Merging gourmet Italian tastes with a quick service restaurant timescale is not easy work, but Spoleto Italian QSR eateries are not quite like everything else out there. Born shortly before the turn of the century in Rio de Janeiro by Eduardo Ourivio and Mário Chady, the chain today, almost 20 years down the line, is a much bigger brand than even its founders ever expected it would be.
After adopting the quick service franchise model in 2001, Spoleto My Italian Kitchen rapidly took off, both in its home country and around the world with QSR locations today in Mexico, Spain — and, as of the past few years, here in the U.S.
The quick service franchise concept is probably a bit familiar-sounding — customers get to choose between 30 authentic Italian-inspired toppings that they can then place into a pasta dish, flatbread or salad. That menu list is rotating, since one of Spoleto’s main selling points is fresh, seasonally appropriate offers for their clients. Spoleto My Italian Kitchen also offers catering.
But, noted Spoleto U.S. President and CEO John Velasquez, while “culinary freedom” is their mission — and franchise expansion to all corners of the world in search of quality Italian dining and catering — the firm is also committed to continuing its evolution.
Which means the news should probably come as no surprise that Spoleto My Italian Kitchen, in partnership with the NCR, is now bringing the ordering experience to the cloud — giving customers the ability to make mobile orders, mobile pay directly from their smartphone and, when they arrive, skip the line and get their order in hand. Designed to create a simple ordering and rewards experience, the mobile app ties ordering, payments and digital loyalty into a single digital hub with which consumers can more easily interact.
“The partnership with NCR continues to drive the digital platforms of our brand. They are finding innovative and integrated solutions that will allow us to scale nationwide with the most advanced digital strategies, including our new Spoleto app,” said Velasquez.
Spoleto and NCR had a relationship before the mobile order-ahead integration — the chain was already using NCR’s Aloha platform-of-sale software and chose to extend its omnichannel consumer engagement capabilities using the NCR Engage Mobile platform.
“Giving your customers a way to engage with you through digital platforms, especially on mobile devices, is no longer an option for restaurants — it’s now table stakes,” added Don Zimmerman, general manager at NCR Hospitality. “That means restaurants need to be fast to market with a seamless brand experience giving their customers a path to order, pay, earn and redeem rewards, and give their feedback effortlessly. We have the capability to help our customers quickly enable this type of experience with minimum development time and IT resource allocation, giving restaurants of all sizes the capability to remain competitive and relevant and extend their brand presence outside the four walls of their restaurant.”
And so far, the news has been encouraging for the QSR franchise — guests are getting served faster, wait times are down for all guests (even the ones waiting in line like it’s 2015) and larger ticket sizes among those who order. Repeat visits are up as well. And that, notably, is only a few weeks after mobile order-ahead went online — great things are still expected going forward.
“We are excited by the possibilities we now have to significantly shorten lines at our restaurants, give our guests convenience and drive additional revenue for our brand,” said Luis Pestonit, IT manager for Spoleto My Italian Kitchen.