Having first opened its doors in mid-2023, Longshore is one of Sydney’s newest hatted restaurants. The seafood-inspired eatery takes a relaxed approach to fine dining and has made an immediate impact on Sydney’s vibrant culinary scene.
Just a few months after opening, Longshore quickly solidified its position amongst some of Sydney’s best restaurants, securing a coveted hat in the Good Food Guide 2024 Awards.
To understand the secret to their success, we sat down with Dorothy (Dot) Lee, the General Manager of Longshore, who shared her insights into the restaurant’s journey and how Lightspeed plays a pivotal role in helping the team deliver an impeccable dining experience.
Longshore’s recipe for success
Dot is somewhat of a veteran in hospitality, first training as a chef and going on to co-own her first venue, Hartsyard in Sydney’s Newtown, before opening Longshore with her partner and chef Jarrod Walsh in 2023.
With a wealth of hospitality experience and a passion for food and delivering impeccable service, it’s no surprise that Longshore was an immediate success.
But what is it that makes Longshore so unique?
According to Dot, their recipe for success combines location, food, wine, and service.
“With Longshore, the difference is in that area, you don’t get a lot of seafood restaurants. And our focus on wine is another strong element. You don’t have a lot of wine bars in that area. So I think the good food and the good wine definitely make us stand out a little bit, and also, our service is super friendly and genuine.”
Delivering impeccable service with Lightspeed
Longshore is driven by a passion for detail and a commitment to delivering unparalleled service. For Dot, curating the perfect customer experience is paramount, and interacting with customers and observing them enjoying themselves is often the highlight of her role.
“Our customers have all been really, really lovely. Having a previous restaurant, we do have old regulars that come back and visit us. And, especially to me, seeing people every day or serving the regulars are definitely the highlights of my job.”
When it comes to running a full-service restaurant that prides itself on excellent food and service, having reliable technology is crucial to ensure everything works like clockwork for a seamless customer experience.
For Longshore, this is where Lightspeed stepped in to help elevate their operations. Lightspeed became their go-to POS platform, empowering them to efficiently manage day-to-day operations and focus on what they do best – creating exceptional experiences with a relaxed take on traditional fine dining.
1. Easy-to-use POS makes training a breeze
Lightspeed provides Longshore with a powerful yet easy-to-use POS platform, offering a suite of tools designed to manage and grow the business seamlessly.
Dorothy loves Lightspeed’s user-friendly interface, making it a breeze for both front-end sales and back-office management.
“We are constantly so grateful for how easy it is to use… The front office has a lot of flexibility for new staff and for us… Back office wise, it’s also very clear and easy for us to use compared to a lot of other systems that we’ve [used] before.”
An easy-to-use, reliable POS ensures the team at Longshore can focus on their roles without having to worry about the tech. Plus, having such a user-friendly system makes it quick and easy to train new staff, so they can get serving as soon as possible.
“Training new staff with Lightspeed has been the easiest training ever for us. Because it looks like their phone, it’s very user-friendly. I think that is the biggest plus with Lightspeed.”
2. In-depth analytics allow for strategic decisions
Dorothy and her team leverage Lightspeed’s analytics tools to make informed decisions based on sales data.
“You can look at the drink’s report and then the food reports that break down each night into how much we make from beverages that week.”
Armed with this information, it’s easy for the team to understand which beverages and dishes are selling well–and which aren’t– so they can continually tailor their offering to appeal most to customers.
“We make changes every month… All of the reports and figures help us to determine and to project a proper beverage spend each week.”
Without this data, Dorothy would have to rely on educated guesses, which don’t always paint an accurate picture and could have an adverse effect on sales.
“We’re tracking how the stock is moving… Let’s say this wine by the glass is not moving as much, or even cocktails; if it’s not selling, then… we make changes every month to strengthen the list, depending on how much they sell.”
3. Quick payments make it easier to turn tables
Lightspeed Payments has revolutionised customer transactions for Longshore, making them quick, easy, and accurate – all of which ensure a smooth payment experience for customers.
“It’s been quite amazing, honestly,” comments Dot. “We love that it is integrated with our payment terminals… that saves us a lot of time, and there’s less mistakes.”
Plus, the ability to split bills seamlessly makes life easier for waitstaff and impresses customers, making it quicker and easier to turn tables.
“We always have customers that want to split bills, and [Lightspeed] makes our life so much easier because we can just bring the POS with us and do it at a table, and even the customer seemed really impressed.”
“They’ll be like, oh, how do you do that? I was like, I don’t do it [Lightspeed does], and they left happy. You get the correct amount of money, and you manage to turn the table a lot quicker.”
4. User-friendly POS makes staff management easy
In the fast-paced world of hospitality, time is money, and even the smallest mistakes can cost precious dollars. In the past, Dorothy has found that sometimes staff can make mistakes on the POS that have a knock-on effect on managers and the business.
As we touched on earlier, Dot loves how Lightspeed’s user-friendly interface makes it quick and easy to train staff. This ease of use makes staff management easier for Dot, as she knows how easy the system is to navigate, which minimises mistakes, allowing Dot to trust her team fully.
“With Lightspeed, what I like the most as a manager… I don’t need to check on my staff at all or worry about my staff making any mistakes with Lightspeed. So that’s really good.”
5. Smart workflows ensure seamless communication between FOH and BOH
Efficient communication between the front-of-house and back-of-house is paramount in ensuring a smooth, enjoyable dining experience for customers.
Lightspeed’s flexible features and smart workflows allow seamless communication between Longshore’s front-of-house and back-of-house teams, enhancing order flow in and out of the kitchen.
For Dot, customising the POS to fit their way of working is an invaluable asset – as it lets the FOH team keep the BOH team up-to-date with a customer’s dining journey.
“We added the ‘Waiting for drinks’ button, which is sent to the kitchen. And because we have pairings as well, we have ‘Waiting for pairing’. So these are the little features that we added on the POS to help us communicate as a team.”
What’s next for Longshore?
Having only been open for less than a year, Dot has grand plans for the future of Longshore – from continually switching up the menu to optimising their outdoor space. She is also excited to collaborate with other restaurants to keep things fresh and exciting for customers.
“We definitely plan on having more collaboration with different restaurants… In the future, we’d definitely like to have some collabs, perhaps three times a year, including overseas restaurants as well, if we can.”
Not only will collaborations bring something new to the table for customers, but they will also be invaluable for the restaurant and Longshore team.
“[We hope] to learn from them because it can get quite repetitive… So I think it’s a chance for us all to learn from each other and see what we can take away [from the experience].”
After seeing such great success in their first few months of operating, the future is bright for Longshore. As Lightspeed continues to power Longshore’s journey, delivering exceptional service and elevating the dining experience, we’re excited to see what’s next for the team and how Lightspeed can continue to support the restaurant as it grows.
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