Star chef André Gerrits happy with his kitchen screens
Star chef André Gerrits has an impressive track record. After years of working at leading restaurants led by top chefs such as Angélique Schmeinck and Ron Blaauw, he and his wife Genevieve started Restaurant ’t Amsterdammertje in Loenen aan de Vecht in 2009. The combination of worldly flavors and Antillean hospitality is soon rewarded with a Michelin star that they manage to keep year after year. We spoke to André and Sous-chef Bas Stark about their pursuit of quality of the highest level.
De wens: efficiency en rust
Inmiddels is het imperium van Gerrits uitgebreid met de kwaliteitsbistro en hotel in één ‘Bistrotel ’t Amsterdammertje’ en delicatessezaak ‘Marché ’t Amsterdammertje’. “Toen we een nieuwe zaak gingen openen, gingen we ons oriënteren op het gebied van automatisering. Na positieve geluiden van collega-chefs en een interessante demo besloten we om met kassasysteem booq POS en de digitale ‘booq Kitchen Manager’ keukenschermen te gaan werken. Grootste wens was een efficiëntieslag en meer rust.”
Van sleutelhanger-bord naar digitaal overzicht
André vertelt: “Op sterrenniveau moet alles tot in detail kloppen. We streven naar de ultieme (smaak)beleving en de juiste timing van de dranken, gerechten, en het indekken van de tafels is dan essentieel. Om die timing perfect te hebben, werkten we voorheen in ’t Amsterdammertje met papieren bonnen en het alom bekende systeem waarbij gekleurde sleutelhangers met tafelnummers verplaatst moesten worden bij iedere fase van het service. Dat systeem werkt in de basis prima, maar is wel erg tijdsintensief, foutgevoelig en eigenlijk gewoon niet meer van deze tijd. Het kostte veel te veel tijd en energie om steeds alles te verhangen en te controleren in welke fase van het service we zitten. Dit moet ook makkelijker kunnen, dachten we.”
Efficiency and peace of mindEfficiency and peace of mind Gerrits' empire has now expanded with the quality bistro and hotel in one 'Bistrotel 't Amsterdammertje' and delicatessen 'Marché 't Amsterdammertje'. “When we opened a new business, we started looking into the field of automation. After positive feedback from fellow chefs and an interesting demo, we decided to work with the booq POS cash register system and the digital 'booq Kitchen Manager' kitchen screens. The biggest wish was efficiency gains and more peace of mind.”
From key ring board to digital overview
André: “At this level, everything has to be perfect to the last detail. We strive for the ultimate (taste) experience and the correct timing of the drinks, dishes and setting the tables is essential. To get that timing perfect, we used to work in 't Amsterdammertje with paper receipts and the well-known system whereby colored key rings with table numbers had to be moved at every stage of the service. That system works fine in the base, but is very time-intensive, error-prone and really just outdated. It took way too much time and energy to keep changing everything and checking which phase of the service we are in. This could be easier, we thought.”
Working method with the kitchen screens
“With booq Kitchen Manager, manual moving is a thing of the past. We now work as follows:
- The Maître determines the timing and communicates via a tablet when the kitchen should prepare the next course.
- In the kitchen, there is a screen at every party on which we automatically receive notifications. So you can see right in front of you which preparations you can start with.
- The service see on a screen that it is their turn and what they are allowed to serve.
This ensures peace of mind and saves a lot of time. I think it saves the wait staff an hour a day. In the kitchen we also see very quickly which tables are parallel in terms of corridors. We can then easily bundle them into one receipt and prepare them in one go. That works nicely.”
Easily implement changes
Bas: “Even at this level, people sometimes forget to ask for something, a receipt is used incorrectly or the guest wants to change his choice. With the old method it was difficult to repair something like this and it became very confusing. You tackle those kinds of things with the digital kitchen screens. The digital receipt will be adjusted immediately if it has not yet been started. If work is already underway, we receive a warning so that we can take immediate action and everything is still ready on time.”
Perfect for the Bistro
“The working method in the Bistro is different from that in the starred restaurant. Here we take orders with the booq Handhelds and send everything directly to the kitchen screens. There we can clearly see per party what needs to be prepared and whether the colleague from another party has already started. This way we can coordinate everything perfectly and provide it at the same time. The booq Kitchen Manager is the very best system you can have for this method,” says André.
You get used to it
“Humans are quite creatures of habit. It really took some time and effort to get used to the new way of working if you have been used to doing things differently for a long time. But I'm glad we made the switch to digital work screens. In addition to saving the service a lot of time, we also run the service faster in the kitchen and there is therefore more peace. The young generation is of course very familiar with technology. They master such a digital system much faster than a traditional way of working. Personally, I also like to see that you come across the booq screens in all kinds of things. So with us, but also with our neighbors of the beautiful fast service store Hans & Frietje. Digital screens are the future.”