Owner wanted a technology-forward POS to replace a bulky, outdated system that was one step above a basic cash register.
Xenial app-based, cloud-powered restaurant management platform running on Android-based tablets.
Wassim Zeitouni is a technologist at heart. And a food hobbyist. And an entrepreneur who hails from the eastern Mediterranean. After leaving the IBM Websphere software testing team, he was looking for the next thing. He likes food, and cooking is a hobby. He has always wanted to own his own business. So when he found a business park in the Ballantyne neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina that didn’t have many food venues, he decided to offer the flavors of home to the Charlotte working crowd. Thus began Zeitouni Mediterranean Grill.
Zeitouni describes his concept as a ‘Mediterranean grill with a Lebanese kitchen’. Zeitouni (zey-toon-ee) means Olive in Wassim’s native Lebanese.
On the menu, you’ll find influence from all around the Mediterranean: delicious gyros, Greek salad, falafel, shawarma, garlic-laden hummus, and more. Insider tip: ask for the Zeitouni Special, an off-menu item that has gained popularity solely through the influence of social media. Your tastebuds will thank you.
Zeitouni admits that there are times he misses the 8 to 5 world of software testing. The restaurant business, after all, is tough. Since the digital transformation, restaurant owners and managers have added ‘IT manager’ to their long list of responsibilities. “Even if they contract out aspects of their technology infrastructure, on some level, restaurateurs are still involved in decisions related to technology,” says Wassim Zeitouni, Owner, Zeitouni Mediterranean Grill. “These tech decisions often have ramifications that owners or managers may not fully understand.”
One example: point of sale. “With the customer touching us, and us touching the customer in so many new and different ways beyond ordering and paying at the counter—for example, delivery, mobile app ordering, gift and rewards, and so on, point of sale is no longer just the basic cash-tracking, receipt-printing tool it used to be,” says Zeitouni.
Modern POS for Modern Times
Zeitouni had been using a Sam4s system for ordering and payment. This gigantic piece of hardware with a tiny screen was only one step above an old-style cash register. It took up a large space on the small front counter and made the place where staff greeted and served customers feel crowded. “When you have such a large piece of hardware commanding the customer’s first visual impression, it tends to not only interfere with customer-server interaction; it takes away from the broader food-and-service experience,” says Zeitouni.
He adds, “When I started looking for a replacement POS, solutions that run on small, compact devices were at the top of my list.” When Zeitouni discovered that the Xenial restaurant management platform would run on virtually any device—smartphone, tablet, or Windows-based terminal—and any operating system (iOS, Android, or Windows), he decided to give it a try.
Xenial is an app-based, cloud-powered restaurant management platform. Zeitouni Mediterranean Grill takes orders and payment with Xenial running on a sleek Android-based tablet. The team accepts phone-in orders using a second Android tablet running Xenial. With the Xenial rental model, customers pay one price regardless of how many devices they use. So if Zeitouni wanted to add a third device to line-bust, he could do so without incurring any additional rental fees.
Faster Ordering Keeps Business Lunch Line Moving
“From an owner’s perspective, a line out the door is both a good and bad thing, right?” says Zeitouni. “Our business lunch customers need fast service, and because Xenial ordering goes fast, we move the line quickly. The Xenial user design and development teams did a very good job putting a great user experience into the Xenial software. Xenial handles all the add-ons, exceptions, sides, and beverages in one place so ordering is streamlined and fast.”
Flexible, Easy to Customize
Zeitouni uses the printed receipt as the grill ticket. With his previous point of sale system, if a customer wanted to customize their order, there was no way to enter the add-on or exception into the POS system. “If they wanted extra olives or hold the feta, we had to hand write the special request on the receipt,” explains Zeitouni. “Xenial gives us the flexibility to customize our standard menu items easily according to customer tastes and preferences, and these changes become options on the ordering screen. This capability, alone, speeds up ordering, avoids confusion, and improves accuracy,” says Zeitouni.
Zeitouni uses Heartland card processing. “I appreciate working with Heartland for card processing because they are responsive to my needs and requests,” says Zeitouni.
As Easy as your Smartphone to Learn And Use
“I’m very happy with Xenial,” says Zeitouni. “It is very user friendly. My staff felt comfortable using it right away. Working with Xenial has been a great experience. The tablet itself and the interface work really well. Everyone learned it very quickly, with minimal training.”
Future-Ready Restaurant Platform
What’s next in the world of restaurant ordering, service, and experience? As the last few years have proven, customer demands are evolving rapidly, along with the changes needed to keep up with these demands. Keeping pace requires rapid execution on the part of both the restaurateur and technology providers.
Xenial is ready for the future in a variety of ways. Developed using cloud-ready programming languages and methods, and offering open APIs, Xenial is natively ready to support integration of third-party apps. It’s also ready to handle whatever is ‘next’ in terms of ordering, customer service, and experience.
“As I got to know Xenial and the team behind it, it was obvious to me that Xenial is a solid technology company that thinks like a software and technology company. They can develop and release features rapidly. And the team and the software are clearly future-focused. As a business owner and technology enthusiast, I am thrilled to work with a product and a company that is as technology-forward as Xenial is.”
Editor's Note: Mediterranean-Style Hospitality Isn’t Greek to Us
Well, actually, it is. Xenial (zee-nee-uhl) means hospitality in ancient Greek, and we’re proud of the fact that Zeitouni Mediterranean Grill was Xenial’s very first customer, starting with their installation in May 2017.
The word Xenial may be ancient, but our Xenial software couldn’t be more modern. Our people are pretty awesome, too.
We hope to give you the kind of hospitable experience that Zeitouni Mediterranean Grill experienced, as you strive to serve amazing food and show your own customers the great hospitality you are passionate about.