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Client Spotlight: Hospitality Venue 360Q Restaurant

Client Spotlight: Hospitality Venue 360Q Restaurant

Starting a restaurant in a sleepy town with just over 1,000 residents might scare some restaurateurs. Not so seasoned chef Barry Iddles. When he saw a stunning building on the Queenscliff marina that had been sitting idle for some time, he saw an opportunity, and he took it. Throughout the years and during a global pandemic he’s seen his business not just survive, but thrive - with a little help from Microkeeper.

A dinosaur that learned to evolve

Barry calls himself a “dinosaur” when it comes to his life in hospitality. In business for more than 45 years, his accolades include being named Victorian Apprentice of the Year in 1975, and taking out Australian Chef of the Year ten years later. Before taking on 360Q, he made his name in restaurants and catering businesses from Melbourne, Bendigo and Sorrento to Falls Creek.

360Q turned into another success story. But as the business grew, doing things on paper wasn’t viable much longer. “Having 40 odd staff members and faxing timesheets to the accounts team became a bit frightening.” 

While other dinosaurs went extinct, Barry has never been one to stand still. “It’s about getting off your bum and doing whatever it takes to survive. I live my life by six Ps; prior preparation prevents piss poor performance.”

Enter Microkeeper: a godsend for restaurants

It was a conversation with a fellow business owner in Queenscliff that introduced him to Microkeeper. One system that handles all employee admin - from onboarding new staff, to handling payroll. “A godsend” Barry calls it. 

“It’s super efficient. Microkeeper lets us do costed rosters and easily share them with our staff. Being automated it also cuts out time theft. Our team clock on and clock off with Microkeeper and our payroll team can easily handle payroll and send it through to Xero instantly. It’s one of the best things we’ve implemented at 360Q!”

The benefits of the cloud

Travelling internationally at least twice a year exploring new flavours, the benefits of cloud software soon became apparent on his trips too: “Going to Microkeeper kept me visual all the time. It doesn’t matter where I am in the world.”

“A few years ago I was on a trip to Europe - on a continual basis I would check my rostering in Microkeeper, compare it to the booking system and I was able to trim or add staff where I needed to. I would be in Belgium, Denmark or travelling across the top of France, and to me it gave me peace of mind, and it was just so seamless.”

Surviving and thriving through COVID

When it came to surviving COVID, 360Q could be considered very vulnerable. Located in regional Victoria at a ferry port that stopped operating during lockdowns and with a loss of international tourism - the impact of the global pandemic could have easily meant the end for 360Q. But it didn’t.

“Covid was a chance to reset our businesses,” says Barry. “I was very lucky I was using Microkeeper prior. That system saves me a fortune on payroll, because I’m not paying someone to keystroke and enter.”

“Lots of businesses started looking at saving costs. Personally I shaved off $400K a year on our operating costs. I’d already trimmed the payroll with Microkeeper, so I had to look at other ways. But we came out of the lockdowns with the same 9 chefs and 14 front of house staff, so I’m very proud of what we achieved.”

Barry’s advice

A final piece of advice for other businesses? Barry doesn’t have to think long about that.

“It’s better to adopt a tool like Microkeeper today than tomorrow. Bite the bullet, and you’ll never look back.”

If you want to book a timeslot with one of our consultants to explain in further detail how we can help streamline your hospitality business for growth, scroll down and book a slot in their calendar or give us a ring on 1800 940 838.

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