SICOM’s Restaurant Technology Empowers Burger King Franchisee to Strive for Excellence

Westwind, Inc. owns and operates 10 Burger King quick service restaurants in upstate South Carolina and northeastern Georgia. In business for more than 30 years, the company is committed to high operating standards and satisfying customers.

Today, Westwind is leveraging the power of SICOM’s end-to-end restaurant technology solutions to run their 10 locations at an optimal level of efficiency, while also ensuring they are delivering high quality products and offering a positive experience for their guests. Westwind is using SICOM’s Point of Sale (POS), Order Confirmation Units (OCUs), Digital Menu Boards (DMB), Drive-Thru Director™ (DTD), SEMS4™ Restaurant Management, and Chef™ Kitchen Management solutions.

Driving Front-of-House Efficiency

Westwind’s first experience with SICOM was in 2012 when it switched its restaurants from static menu boards to SICOM’s Digital Menu Boards, which offer vivid imagery to engage customers and a web-based portal to centrally manage content.

“It takes a lot less time preparing for new promotions with SICOM’s Digital Menu Boards,” explained Randy Keeler, COO for Westwind. “And, price changes are much easier too. We simply upload the new price, and boom, it’s there on all the menu boards. There are no pictures to hang and no pieces of the menu board falling out. I also like how the promotion panel rotates, helping with cross-selling and up-selling.”

The SICOM DMB portal provides a centralized management tool to manage menu board content updates in real-time across all 10 locations. “We are now able to easily make changes to our menu boards in five minutes or less. Before, we had to go to the DMB vendor to request a pricing change and it could take up to 24 hours for a change to be made. It’s a much better system. With SICOM DMBs, I can also schedule updates to the menu boards for a future date or time.”

More recently, Westwind began transitioning to SICOM’s POS. Their previous system was no longer living up to their needs. The SICOM POS offers ruggedized hardware with data-driven software to efficiently transact guests and connect the front and back of house operations. “Compared to our previous system, the customization capabilities in SICOM’s POS are much better. I can easily make adjustments. Before, I had to go through the vendor’s help desk and it was still very difficult to customize their reports. The functionality of the reports in SICOM’s POS is much better too.”

Keeler also found the SICOM OCUs to be easy to use and less expensive to run, capable of driving greater efficiency and providing better connectivity than the system they used previously. “SICOM’s OCUs are seamlessly integrated with its POS helping improve order accuracy.” They enable guests to view summaries of their orders and managers to address stock-outs and sell excess inventory.

Managing Back-of-House Operations

Westwind has been using SICOM’s Drive-Thru Director since 2015 to improve its speed of service. It is much more accurate than the previous drive-thru timer system that Keeler explained only worked about half the time and was easily manipulated by employees. SICOM’s DTD accurately monitors and manages traffic throughput in the Burger King drive thrus. This takes it out of the employees’ hands and enables managers to easily measure and track speed of service performance across shifts and day parts, while creating some friendly competition across Westwind’s 10 locations.

Westwind has just started to implement SICOM’s Chef Kitchen Management solution to provide their kitchens with real-time information and insights that will help improve food quality, increase operational efficiency and reduce food waste. 

Improving Above-Restaurant Management

The use of SICOM’s SEMS4 Restaurant Management solution pulls it all together, enabling the management of labor, sales and inventory for all 10 Burger King locations in one, web-based console.

“The SEMS4 dashboard is much more involved than our previous solution,” said Keeler. “We can see a running total of our performance in real-time, providing us with up-to-the-minute details on how all of our locations are performing.”

Keeler continued, stating, “SICOM’s customer support is much better than our previous vendors,” said Keeler. “The knowledge of their support team is more intricate. When I call in with a specific issue, I am automatically directed to the right person who has specific knowledge of that product. They have a good team. I am happy with the system and wish I had moved to SICOM years ago.”

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