Bone Daddies operates a very simple business philosophy. Protect the business, protect the team. Its head of operations Steve Hill explains: “If we don’t have a business we don’t have a team. If we don’t have a team we don’t have a business”.
Bone Daddies currently has seven restaurants and six delivery kitchens. The brand adopted a unique approach to trading through the pandemic, staying true to its culture of being classically like a family, underpinned by the belief that if you care about both the guest and the team you will have a thriving business.
Through the pandemic, the brand pivoted its business model with more of a focus on delivery, whilst also launching its #Bone@Home meal kits. Any business would tell you that this was to create a much needed new revenue stream, however, for Bone Daddies, this was not the case.
Driving sales was not at the forefront of the group's thinking. Hill explains that the introduction of #Bone@Home wasn’t to create more sales to make more profit but to give the teams greater job security. The brand took the same approach with its delivery only kitchens, with the aim of getting as many people off furlough as quickly as possible.
Further initiatives included streamlining menus - still offering a great product with great ingredients, but treated as simply as possible. However, being mindful not to take too much away, as the group was conscious that guests might be disappointed that their favourite dish had been removed. Instead, Bone Daddies turned to menu engineering to try to make dishes better but simpler, with the help of back-of-house technology.
Bone Daddies prides itself on being “a community based ramen bar that really does give a shit!” It sees its places as neighbourhood style restaurants, and although it has seven sites, the last thing it wants is to be thought of as a chain. Due to the brand’s community spirit and the respect it has shown to its customers to stay true to this philosophy, Hill explains that it has enabled its survival and allowed the group to keep paying its teams, suppliers and landlords.
Hill goes on to talk about the major role QSR Automations’ ConnectSmart Kitchen back-of-house technology has played during the pandemic to streamline and drive efficiencies across their kitchens, together with the key role it will play in its future growth plans.
So what does the future hold for Bone Daddies? The brand is focused on getting back to where it was in terms of pre-pandemic sales. New sites will be a core focus, together with expanding delivery only sites to increase volume.
This is the first of a series of videos from QSR Automations which will take a deep dive into an operator’s business. It will look at its vision, values and culture, its journey through COVID-19 and its future strategy and growth plans. The videos will also be looking at the key role technology has played to not only keep businesses afloat during the pandemic, but also its role in a brand's future growth strategy.