How The Goose saw a 6x increase in table ordering after moving to me&u

February 26, 2024
min read

Sitting on the beach at the foot of the Busselton Jetty, with uninterrupted views of Geographe Bay, The Goose is one of Western Australia’s premier venues for cocktails at sunset, local craft brews, weekend breakfast or a special dinner out.

With a kitchen centred around a woodburning grill, and modern Australian dishes of whole market fish, grass-fed beef cooked over blistering hot coals, and freshly-baked pizza with 48-hour cultured dough [these descriptions are hard to write at lunchtime on a Monday in the me&u office], The Goose is a staple for locals attracted to quality produce, and tourists like butterflies to a Butterfly Bush (it’s a thing, look it up) seeking a view.

But a very prominent restaurant in the local community, with massive foot traffic and a relaxed service style, brings a reliance on technology to be bulletproof.

Bad first impressions of QR code ordering

“Right from the go, we were always going to have a QR system to facilitate our outside tables,” General Manager, Tim Meikle, said.

In the early days, The Goose opted for a free solution within an all-in-one package, but had “been lumped with a very heavy, clunky system that was full of bugs.”

“It was run as a separate website and we relied on a perfect connection back to our servers and internal network, so the volume of traffic often overwhelmed the system.”

With a 400+ seat venue, with many of those outside, Tim and his team weren’t being alerted when things would go down, prompting hundreds of customers to ask what had happened and flocking the bars.

"We were upsetting customers, staff were having an awful time, and we were no longer trusting the system. We were putting pressure back on the servers at the till, which is what we were trying to avoid. We want guests to stay at their table and enjoy the view and need them to be able to trust the system to put in a second round of drinks and know it’s coming.”

“Just a precious few ever make it last” - moving to me&u

[That’s a lyric from Kenny Chesney’s “Me and You” - wouldn’t expect anyone to get that one]

“With a busy summer fast approaching and a QR system causing all sorts of issues we first made contact with Matt Kerfoot, with a time frame of three weeks to go live with me&u it is no mean feat,” Tim said.

“We had a high level of trepidation with staff, but we had the confidence that this would work. Fool me once, shame on you etc.” recalls Tim. “We got it up and running and almost instantly, there was a sigh of relief in the building. Customers were no longer complaining, we saw an increase in trade.

“And we went live on December 21st, the busiest part of the year. We didn’t come up for air until the end of  January. We basically went from basement-level customer satisfaction to ‘this just works’ in that time.

“Trade doubled in that time because of Christmas and summer holidays. It took the weight of the busiest time of the year.”

The Goose previously did around 5% of orders through their mobile QR code system, with the rest crowding the bar and making the long trek from beachside to inside. They now do 30% through me&u, with the size of the pie increasing because of an increase in revenue flowing in.

There are really three reasons for the increase in trust by The Goose staff. 

  1. “The first is customer satisfaction. Our customers stopped complaining overnight, which takes a lot of pressure off our team.”
  2. “Secondly, the service flow of the venue significantly improved.”
  3. “And the third is the problem-solving on the platform. It’s a very clear and recognisable platform to work with and I just love how if you make a change in the POS, it updates seamlessly - as it should. If an order is missed for whatever reason, it’s a very short and easy process to solve it.”

“We actually had to get additional barmen to manage drinks orders the first few days. I get a call saying we need to get more people behind the bar and my first thought is ‘oh no, what’s gone wrong?’ But it was because we were getting so many orders coming through. It was the best problem you can have.”

The Goose has three types of customers they’re serving:

  1. An older demographic inside who are there for the service.
  2. International visitors who still require an explanation of how things work.
  3. And the people sitting outside enjoying the view who “are basically like ‘don’t come near me’”.

A marketing database that’ll give you goosebumps

Tim and his team are focused on reimaging what customer service means at The Goose.

“We’re trying to educate our staff that the best customer experience is when they place the order themselves, because then we can do everything in a more deliberate way. Bringing more water, being there as a support, asking questions, explaining the menu. 

“It’s like that pyramid where the customer is at the top - if they handle the order, we can do everything else so they genuinely are at the top.”

The Goose is collecting mountains of valuable customer insights and only just starting to make the most of it. For example, they didn’t realise there were $5000 worth of tips sitting there from their first month using me&u.

“The data really opens your eyes. It’s about making a stronger connection with our locals, and communicating more proactively for our travellers.”

To make the most of your outside seating, check out how me&u’s Serve product can support you and your team.

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