Close
 

Why Burger Burger founder Mimi Gilmour is creating a no-queue app

  • Technology
  • December 2, 2015
  • Nikki Mandow
Why Burger Burger founder Mimi Gilmour is creating a no-queue app
Mimi Gilmour. Photo / Franksolutions.co.nz

It’s Tuesday evening in the Auckland suburb of Newmarket and the queues are out the door at restaurant Burger Burger, owned by hospitality entrepreneur Mimi Gilmour. Mostly it’s the young and restless, but there’s a smattering of older couples and families. The doorman is impatient. There’s a 40 minute wait. And no, you can’t book and come back later. And no, you can’t put your name down for a table at Burger Burger Ponsonby and head there for a shorter wait. And yes, you can quit getting impatient and have a drink in the courtyard.



We do, and actually we are ushered through almost as soon as our glasses hit the bar. The food is good, the service speedy and cheerful, and you can get a meal for under $20.



Still there was that unfortunate contretemps at the beginning of the evening. And Gilmour takes hospitality seriously. Her mum, Emerald Gilmour, ran Auckland's upmarket Club Mirage in the 1980s, and Gilmour doesn't want her customers’ night to start with a curt exchange of words. Quite apart from it not being much fun for the guy on the door.


 

Gilmour’s restaurants Burger Burger and Fish Fish (and her former chain Mexico) have adopted the "no reservation" policy which is much in vogue around the world these days. London, Rome, Washington, Tokyo; in all these cities you’ll find increasing numbers of restaurants with punters seemingly happy to wait up to two hours for a table – and still come back next time.

The positives for the restaurants include not having to put up with ‘no shows’, quite apart from the kudos of knowing folks want to come to your place so much they are prepared to stand in line.

Still, it’s a bit annoying. Hence Gilmour’s app-in-progress Waitless, subtitled “Screw the queue”. It’s still in development, and unlikely to be launched until next year, but it will allow customers to log in from home/their desk/the bar round the corner, check wait times at any of Gilmour’s three (and about to be five) restaurants, get into the queue without having to stand in line, and receive updates on when they should turn up. 

“It allows everyone to manage their time better: have a drink somewhere else, or sit at their desk a bit longer." It may also mean less hassle for the guy on the door, as the information will manage customer expectations. People may say they are happy waiting an hour, Gilmour says, but realistically they get impatient – and that’s not good for anyone’s good night out.

There is other software doing similar things overseas – apps like eetapp, for example. But Gilmour says they can be overcomplicated. “I designed Waitless so my mother could use it.” 

Initially, Gilmour plans to use the app just for her own restaurants, but other eateries could be added later. The idea at the moment is for customers to pay $1 to jump on the app; restaurants will get it for free.

The hospitality industry has sometimes been slow to embrace technology, she says, but there are plenty of areas where tech can produce efficiencies.

At Burger Burger, for example, they have just built an online community (BB Central) for the company’s 100 or so staff. With several restaurants in the group – and two more set to open in Takapuna soon – and with the majority of employees being young, part time and on shifts, it’s a way to bring everyone together, Gilmour says.

“At the moment we use a Facebook group, and that’s quite effective, but with BB Central everyone has a profile, a photo, so we can recognise everyone, and staff feel included and can get to know each other.”

BB Central will also be the repository for online training modules being introduced across the company, as Gilmour tries to get a large group of mainly under-25 part-timers to deliver the “casual excellence” she wants for customers. The training will feature video, animations and written tests, and each new staff member will have a mentor who will keep an eye on their progress. Level one will cover things like greeting a customer, dealing with drunks, taking an order, with higher levels dealing with running the business side of the company.

“The hospitality industry has been focused on service, and we haven’t always invested in that level of training.”

How about restaurant robots? They may be appearing overseas, but not in Gilmour’s chains.

“I love hospitality for the fact that it is a face-to-face interaction between people. The minute you get people ordering their own food for the table, you lose that. I was bought up in family where we sat down to dinner and I am concerned the more we automate, the more we lose that personal touch. Technology is good for efficiency in some areas, but it will be a sad day when it takes away the shared trust between two people.”

Mimi Gilmour's big hairy audacious goals

  • 10 restaurants in 10 years time.
  • To serve the equivalent of the population of New Zealand in one year.
  • To be the most extraordinary place to work for under 25s in New Zealand.

This article was originally published on Idealog

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

 
Sponsored content

Tauranga Crossing celebrates grand opening of the enclosed mall

The opening was an outstanding success. In the first month approximately 350,000 people visited the new mall.

 
 

Kevin Murphy’s mission to reduce plastic pollution

  • News
  • June 27, 2019
  • Emily Bell
Kevin Murphy’s mission to reduce plastic pollution

Makeup, deodorant, cleansers are essentials used all over the world, every day. They are also part of a bigger picture and a much larger, growing problem; global plastic pollution. Hair product company Kevin Murphy is working on reducing its contribution to the problem by moving its range to recycled ocean plastics.

Read more
 
 
News

Idealog + Studio ZQ launch Wool-ovation competition: Enter now

Idealog is one of the few media brands dedicated to celebrating New Zealand’s special brand of creativity. We've teamed up with the New Zealand Merino ...

 

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
topics
Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Sisterhood
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...
 

Sharesies investment platform joins the NZX

  • News
  • June 25, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Sharesies investment platform joins the NZX

Investment growth platform Sharesies has had a busy year in 2019, becoming B Corp certified earlier in April, and now has become an NZX participant starting this July.

Read more
 
 
News

Capitalise on today and invest in tomorrow at the Retail NZ Summit and SME Forum

New Zealand’s leading retail trade organization, Retail NZ, works year-round to assist its members with retail advice, benefits, industry intel and education. This July it’s ...

 
News

Ambiente: A window on the world

Global forces like Brexit and climate change are affecting trade worldwide. Sarah Dunn consults the Ambiente trade fair in Germany for evidence of how this ...

 
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise
The Register

editor@theregister.co.nz

Content marketing/advertising? Email anita.hayhoe@icg.co.nz or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit

}