The Golden Crown Panaderia has been located in the heart of Albuquerque’s Old Town district for more than three decades. The Downtown institution is housed in an adobe building with outdoor patio seating in the summer, and its New Mexican baked goods have caught the attention of The New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, Gourmet, Condé Nast Traveler and other media outlets.
Since its inception, Golden Crown has focused on wholesale and supplying breads and pastries to many of Albuquerque’s finest restaurants and hotels including the Hyatt Hotel, Petroleum Club, Smirolls International Cuisine, the Albuquerque Convention Center and more.
In 2002, the bakery’s owner, Chris Morales, decided to convert his commercial operation into a more traditional retail and restaurant storefront.
Almost immediately, the bakery was a success. Diners visit this “great little place” with “friendly staff” where “you can tell the love that goes into each empanada,” and their specialty coffees and sandwiches. People line up for the “fresh and delicious” pizza, offered with several crust options—whole grain, gluten free, green chile or regular.
Although the bakery was a local favorite, the chaotic kitchen was causing some problems.
“When we first decided to convert our business into a more traditional restaurant and retail environment, it was a learning process,” said Chris Morales, Owner. “We had never operated as a restaurant storefront before so there was a lack of inventory control, hectic kitchen activity, long lines and inconsistent food preparation.”
The bakery’s ownership recognized the need for a technology solution that would help automate their operations, so Morales began searching for a system that would be durable enough for his bustling kitchen but include the functionality and reporting options needed for long and short-term planning.
After evaluating several options, Golden Crown installed four kitchen display system stations equipped with Bematech LS6000 KDS Controllers, KB1700 Bump Bars and assorted monitors. The bakery also selected pcAmerica’s Restaurant Pro Express point-of-sale software.
“We chose Restaurant Pro Express because it offered a lot of great tools and flexibility that would help us grow our business,” said Morales. “The Bematech hardware is a powerful, cost-effective choice that had the most functionalities out of all of the options we explored.”
Restaurant Pro Express is a touch-screen restaurant POS software package that is ideal for table service and fine dining restaurants, fast food establishments, coffee shops, pizza parlors, cafeterias and many other types of restaurants. pcAmerica also offers a tablet-ready version of the software and Restaurant Pro Express™ Mobile for fast tableside ordering and payments using an Apple® iPod touch® or iPhone®.
Bematech’s LS6000 has no moving mechanical parts that can fail and no internal cables, disk drives, or noisy fans. The enclosure is a heavy-duty die cast case that can withstand the hazards of busy restaurant kitchens. The LS6000 module consumes less than 1.5 watts of power, has a compact footprint and two mounting tabs so the module can be mounted anywhere.
The KB1700 bump bar is one of the most popular bump bars available, built with high quality stainless steel dome disk switches that last more than three million cycles. The unit is enclosed in high-durability, UV resistant plastic that prevents color fading.
Since implementing the new system, the kitchen staff is more organized and can fulfill more orders in a shorter amount of time. It also receives orders placed online so they are ready when customers arrive to pick them up.
When the customer is finished ordering at the counter, the POS system sends the data through the LS6000 Kitchen Controller to one of three food prep stations: pizzas, sandwiches or salads. The orders are time stamped and sent to the appropriate prep area at different times to ensure everything will be finished and served simultaneously.
When they are received in the kitchen, the selections are displayed on the monitor, broken down into a clear list of ingredients to ensure the food or beverages are prepared consistently.
The restaurant’s profit margins have increased as a result of the new inventory control management. Morales is able to view the reports and use the data to help manage ingredients more effectively by ordering and prepping only what’s needed, so fewer products go to waste.
“Lunch is our busiest time of day and the new system allows us to serve higher volumes of people faster, which means less waiting and more satisfied customers who will come back again,” said Morales. “We’ve also seen food come out more consistently prepared, so our clients can be sure that their favorite salad, pizza, sandwich or smoothie will be the same delicious experience, every time.”