Case Studies

How Hubster Helps Decades-Old Don Don Streamline Their Dine-In and Delivery Operations

June 9, 2022

“I highly recommend Hubster, especially for smaller restaurants like us. Implementing QR code ordering with Hubster has helped free up my team immensely during peak hours and the affordable fee means I don’t even have to think twice about it.”

For over 20 years, Sydney-siders have thumbed their way through Don Don’s menu of simple, hearty Japanese fare. “Prepare to queue”, states various reviews about the small but stalwart eatery that fills up daily, testament to their place in the hearts of hungry diners across the city. 

Don Don's simple but hearty Japanese fare sprawled on the table.

Like in many small businesses, owner Jun is the heart and soul of Don Don, involved in every aspect from preparing food to managing the menu, inventory planning and serving customers. We spoke to Jun about building the Japanese restaurant from the ground up, surviving the pandemic and how he’s navigating staffing issues with Hubster’s Direct Orders. 

Paving the way for Japanese food in Sydney with fresh ingredients, value for money and quick service

One of the first Japanese restaurants in Darlinghurst, Don Don’s success is rooted in owner Jun’s vision of making the fare fast, delicious and accessible to all — we’re talking value-for-money bento-style rice bowls, comforting ramen, sushi rolls and sashimi salads. It didn't take long for Sydney locals to resonate with the menu as they flocked in for the affordable good food and fuss-free experience.

A bowl of ramen at Don Don Japanese restaurant

The hole-in-the-wall also has a reputation for its takeaway service, providing a quick fix for local residents from students to CBD dwellers. Because of this, solo diners also make up a huge chunk of their customer base. 

Running a restaurant successfully through it all — the pandemic and nationwide staff shortages

That early focus on to-go orders meant Don Don could quickly adapt to delivery during the pandemic. But instead of relying solely on pick-up, the restaurant listed on multiple delivery apps like Uber Eats, Deliveroo and DoorDash to encourage orders and get their brand in front of more customers.

Juggling orders from multiple platforms isn't easy, especially when some of the hardware isn't as reliable. Jun recalled one tablet that constantly suffered internet cuts, which means they missed out on orders and couldn't update information in time. That’s when Jun discovered Hubster’s order management solutions that helped consolidate their delivery services into a single tablet.

“With using multiple tablets we often struggled with internet cuts and tracking issues. Hubster’s one and only tablet was really reliable in this aspect.”

As their partner in all things delivery, Hubster also provides Don Don with efficient management solutions such as auto-accepting orders, menu management, live sales monitoring and more. These features saved his staff the headache from operating from multiple tablets and also instantly eased his process of updating menus and understanding performance. 

With solid delivery management in place coupled with the support of the regulars, Don Don was able to ride out the season. Post-ish pandemic, delivery and takeaway trends have persisted for Don Don and Jun says they’re back at about 80% of their dine-in business. But recovery hasn’t been the smoothest journey with yet another hurdle to overcome — staff shortages. 

“Staffing is my biggest problem right now. Pay rates have increased and nowhere near enough are coming back from overseas after they left during the pandemic. It’s also difficult with lots of restaurants reopening at the same time, which means there is even more pressure on hiring.”

When 85% of Australian businesses are struggling to hire and even high-profile restaurant groups have embarked on multi-million dollar overseas hiring projects, there seemed to be little hope for a small, independent restaurant like Don Don to fill vacancies for hospitality workers. 

How Don Don saved time and money using QR code ordering with Hubster’s Direct Orders

So when Jun heard about Direct Orders by Hubster, he jumped at the opportunity to implement the QR code ordering system to reduce his restaurant's reliance on manual ordering. Hubster’s Direct Orders allows restaurants to take control with their own online ordering system, whether it’s an ordering website for off-premise takeaway orders or a customised QR code for contactless order-to-table solutions. 

Don Don's customised QR code design is placed at every table for easy ordering.
“Direct Orders’ QR code has been so helpful in preventing queues in the restaurant, which is so important in times like these. It also takes away the stress of rush hour service.”

Hubster’s Direct Orders and the QR code ordering experience has helped Don Don overcome labour shortages, as he no longer has to hire staff for tedious tasks like taking orders. Instead, his lean team now focuses on keeping customers happy by preparing great food and providing better service.

Jun discovered that while customers are still getting used to digital ordering, they take to it once they’ve tried it in his restaurant. He also appreciated that the online ordering system gives his customers a secure payment method.

Within weeks of implementing the QR code ordering system, Hubster’s Direct Orders has paid off for Don Don. The restaurant processed over $20,000 revenue from 700 orders via digital ordering, which saved them 12 hours of staff time. Put into perspective, that works up to estimated savings of $2000 per year on staff wages. Plus, customers no longer have to flag down a staff or wait to order so the dine-in experience is vastly improved. 

How to support local restaurants like Don Don Japanese

If you’re in Sydney, show Don Don some love by dropping in for a meal (simply scan their QR code to order!) or get delivery from their restaurant the next time you’re craving honest-to-goodness Japanese food. 

Are you a restaurant looking for a partner in delivery and online ordering? Hubster is here to help. Fill out the form below and we'll be in touch with more information.

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How Hubster Helps Decades-Old Don Don Streamline Their Dine-In and Delivery Operations

We spoke to owner operator Jun about building the Japanese restaurant from the ground up, surviving the pandemic and how he’s navigating staffing issues with Hubster’s Direct Orders.
“I highly recommend Hubster, especially for smaller restaurants like us. Implementing QR code ordering with Hubster has helped free up my team immensely during peak hours and the affordable fee means I don’t even have to think twice about it.”

For over 20 years, Sydney-siders have thumbed their way through Don Don’s menu of simple, hearty Japanese fare. “Prepare to queue”, states various reviews about the small but stalwart eatery that fills up daily, testament to their place in the hearts of hungry diners across the city. 

Don Don's simple but hearty Japanese fare sprawled on the table.

Like in many small businesses, owner Jun is the heart and soul of Don Don, involved in every aspect from preparing food to managing the menu, inventory planning and serving customers. We spoke to Jun about building the Japanese restaurant from the ground up, surviving the pandemic and how he’s navigating staffing issues with Hubster’s Direct Orders. 

Paving the way for Japanese food in Sydney with fresh ingredients, value for money and quick service

One of the first Japanese restaurants in Darlinghurst, Don Don’s success is rooted in owner Jun’s vision of making the fare fast, delicious and accessible to all — we’re talking value-for-money bento-style rice bowls, comforting ramen, sushi rolls and sashimi salads. It didn't take long for Sydney locals to resonate with the menu as they flocked in for the affordable good food and fuss-free experience.

A bowl of ramen at Don Don Japanese restaurant

The hole-in-the-wall also has a reputation for its takeaway service, providing a quick fix for local residents from students to CBD dwellers. Because of this, solo diners also make up a huge chunk of their customer base. 

Running a restaurant successfully through it all — the pandemic and nationwide staff shortages

That early focus on to-go orders meant Don Don could quickly adapt to delivery during the pandemic. But instead of relying solely on pick-up, the restaurant listed on multiple delivery apps like Uber Eats, Deliveroo and DoorDash to encourage orders and get their brand in front of more customers.

Juggling orders from multiple platforms isn't easy, especially when some of the hardware isn't as reliable. Jun recalled one tablet that constantly suffered internet cuts, which means they missed out on orders and couldn't update information in time. That’s when Jun discovered Hubster’s order management solutions that helped consolidate their delivery services into a single tablet.

“With using multiple tablets we often struggled with internet cuts and tracking issues. Hubster’s one and only tablet was really reliable in this aspect.”

As their partner in all things delivery, Hubster also provides Don Don with efficient management solutions such as auto-accepting orders, menu management, live sales monitoring and more. These features saved his staff the headache from operating from multiple tablets and also instantly eased his process of updating menus and understanding performance. 

With solid delivery management in place coupled with the support of the regulars, Don Don was able to ride out the season. Post-ish pandemic, delivery and takeaway trends have persisted for Don Don and Jun says they’re back at about 80% of their dine-in business. But recovery hasn’t been the smoothest journey with yet another hurdle to overcome — staff shortages. 

“Staffing is my biggest problem right now. Pay rates have increased and nowhere near enough are coming back from overseas after they left during the pandemic. It’s also difficult with lots of restaurants reopening at the same time, which means there is even more pressure on hiring.”

When 85% of Australian businesses are struggling to hire and even high-profile restaurant groups have embarked on multi-million dollar overseas hiring projects, there seemed to be little hope for a small, independent restaurant like Don Don to fill vacancies for hospitality workers. 

How Don Don saved time and money using QR code ordering with Hubster’s Direct Orders

So when Jun heard about Direct Orders by Hubster, he jumped at the opportunity to implement the QR code ordering system to reduce his restaurant's reliance on manual ordering. Hubster’s Direct Orders allows restaurants to take control with their own online ordering system, whether it’s an ordering website for off-premise takeaway orders or a customised QR code for contactless order-to-table solutions. 

Don Don's customised QR code design is placed at every table for easy ordering.
“Direct Orders’ QR code has been so helpful in preventing queues in the restaurant, which is so important in times like these. It also takes away the stress of rush hour service.”

Hubster’s Direct Orders and the QR code ordering experience has helped Don Don overcome labour shortages, as he no longer has to hire staff for tedious tasks like taking orders. Instead, his lean team now focuses on keeping customers happy by preparing great food and providing better service.

Jun discovered that while customers are still getting used to digital ordering, they take to it once they’ve tried it in his restaurant. He also appreciated that the online ordering system gives his customers a secure payment method.

Within weeks of implementing the QR code ordering system, Hubster’s Direct Orders has paid off for Don Don. The restaurant processed over $20,000 revenue from 700 orders via digital ordering, which saved them 12 hours of staff time. Put into perspective, that works up to estimated savings of $2000 per year on staff wages. Plus, customers no longer have to flag down a staff or wait to order so the dine-in experience is vastly improved. 

How to support local restaurants like Don Don Japanese

If you’re in Sydney, show Don Don some love by dropping in for a meal (simply scan their QR code to order!) or get delivery from their restaurant the next time you’re craving honest-to-goodness Japanese food. 

Are you a restaurant looking for a partner in delivery and online ordering? Hubster is here to help. Fill out the form below and we'll be in touch with more information.

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