The Parlour Bar and Kitchen, Canary Wharf

The Parlour Bar and Kitchen, Canary Wharf

Client: The Parlour Bar and Kitchen
Type of works: implementation of the ConnectSmart ® Kitchen (CSK) system.

From a business breakfast to a late night drink, the Parlour Bar and Kitchen meets the needs of customers living and working around Canary Wharf in London’s Docklands.

Located in the new Park Pavilion development in Canary Wharf, the parlour is the second venue from the privately-owned, expanding bar group Drake & Morgan. Opened in October 2009, it has quickly built a reputation as a haven from the city, thanks to the combination of a striking, modern design, high-quality food and drink, and fast, efficient, customer service.

Recognising the importance its customers place on service, Drake & Morgan worked with Call- Systems Technology (CST) to implement the ConnectSmart® Kitchen (CSK) from American manufacturer QSR Automations®.

CSK allows front-of-house staff to relay order information to chefs. Touchscreens in the kitchen tell chefs which dishes to prepare and when. This means all the food for a table's order is ready at the same time, with the timings worked out by the system automatically.

The Parlour is open from 8am to midnight, with an all-day menu from breakfast to dinner. The emphasis is on fresh food, and includes locally-sourced seasonal dishes, fresh seafood, deli-style sharing boards and gourmet sandwiches and burgers. While food trade is steady throughout the day, the peak period is at lunchtime, when up to 350 meals may be served.

Front-of-house staff take orders, which they key into the Epos system. CSK can interface with most POS and Epos systems on the market. The menu items are automatically graphically displayed on screens at different kitchen stations, including individual requirements such as how a burger should be cooked.

In the kitchen, the system automatically schedules the prep and cooking times to ensure all the food for a table is ready simultaneously. The screens tell each chef what to cook next, and if they need a reminder, they can touch the screen to bring up specification cards that give the recipe and images of the dish.

For the parlour’s general manager Taskin Muzaffer, the system represents a major step forward from the traditional paper-based approach to kitchen communications. “It means chefs don’t have to think about the timings of each dish, they’re alerted when they need to start cooking.”

Programming the parlour’s menu into CSK also proved to be an interesting lesson on the realities of timings in a busy kitchen. “We learnt that it’s only as good as the timings you put in for each dish, and the CSK helped us to determine the true cook times for our menu items” says Taskin.

Having mastered the art of timing a dish, staff have adapted quickly. “The system is very efficient, so staff have taken to it well. It’s also very easy to train new staff to use it.”

Jillian MacLean, managing director of Drake & Morgan, took the decision to implement CSK at the parlour as part of the company ethos to use the latest technology and operating systems to deliver high standards of service.

The company has ambitious plans to grow to ten outlets across the capital and the CSK will also be implemented at its next bar, The Anthologist in Gresham Street, London, set to open in April 2010. The CSK will also be retrofitted at Drake & Morgan’s first outlet, The Refinery in Southwark Street, London this year.

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