Self-professed NYC foodie Marina Charny left her corporate job in 2016 to open her restaurant, WILD Park Slope, a 100% gluten-free Italian eatery in Brooklyn, NY. Amid the pandemic’s uncertainty, Charny has kept her restaurant’s doors open, thanks to her loyal community of customers.
Charny didn’t know much about the restaurant business when she decided to open one of her own. But despite this lack of knowledge, she took a leap of faith on bringing gluten-free Italian cuisine to Park Slope, a neighborhood that she knew personally and recognized was rapidly changing.
“Because I know [Park Slope] so well, I thought that was the perfect neighborhood [for the restaurant] because there are a lot of young families there looking for healthier options,” she says. She built a steady following of customers who love the restaurant’s signature gluten-free pizza. “We’re known for our gluten-free, thin crust pizza. It’s the flatbread style that’s our main selling point.”
When the pandemic began, Charny was uncertain if she could maintain all of her expenses by pivoting her business operation from full-service dining to being reliant on delivery and takeout. She credits Clover’s “easy-to-use” restaurant POS system as a benefit in helping her to manage her operations.
“The system is very intuitive…it’s a couple of clicks to get pretty much anything done—you can put in an order, check someone out, or make a [menu] edit,” says Charny. The Clover POS system’s ability to keep track of popular-selling items is also a plus, she shares. “After a full day of sales, I can log into Clover and on the back end, it’ll tell me which specific items have sold the most that day, which is incredibly useful information.”
Her Park Slope neighbors and committed customers pitched in to place orders at her restaurant regularly in an effort to keep Charny’s business afloat during the pandemic.
“The neighborhood that we’re in, it’s so community-based,” says Charny. “There was a lot of support from people that would come in, pick up, and takeout. [I would] see the same names just keep reordering and people would say, ‘We don’t want you to go out of business, you’re part of the community. We want you to stay. We want you to make it through, we’re going to keep ordering.’ That made all the difference.” With that loyal support, Charny has been able to continue operating WILD Park Slope, which employs a staff of 10.
In addition to managing expenses and employee information, Charny uses Clover’s detailed reports to track the overall growth of her business. “You can easily compare your growth over the course of the year,” Charny says. “There’s a feature that shows you year-to-year comparisons, or even ‘This day last week.’ All of that is so easily accessible, and that’s the most important thing.”
Charny also finds value in using Clover Go, the dashboard app for merchants, which can deliver real-time operating updates. “The one thing that I really love about Clover is that there’s an app,” she says. “Even if you’re not at the restaurant, you have to know…what’s happening, where are your sales today?”
Going forward, Charny anticipates growing with Clover, which she has used since opening WILD Park Slope’s doors in 2016. “We have never wanted to change, because it’s just so intuitive and easy to use.”
Read more stories about how Clover is helping restaurant owners manage their business operations and expenses during challenging times.
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