Recently, we kicked off a new blog series called Chowly Chat, where we share our customers’ stories and find out “how it all comes together” with Chowly. Welcome to this Chowly Chat ft. Protein Bar.
For our second Chowly Chat installment, Stacey Arenson, our Director of Marketing, spoke with Jared Cohen, Chief Operating Officer of Protein Bar & Kitchen. Since the opening of its first store in Chicago in 2009, Protein Bar has sought to bring delicious, nutritious, protein-packed food and beverages to customers in various cities across the U.S.
Hear from Jared about how Chowly is helping Protein Bar deliver protein power to its customers more efficiently.
Stacey: For those who aren’t familiar with Protein Bar, tell us about the restaurants.
Jared: Protein Bar & Kitchen was created to offer all-day power via a wide range of breakfast entrees, bowls, salads, wraps, and blended shakes. We hold ourselves to our Protein Promise — that our food will be delicious and nutritious while providing at least 15 grams of protein in any entree or shake — because every diet requires protein. Whether a customer is vegan, vegetarian, keto, pescetarian, you name it — we make sure there’s something for everybody. We currently operate restaurants across the Chicago, Washington D.C., and Denver/Boulder markets, with plans to grow.
Stacey: What are your most popular menu items?
Jared: We sell a lot of bowls and a lot of protein shakes. Our most popular entree is the Mexicali, and a chocolate banana shake called the Wrigley Peeled is the number-one shake.
Stacey: How much of your business is from delivery and third-party online ordering systems?
Jared: About 30% of our orders are digital. This comes from third parties and our branded online ordering platform. We get a lot of delivery orders for shakes, often coming from repeat customers.
Stacey: When did you start working with Chowly? How were you managing third-party online ordering systems before partnering with Chowly?
Jared: We started working with Chowly in September of 2018. Before Chowly, we had four major third-party partners, and we had a different tablet for each of them. The general manager or shift manager at each store would have to transmit the orders from each platform into our POS system. Chowly completely eliminated that responsibility and freed up the shift leaders’ time so they could focus their attention on our in-house customers.
Stacey: Since Protein Bar is a national brand, how has Chowly transformed your ability to work with third-party platforms across all your locations?
Jared: Chowly makes it easier to add and adjust third-party coverage in all of our 19 locations. The process of adding a new third-party partner is a lot less complex now. Before Chowly, there would have been a lengthy menu-mapping process, testing process, and so on. Things can go a lot quicker with Chowly.
Stacey: What are some of the key benefits of working with Chowly?
Jared: The top three benefits of working with Chowly have been improved uptime, order acceptance, and accuracy. By removing manual entry from the process, Chowly minimizes the risk of miskeys, avoiding the possibility of modifiers not getting entered correctly. Using Chowly gives employees more confidence that the orders are accurate. Our team can trust that the order will be transmitted correctly and that the customer will get exactly what they ordered.
Stacey: Final Takeaway – What are the top three ways Chowly has been useful for your restaurants?
Jared: 1 – Chowly simplifies operations and eliminates non-value-adding work for staff, such as accepting and transmitting orders.
2 – Secondly, Chowly makes it easier for us to train and work with our teams. We no longer have to train the staff on how to manage orders from each platform. Having everything in one place — the Chowly dashboard — is really helpful.
3 – Thirdly, Chowly provides increased data visibility. The dashboard provides a holistic view of the flow of third-party orders into our restaurants. We can see what vendor each order comes from, what the peak delivery hours are, what items perform best on each platform, and what stores have the highest delivery volume; it provides insights on both a micro and macro level.
We hope you enjoyed this Chowly Chat ft. Protein Bar.