Fry the Coop Finds a Successful Solution to Improve Chaotic Online Ordering Operations

Fry the Coop prides itself on serving top-of-the-line fried chicken sandwiches with a few simple side dishes, quickly becoming a staple for diners in the Windy City.

In 2017, Joe Fontana, founded Fry the Coop. After opening the original location in Oak Lawn, Illinois, Joe and his team continued developing the restaurant and opened three more locations across the greater Chicago area. Prior to opening additional locations, Fry the Coop was dealing with a chaotic online ordering process that pulled staff away from in-house demands. Joe shares how integrating Chowly into his Toast point-of-sale (POS) system has improved efficiency across all four Fry the Coop locations.

The Problem

Prior to integrating Chowly into its POS, Fry the Coop struggled to juggle the demands of in- house guests while continuing to fulfill online orders.

“We were using Uber Eats as our main delivery partner, but what was happening was even as we got busier and busier, we only had one cashier and one terminal set up. So, every time an Uber Eats order came in, the tablet made a loud dinging noise and everyone in the dining room could hear it,” Joe explained. The loud noise coming from the Uber Eats tablet alerted staff that orders were coming in, but it also was a distraction and a nuisance for customers dining in the restaurant.

The operational flow was restricted without a streamlined approach for online order fulfillment. “It was a bummer and slowed down the speed of everything. Picture this: there is a line of customers, then the tablet goes off — ding! Uber Eats then becomes secondary to the line of in-house customers. Suddenly a second order comes in on the tablet, ding!, then a third one. Your staff still hasn’t had time to handle the first Uber Eats order because the line in the restaurant is so long. Meanwhile, the phone is ringing, Uber Eats is going off, and the customer standing in front of the line starts asking questions, ‘so, how hot is really hot? Is it spicy or hot?’ You want to give your customers a great, fun experience and explain to them what we do differently, what peppers go into each rub, but at the same time you still have Uber Eats tablets going off.”

Finding a Solution

For Fry the Coop, online orders were time-consuming and lacked necessary organization. The chaotic online ordering process forced staff to manage multiple tasks while still delivering the best possible experience for in-house customers as well as those ordering from third-party delivery platforms. It was clear that Fry the Coop needed a solution.

With Chowly, Fry the Coop was able to handle the demands coming from in-house guests while establishing a better operational flow for online orders. “Speeding up the service and ticket times was the biggest benefit that we have seen with Chowly. Our ticket time is like five minutes, so it is very fast!”

Improving Fry the Coop’s online ordering operations was just the starting point — the restaurant now can compile all of its end-of-day sales in a more efficient manner, saving staff time while continuing to lower the risks that come with manual entry error. “Before Chowly, at the end of the night staff would have to go back and enter our Uber Eats sales into the POS. That is another entire process that is totally wiped out by Chowly — it automatically puts those metrics into our Toast POS for us,” Joe explained.

When we asked Joe if he would recommend Chowly to other restaurants, his answer was simple. “I would recommend Chowly to other restaurants, absolutely — and I do!”

“Integrating with Chowly was awesome. We are now able to auto fire online orders through our point-of-sale and straight to the kitchen, streamlining the process. We don’t even know that it is happening — the kitchen just gets the tickets, and boom! We don’t have to enter it in our POS. It really makes it so much easier,” said Joe.

Joe Fontana
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