sustainability, Christian says, is a priority. Shifting to Tanda has allowed them to use as little paper and ink as possible, in line with the reusable items also available in their store. Customers can pick up stainless steel and bamboo drinking straws and get 10% off when they bring reusable coffee cups or mugs. “We use paper straws or you can purchase reusable, wooden cutlery for take away, paper bags, reusable plastic bags, cardboard food containers and so forth,” he notes of his advocacy. When you consider that the average Australian creates just over 2,000 kgs of waste each year, every little bit helps. Rebranding and revamping are also in the works, with Christian aiming to breathe new life into their store decor and equipment. “We want to purchase some additional equipment to expand our culinary range, particularly on the catering side, and we probably want to possibly purchase a designated catering van,” he says, his chefing background and go-getter attitude evident in his business plans. And from an ongoing campaign to lower their carbon footprint, to a new technology platform to manage its staff, Feedlot Eatery is certainly setting the stage for much greater things to come. Ready to find out what Tanda can do for your business? Book a demo today.
Clients & Partners AU |
Focusing on Client Success with RSM Australia
“You might have heard the term big ship to steer, that’s us,” says Joe Mulcare, Digital Analyst at RSM Australia. With 1,200 staff across 30 offices in Australia alone, RSM is one of the largest professional service firms in the country. It’s also one of the oldest, celebrating 97 years in the industry this year. Their parent company, RSM International, is the world’s 6th largest audit, tax, and consulting network. It employs more than 43,000 people in 800 offices across 120 countries. The sole mission of this massive operation? To guide clients through business challenges, both locally and seamlessly, across borders. Joe, who works with the Digital Services Division, is at the forefront of introducing businesses to the cloud. From simple advice to total implementation, Joe and his team step in for clients of all sizes. “Our key role is to help advisors feel more comfortable and confident about recommending digital software. We offer advice around their digital ecosystem,” he emphasizes. Transitioning to the cloud Joe is familiar with the anxiety around automation and knows just how to deal with it. “A lot of people are afraid of what automation might mean for their job,” he says. “I think the Accounting industry as a whole is going to be changed dramatically by automation. That’s not necessarily a scary thing though.” And that’s why RSM Australia is here: to advise clients on improving business efficiencies using cloud technology. Not to replace accountants and bookkeepers, but to free up their time to focus on more high-value tasks. To be able to advise their clients, Joe’s team attends events and conferences where they can see firsthand what software is available and how it can help their clients. He describes their approach: “For us, what we’re really seeking for is those light bulb moments where our advisors say, man, I’ve got a client who would just love this.” Their hands-on attitude allows them to get to the bottom of a client’s problems and provide long-term solutions. And because they understand that businesses can be swallowed by tech transformation, they balance quality with urgency. “It’s not just about setting up a piece of software. It’s about guiding them and giving them that time to do things that are more useful like growing the business and developing new processes to further improve efficiencies,” he says. As an advisor, he focuses on empowering their clients through financial data. He believes that it comes down to that core accounting piece where the different revolving parts of business flows perfectly into. Tanda, as a partner software, is able to contribute to that. Steering ships large and small As a large professional services firm, RSM Australia needs to constantly reevaluate what it means to keep employees productive and successful. For Joe, this kind of workforce success means employee engagement. “Happy employees make a happy company. That comes down to a few things, and I think a big part of that is employee engagement, how happy they feel in their role.” That’s why they partnered with Tanda, a rostering, attendance, and labour insights platform that caters to clients in every region. “At the end of the day, we have to advise on the best software. Implementing software like Tanda makes these processes that once would have been a burden on both the employer and the employee snappy, easy, and a joy to use.” Tanda helps businesses manage staff and significantly decreases administrative work. With multiple payroll and POS integrations, it’s one of the most responsive and user-friendly software on the market. And because it’s adaptable, it can handle anywhere from 8 to 18,000 staff members. Like Tanda, RSM Australia is no stranger to managing thousands of clients. “We’re also negotiators, and I think that’s probably one of the hardest parts,” he says. “It’s just being there and listening to both sides and trying to make everyone feel comfortable. When we’re implementing Xero and Tanda, for instance, we want all the key stakeholders to feel comfortable, and that means we need everyone involved.” Indeed, transparency is one of RSM’s key virtues and one that they promote to clients and partners as well. Focusing on client success When it comes to convincing their clients to transition to the cloud, Joe finds that there’s really no one-size-fits-all solution. “You might find in Sydney or Melbourne and the willingness to move to cloud technology, especially when they have issues,” he says. But a client with poor internet connection might be more difficult to convince. Solutions also need to be tailored according to the client’s familiarity with technology. “For a lot of people, the cloud is scary. They have questions about is my data secure or who’s really having access. We face questions like that every single day.” At the end of the day, Joe and RSM Australia focus on making their clients successful. Their access to infrastructure, or what their attitude is towards technology, doesn’t matter. The bottom line is to help the client reach their business goals. Like Tanda, they do this by staying abreast of software trends. They constantly innovate to make sure every resource is leveraged. RSM Australia knows that ensuring success comes from empowering people. “We want to help guide them through the tricky process of navigating the cloud space [and give] them the confidence that they can approach it themselves,” he concludes.
Clients & Partners AU |
Crafting Workforce Success at Windsor Alehouse
Windsor Alehouse on Punt Road is something of an innovation itself. Formerly Pint on Punt, this familiar three-storey building transformed itself from an all-Irish pub to a classical beer bar, changing the way it does things in the process. “It was tough at the start,” says manager Ewan. “We actually got rid of what we were renowned for previously. It’s baby steps, everything’s baby steps. Everything takes a while. Build it, and they will come, slowly add a bit, add a bit.” Some things remained, but most were updated to attract a new clientele. Patrons still get their drinks at the iconic horseshoe-shaped bar. But where Magners, Budweiser, Heineken, and Guinness used to be are 19 taps offering up local and international craft beers. With its high stools, bright lights, and modern rustic decor, it’s come a long way from its Irish pub roots. A whole new team is running the place too, with Ewan at the helm, himself new to Melbourne. And he is not your average manager. “It’s horses for courses, you know?” “In the hospitality industry, there is a ridiculously high turnover of staff, which is one of the biggest problems,” Ewan notes. At Windsor Alehouse, however, they’ve only had to hire two people in the past year. Having a good working environment where you’re valued, get paid on time, and have good rapport makes a difference. “We’re a very honest group,” says Ewan, who advocates getting things done in the fastest, most straightforward way, including schedules. True to the principle of reinvention, he keeps aces in their places with a workforce technology platform. “I love that I just went boom, and that’s it. Everybody’s paid, all my databases have the monthly email,” he remarks. Because clocking on and clocking out, rostering, and timesheets are all taken care of quickly on Tanda, Ewan has more time to connect with his staff and their patrons. That’s good, he says, because, “The more you’re sat in an office, the more likely you’re going to sit in that office.” Ewan gives a thumbs up from behind Windsor Alehouse’s iconic bar But it’s still horses for courses at Windsor Alehouse – different people for different situations. “It’s just knowing your staff and who you’re working with, really,” he notes, underscoring the importance of staying connected and maintaining a degree of flexibility. Some employees take off on weeknights, others need their weekends off. Accommodating everybody’s social life leads to an appreciation that makes them stay and work better. Filing for leave, unavailability, and requesting shift swaps are also done through the Tanda app. Read more: William Gooderson’s 8 Characteristics of Good Managers “You can’t be missing the heart.” “A lot of pubs, especially chains, they run it from an office. So everything’s up in a folder in head office, and there’s no heart to it. It’s missing the heart,” he says. Heart is the most important thing in Windsor Alehouse, and we’re not just talking about their signature comfort food. The rapport between the barmen and the actual customer is emphasized and in fact, that’s how they built their regular customer base. “If I go into a place and the person is sour and doesn’t want to be there, I immediately think something up the chain is wrong,” he adds. Staying creative is also key to maintaining a unique pub experience, and Ewan puts his faith into his managers to do that. Instead of telling them what to do, he gives them small tasks where they can express themselves. “Our barman Shaun makes a sick cocktail, man, I swear. He does the cocktail list, which is encouragement in itself. I chuck him an extra pint for it,” he says, and staff bond over beers afterward. “We need to be a team, you all sit down and have a beer together, because at the end of the day you want the guy next to you to cover for you, as much as you cover for him.” Read more: Shift Planning 101: Optimizing and Swapping for Success “Are you well, man? Here’s a pint.” Asked what makes him a successful manager, he bursts into laughter, the sound rising over the din of the pub: “I don’t know if I am!” But falsely humble he is not, the twinkle in his eye suggests there’s a lot more to come for Windsor Alehouse. They’re still too small for any blanket policies or constraints that chain pubs can have, so changes in the staff’s schedules are easy to manage with Tanda. “I don’t think I’ve rejected any holiday request. There’s always a way to accommodate everybody. I think people appreciate that.” Tanda’s workforce success app in use at Windsor Alehouse Ewan has been running pubs for 13 years, and he’s come a long way from his Carlsberg-drinking days in Scotland. He didn’t know anything about Windsor Alehouse’s craft beers at first, he admits, but it has opened him up to new experiences. Today, whether he’s downing a Carlsberg in his hometown or serving up a Nine Tales Amber Ale on Punt Road, you’ll find him behind a bar with an easy smile, asking you the same thing: “Are you well man? Here’s a pint.” Ready to find out what Tanda can do for your business? Book a demo today.