In our exclusive interview with Ahmed Meligy, the visionary owner of the thriving restaurant Noi Metropoli, we delve into the inspiration behind his restaurant’s creation and the secrets to its remarkable success. As a seasoned professional in the events and entertainment industry, Ahmed transitioned into the realm of stand-alone lounges and restaurants, driven by the changing interests of his community. His passion for food and the desire to provide an exceptional dining experience led him on an enlightening journey from a guest’s perspective to becoming a restaurant owner. To streamline his operations, Ahmed adopted Loyverse, a point of sale and inventory management system, which he credits for enhancing order management, inventory control, and his overall understanding of the restaurant’s performance. Join us as Ahmed shares his insights and valuable advice for aspiring entrepreneurs considering a venture in the restaurant industry.
What inspired you to open your restaurant, Noi Metropoli, and how did you envision its success?
I have been working in events and entertainment all my life, and then after we grew up and finished university and got closer to my thirties, the interest of our community and our PR base went more to dine-in. Naturally, we moved our interest in business from doing parties and events to doing stand-alone lounges and restaurants/bars where you serve lunch and dinner. In addition to that, I have loved food all of my life. So, it was a field I had knowledge in, but as a guest, not an owner. I worked and turned that knowledge from the “know-how of a guest” into the “know-how of an owner.” We started by opening the beach bar in one of our holiday destinations in Egypt. I spent two years there. I was operating myself to learn everything from the kitchen, bar service, back end, etc. At that time, I was working on everything manually.
Later, I moved to Cairo. I got an operation manager. Then, a friend of mine introduced me to Loyverse. He was using Loyverse for his bar. He explained how Loyverse works and how user-friendly it is, and when I opened my new restaurant, I decided to use it. And I really like it. It is really balanced between having something that gives you what you need regarding the Back office, but the POS is user-friendly. Even if it might not have everything you need from a system, there is always a loophole or workaround that you can use to get the same result.
How has Loyverse helped streamline your restaurant operations, such as order management and inventory control?
Loyverse has helped a lot in both these aspects. I use Loyverse as a point of sales system and as an inventory management software. One of the most valuable features is open tickets. This feature allows one to take orders, assign them to a table, and send the order to the kitchen. It is good that the open tickets can be edited; you can add new items and keep them open until the customer decides to make payment.
Another helpful feature is composite items that allow one to track the ingredients of each recipe and manage costs.
I don’t use the CRM features that Loyverse offers yet. But, I learned that it is possible to assign tickets to customers and later on check the purchase history of these registered customers. This was a feature that I was searching for, and I will start using it from now on. The loyalty program feature also seems very attractive. I will explore in more depth these features to learn how to use them in my restaurant best.
Regarding reporting and analytics, how valuable is the data you obtain from Loyverse in understanding your restaurant’s performance and making informed decisions?
It is precious, of course. It helps me to understand trends and plan my next moves. I also use the Dashboard app to have my data at my fingertips in real-time.
Are you using the KDS app to send the orders to the kitchen?
But, I have seen that you have an app that can show the orders in the kitchen, and I want to explore that as it would give a more modern look to the restaurant.
You mentioned that you use Loyverse as an inventory management software as well. Are you using the Advanced Inventory service?
Yes, I use the Advanced Inventory. All the features that it contains are very useful for me. I use them all. I record my Purchase Orders, Stock Adjustments and perform my Inventory Counts. I frequently check the Inventory Valuation report.
What I don’t use so frequently is the Production feature.
Is there any advice or words of wisdom you would like to share with aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start their restaurants?
I would tell them to start small and ensure they work in all the departments themselves so they understand all the processes. The last piece of advice would be to offer something of good quality, which is diverse from what is around because it is essential that you stand out from your competition.