Indian restaurant group Kricket kicks off this year’s Talking Tech series of profile articles created in conjunction with leading restaurant technology provider Tevalis, examining the behind the scenes systems that makes expanding hospitality groups tick.
Just four years ago Rik Campbell and business partner Will Bowlby set up Kricket in a shipping container in Brixton. Serving Indian street food using British ingredients and authentic spicing, it quickly became a big hit, with a bricks and mortar site in Soho opening in 2017. Since then, two more restaurants have followed (Kricket Television Centre in London’s White City and Kricket Brixton), with more likely to come in the future.
While chef Bowlby’s small plates of modern Indian food are a huge part of the company’s success, the Kricket team are convinced they wouldn’t be where they are today if it weren’t for their technology supplier Tevalis.
Campbell says Kricket’s original EPoS provider when they first started out in a 20-seater shipping container didn’t see the business’s potential to grow, and the service Kricket received was poor.
“They didn’t take us seriously because we were in a shipping container. They didn’t even tell us about the back office, we had to pay for everything upfront rather than leasing, and the support was non existent,” recalls Campbell.
So with Kricket due to open its first permanent site in Soho – and with ambitions for further openings after that – Campbell knew he needed to find an EPoS provider with all the technology in place to support the business’s growth.
After much research and asking around for recommendations, Tevalis was chosen for the job, and Campbell has never looked back.
“Our previous EPoS provider obviously didn’t see the potential in us and that’s something Tevalis has done since.
“Tevalis has been critical to our growth because of the financial information their technology provides us with and the ability their system gives us to do stock control, especially around recipes and GP margins.
“While there are plenty of good EPoS providers out there, we chose Tevalis because of the user friendliness of their system and the support packages they offer. They’ve been there every step of our growth and our staff really enjoy using Tevalis and find it easier than other systems they’ve used before,” says Campbell.
One of Campbell’s favourite technology solutions from Tevalis, which he says has really helped Kricket’s expansion, is the Centralised Management module within the Enterprise Suite.
Centralised Management enables Kricket to have a centralised catalogue of all products for all sites. With the ‘packages’ feature, managers have the ability to make estate-wide changes to menus/the PoS from any internet-connected device, thus maximising efficiency and reducing manual admin time.
“Tevalis’s stock system has helped us really get control of our stock, our sales and improve gross margins, which is critical in the modern climate with increasing costs. Before we started using Tevalis, stock control was pretty much done on the back of a fag packet! We certainly couldn’t have grown like we have if we didn’t have Tevalis’s Centralised Management solution,” says Campbell.
He adds: “The other great thing about Centralised Management is we can manage three sites from outside of the restaurant: we are adding new products and new recipes and it can all be done away from the restaurant, not directly on the till, so it saves a lot of time.
“Another huge benefit of Centralised Management is getting recipes and suppliers consistent across all sites. This means customers get the same gastronomic experience no matter where they are,” says Campbell.
Kricket is also now reaping the benefits of using another Enterprise Suite module, Business Analytics, which enables Campbell to run any number of reports on every aspect of the business.
“As a business owner I spend a lot of time looking at the financials and Tevalis enables me to go into a lot of detail. With Business Analytics I can pull off hundreds of reports, from detailed sales breakdowns for each site to gross profit margins for each product, individual staff performance, peak times, historical data for budgeting, and forecasts for the following year,” explains Campbell.
“The automated reporting tool is really great too: all our managers get reports key to their role about the previous day sent through to their mobile every morning so they can read it on the way to work.”
He adds: “Over the past three years Tevalis has become an integral part of our business and
is becoming even more so. We have been able to expand while keeping control and not worry about a lot of the aspects that Tevalis looks after.
Co-owner at Kricket
The man behind Kricket’s FOH ops and finances on expansion and restaurant tech
What can we expect to see from Kricket next?
“We’re not opening any more sites this year as we did two last year and we need to enjoy what we have at the moment and consolidate a little bit. We’re trying a few new things though: we did an all-veggie menu at Kricket Brixton for January, which has gone down well. At Kricket Television Centre we’re hoping to do more ticket events around Indian holidays and more feast-style eating. For example, we might do a game feast during the game season.”
Are there any new technology solutions that Kricket would be interested in?
“I think it would be great if technology could be developed around currency to enable customers to pay with different currencies. We’re so international these days and especially in Soho people want to pay with all different types of currency, so something that meant we could do the conversion at our side instead of at the bank would be good.”
What technology would you like to see from Tevalis next?
“I think it would be great for Tevalis to design a feature within their new stock app, whereby you can take a photo of, say a bottle of gin and it will tell you exactly how many ml is left. That would really make the stocktake a lot quicker and even more accurate!”