The Meltwich Casual Restaurant Chain Turns to ArcherPoint and Microsoft to Support Continued Exponential Growth
WARNING: This case study contains many, many references to melted cheese.
What is it about a grilled cheese sandwich that is so universally appealing? Whenever anyone mentions “grilled cheese,” there is at least one soft sigh or—if you listen closely—even the far-off sound of a stomach rumbling.
It’s no surprise, then, that a chain of casual restaurants that specializes in an amazing variety of sandwiches based on a foundation of cheese, bread, and a buttered-up grill (the cheddar-mozzarella-egg-tater tots-garlic mayo Good Morning Melt and the mac-n-cheese-bacon-garlic mayo-ketchup-cheddar-mozzarella Mac Attack will get you started) would be an immediate success…and it was.
With 20 locations throughout Canada and 40 more coming soon, Meltwich Food Co has found arguably the ideal franchise business model, serving up delicious and convenient food options with wholesome, healthy ingredients (including vegan and keto-friendly options) in a funky, trendy, urban-chic environment—tweaked here and there for suburban versus urban stores to accommodate a different customer profile.
What sets the Meltwich brand apart—in addition to the menu—is that its owners started taking the delivery concept very seriously over a year ago, long before many were literally forced into the channel. Everything from the food-grade tape used on bags to the size and variety of menu options (less than 200) is geared for delivery as well as eat-in. Even the company’s POS system is online with Uber, Skip, and Door Dash.
It follows that the company also takes the technology that supports them very seriously. They have recently transitioned to a gift card solution and use a tablet-based POS. Everything that can utilize Bluetooth technology does so—even the music that is piped into their restaurants.
The most amazing differentiator: Because of technology, the company currently has only nine employees but does not plan to have more than 15 to cover 100 stores.
“I think we nailed the technology, which is also why we’re so busy,” said Tom Mavrou, COO of the Meltwich Food Co. “Those who don’t utilize technology are not able to scale like we can.”
But technology was an area in which Meltwich was also experiencing some challenges. The company needs the ability to share files across all franchise locations—from email to documents and images for onboarding, marketing materials, photos, posters, uniforms, and so on—and provide instant access to them without the need to contact the corporate office. They were depending on email or printing and mailing to share documents and resources, which was not working, and the goal was to alleviate stress for franchisees as well as corporate.
The Meltwich team looked at Google, including Google Sheets but decided to go with Microsoft SharePoint for file sharing and Outlook (Microsoft 365) for email.
“Microsoft provides better business tools with more features than Google,” said Tom. “Everyone agreed that it’s simply more professional—offering features we need and will need as we grow, like better security.”
Everyone also agreed that ArcherPoint was the right partner for the implementation because “ArcherPoint provided the solution that meets our needs exactly at this point in time—[they] did not try to oversell us like others did…[they] said, ‘This is all you need right now,’ which made us trust ArcherPoint.”
The process to make the move from Google to Outlook for the head office as well as all the stores—as well as the implementation of SharePoint—was painless, and the results were instantaneous. Everything a franchise business needs is easily accessible on SharePoint.
In addition, administrative resources and tools like insurance calendars are instantly available. In the restaurant business, one of the biggest expenses is labor, so the Meltwich group began seeing cost savings right away because of the efficiencies delivered by Microsoft.
“The restaurant business tends to be pretty primitive,” continued Tom. “But if you take advantage of technology, you’re more efficient, which not only saves money but also contributes to overall success.”
Meltwich is continuing to grow and implement Microsoft technologies across the board to support growth and also to promote it, including Microsoft 365 for all the franchises and Power BI—which will integrate with their POS system for reporting and analytics to track sales trends and inform staffing decisions.