Felicity Moore |January 1, 2021
Get on the Shortlist to Learn About Pensacola’s Trendy Bistro
Type of Restaurant: Bistro, Modern American
Locations: Pensacola, FL
Number of Employees: 95
George Bistro + Bar invites guests into the stylish world where Southern food meets Southern French cuisine in Pensacola, FL. There, customers can expect to be served divine drinks and picturesque dishes made with the freshest products to tie into an exceptional dining experience.
The concept was created by husband and wife duo, Luba and Chef George Lazi, who wanted to give Pensacola residents an experience like no other. It initially started after George graduated from the culinary program at the Art Institute of New York to pursue his dream of becoming a chef. From there, George went on to work at prestigious restaurants such as Michelin-two star rated Jean-Georges as well as being the Head Chef at the Fig and Olive. While working in New York George met his future wife, Luba, at an event while she was completing an internship for Bergdorf Goodman. The couple soon wed and discovered a variety of culinary experiences through their travels that they wanted to bring back to the United States. In 2013, the couple moved from New York City to be closer to their family on the Gulf Coast and saw the opportunity to bring their restaurant to life. In 2015 the Lazis officially opened George Bistro + Bar to share their exciting recipes with the Pensacola community.
As their business grew the Lazis hired Michelle Cash to be the front of house manager to ensure that their customers receive excellent service. Since 2005, Michelle has had extensive experience working in the restaurant industry in multiple positions such as being a hostess, bartender as well as taking on roles in a corporate setting. With her expertise, she’s able to help run the restaurant while Luba and George focus on the menu and design of their bistro.
Since opening, their restaurant has found tremendous success but the team became concerned about the future of the bistro when the outbreak began. Together, the management team was able to come up with strategies that lead them to win InWeekly Best Of The Coast and the Golden Spoon Award this year.
Detailed reports found on their point of sale (POS) system sparked new ideas of how to run their restaurant
With little known about the virus, many restaurateurs were left without direction on how they can continue running their eateries. Meanwhile, the team at George Bistro + Bar was fast at work looking at different approaches to see how they could sustain their sales. Luckily, the team at George’s was able to pull up important reports to help them make strategic decisions.
“The online reports is my favorite feature that’s included in our POS system. The reports are clear and states which items are the top sellers so we know what we need to modify in order to help our sales.”
In order to know the right course of action to take the team reviewed their detailed reports before making any final decisions.
“When the lockdown transpired we knew we had to start looking at our numbers before making rash decisions. We knew that the decisions we make now would greatly impact the future of our restaurant.”
After reviewing the reports, the team decided to adjust the menu to their best selling dishes to save their business money while giving their customers exactly what they crave.
User-friendly features made it easy to implement COVID-friendly services
As Michelle states, “Before I was hired, Luba and George had a POS system that held the bistro back due to its outdated features. Implementing OrderCounter helped Luba and George run the restaurant more efficiently and faster when operating the system. Working for George and Luba I personally find the system to be extremely user-friendly which is important for any restaurant to have.”
Michelle continues, “For any restaurant, it’s important to have a user-friendly POS so that it’s easy to pick up and learn. That way we know what we can do with the system to better our operations. For instance, if we needed to simplify our menu we can easily go in and make modifications. Moreover, the user-friendliness also gives us options to revert back, add to, and create new categories to our menu without having to depend on their support team. We can keep our business moving without having to set aside time to implement these features.”
Incorporating online ordering and having a support team helped their business continue running smoothly
Having a strong support team is essential for any business to help their business grow. As George Bar + Bistro were weighing their options of what services to provide, they decided to reach out to the support team to implement online ordering once restaurants were limited to-go and delivery orders.
“At first we only limited our to-go service to call-in orders so we could focus on our in-dining service instead. When we decided to offer online ordering we saw it as an opportunity to receive as many orders as possible while we focused on our new drive-in service. That way it saved us time by not having to rush to the phones to take incoming orders.”
Online ordering also helped limit the number of employees inside the establishment. This way, fewer people were coming into their building that protected their staff from being exposed, and gave those that didn’t feel comfortable to work their service job an option to quarantine at home.
“After incorporating online ordering we realized that we only needed about 10 employees to effectively run our restaurant when our services were limited to drive-in only. It also made it much easier for us to continue business under those circumstances due to how all of our orders would go straight to our kitchen printer.”
Michelle also added that with the help of the support team, it made an easy transition that she feels that they can always depend on OrderCounter no matter what the request or question asked.
Michelle also added it was an easy transition with the help of the support team. Moreover, she feels confident that they can always depend on OrderCounter no matter what the requisition or question is asked.
“The support team we’ve experienced at OrderCounter has been above and beyond. We know we can always contact them whenever we have technical questions or issues. It’s always good to know that our business has a system with a support team that is willing to get to the bottom of any issues we may have to not hold us back but to help our business grow.”