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Smart Food Court in Bystrica!

How did we deliver all-in-one solution for the futuristic, fully digitized food court in Europa SC.

Smart Food Court in Europa SC

Europa SC is the largest shopping center in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia and at the same time the first center with a so-called "smart food court".

Photo of the new food court in the Europa SC shopping center in Banská Bystrica

The shopping center was undergoing a major modernization of the food court, and together with CBRE, we agreed that smart technology definitely belongs to the modernization. In this ambitious project our company took care of the complex digitization of ordering processes in restaurants - from cash registers, kitchen displays, order tracking TVs, self-service kiosks, QR codes supported by mobile and desktop applications, back-office, etc.

Are you interested in how it all went? And how do they look at it at CBRE over time? Read our interview with Beáta Patáková:

Beáta Patáková, Junior Centre Manager at CBRE

How important is the food court to you within the entire portfolio of services that the center provides to visitors?

A food court is an integral part of every shopping center. It is regularly used not only by visitors, but also by employees of adjacent offices or the tenants of the center themselves, who meet here and enjoy a moment of relaxation. You could say that the food court is the heart of the mall.

Why did you decide to reconstruct it?

An important element of a successful food court is its diversity. We wanted to offer visitors tastes from all over the world, and for that we needed to increase the space of the food court. The second, but equally important element is the comfort you experience in the food court. We improved it not only with new, comfortable and designer furniture, but above all with innovation, i.e. digitalization of the entire food court.

Did you know from the beginning that you wanted to include the smart solutions? If so, why?

Yes, Mrs. Čanecká (Head of Retail CBRE Slovakia) had this vision when she first mentioned the reconstruction of the food court, and based on her efforts the entire project was realized. Nowadays, digitization is everywhere and we didn't want to be left behind. You don't do reconstruction of such dimensions that often, and that's why we wanted our food court to still be relevant and modern even in 5 or 10 years ahead. It also increases the prestige of the center itself, it will attract more modern F&B concepts, which will also appreciate the reduction of operating costs or higher revenue thanks to digitization. Last but not least, it provides us with valuable data that we can work with in order to provide the best possible services for our visitors or tenants.

One of the highlights of the smart food court are 8 self service kiosks.

Why did you choose Eatster for this project?

Eatster is the only one that provides an all-in-one solution, so we don't have to search for the individual products such as cash registers, kiosks, mobile applications or QR codes from 3 or 4 suppliers. At the same time, we were impressed by their innovative approach - for example, digital receipts, mobile applications without the need for installation or detailed statistics - but also their speed and exceptional support. We also like their interest in improving and adapting the software to our needs.

How was the preparation?

First of all, we informed our tenants about digitization. It was very important for us to involve everyone in the digitization - including the skeptics. This was followed by the purchase, installation of hardware and finally tenant training from Eatster staff. They made sure that everything went smoothly, therefore they were physically with us during the first days of the opening of the new food court.

How did your tenants react when you presented this project to them for the first time?

Some were excited about the innovation, while others took a more conservative stance and were afraid of change. We also sat down with each tenant and representatives of Eatster and made sure that all their questions were answered and the benefits of digitization were explained.

The food court has been opened for several months. Are you satisfied with Eatster's services so far?

Yes we are. However, we are still in contact with Eatster and are working on further improvements to the system.

Eatster cash register in one of the restaurants in Europa SC

Do you also have feedback from the tenants?

We were especially pleasantly surprised by the skeptics who initially did not believe in digitization. We received positive feedback from them after they saw and started using the entire system in a real environment. According to Eatster, some are even planning to deploy their system in their another branches as well.

Left: Europa SC's profile screen in the Eatster app. Right: Order tracking system on TV

And the visitors?

We mainly observe the younger generation's interest in the mobile applications or kiosks, while the rest still prefer cashiers. That's why we're glad that Eatster provides a comprehensive solution, including cash registers, which restaurant staff quickly got used to. So far, we have not experienced a problem with the usage of the system itself, neither on the side of visitors nor on the side of restaurants.

QR codes are glued on all tables in the food court as well as in other frequented places in the center

Anything else you would like to add?

With Eatster, we have a common vision for the further digitization of services, and we believe that we are still only at the beginning. Visitors of our center have, for sure, something to look forward to in the future.

Vladimir Elias
CEO at Eatster

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