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HungerRush Interviews Chris Felefle of Petit Café Mediterranean Grill

Can you tell us a little about the history of Petit Café and your history in the restaurant industry, Chris?
Petit Café is family owned and operated.  When we first opened in mid-July 2008, my mom, my sister and my wife all operated the restaurant, with me being the consultant since I had a full-time job. I was an executive with a fast food chain overseeing multiple locations. In May 2009 I became full-time manager at Petit Café.  Our restaurant business has been on an upward trend and our customers love us. We recently expanded the current location on Eldridge, we now have the ability to seat more people and we could accommodate private events and parties.

Tell us about the cuisine at Petit Café; the recipes are mostly your mom’s, right?
Yes, all of the recipes are my mom’s. Almost everything on the menu is made in house and everything is from scratch. It’s all about the quality of the food and the ingredients that we put into our food. We only use the highest quality ingredients and everything is made fresh daily. Let’s say you order a salad; we toss it for you right then. The hummus is mixed fresh every day for lunch, and for dinner; we want our customers to taste the freshness in our food, and they do. Our motto is, “Mediterranean food like you’ve never had before.” We have a lot of repeat customers who keep coming back because they know they can count on the freshness and consistency of the food and most of all personalized service where we know their names.

Was there a particular issue that led you to choosing an all-in-one POS system like HungerRush?
No, I did not have any issues; however, I have used HungerRush since day one. We remodeled the restaurant and needed more stations so we decided to go with the All in One HungerRush POS terminals.

Businesswise, do you feel that modern technology, specifically an all-in-one solution such as HungerRush, is mandatory in today’s highly competitive restaurant industry?
The restaurant industry is highly competitive and I would not say the POS system is mandatory; however, it is very important to the operation and it makes things run more smoothly from the order taking aspect and the execution in the kitchen. The days of hand writing tickets to the kitchen are long gone. Using the POS helps avoid confusion and errors. On the management side, it helps the manager or owner to view the reports desired, from inventory control to labor and many other useful functions necessary to run the business.

Do you believe that a POS system has a direct impact on a customer’s experience?
The POS system makes things run more efficiently and thus enhances the customer’s experience.

Had you used a POS system prior to HungerRush, and if so, what can you tell us about the experience?
The only system I have used in my restaurant is the HungerRush System – since day one. I decided to add to my existing system and stay with the HungerRush POS systems because in the four years I have been using them, I have not had any downtime or interruptions to my business related to the POS system being down.

How do you feel that HungerRush has added to your brand?
I feel HungerRush’s POS system has added value to the customer’s experience with the ease of handling a transaction. In addition, from the management aspect, it helps me run multiple reports and compare sales from year to year or month to month, thus allowing me to plan my schedules and my purchases.

Do you have personal opinions on PCI related issues? Do you think it is important in this day and age to protect sensitive customer data?
It is very important for my customers to know that when they use a credit card at my restaurant, I am doing everything in my power to protect their information and that I have the right POS system to do that. If customer information is compromised, then it will mean a loss of customers and sales.

Are there any specific features of the HungerRush system that you feel have directly and positively affected your profits?
I believe the entire HungerRush software is valuable to me, especially the ease of the order taking on one side and the ability to view reports and manage cost from the other side.

What has been the most rewarding part of your journey thus far with Petit Cafe?
The most rewarding part of my journey thus far with Petit Café is seeing the growth the restaurant is experiencing and the many repeat, loyal customers that keep on coming back for more great healthy food.

We know you’ve been in the process of adding a bar to the restaurant – how is that coming along?
I am happy to say that the bar project we started in August of 2012 is now complete. We expanded the restaurant to an adjacent space in order to accommodate the new bar, which is going to be beer and wine at first. Soon we plan to apply for a liquor license, so then we’ll be full bar. It’s a nice area, a good place to hold corporate events; someone might want to wait at the bar and have a martini before everyone gets in, so we want to have that option. We are also planning on having some kind of musical entertainment at the restaurant, perhaps some belly dancers; not on an ongoing basis, but every once in a while. I am coordinating with a jazz band I know to be the musical entertainment for wine tasting events.

Being as successful as you are, what advice would you give to other restaurant owners out there like yourself?
Well, all I could say here is that I am involved in everything that happens in my restaurant and that is a key to running a good operation and to stay on top of things. In addition it allows me to chat with my customers and solicit feedback about our products and their experience with us.

About Petit Cafe
Petit Café, located in Houston, Texas, is a unique dining experience, where delicious homemade food meets fantastic service and heartfelt hospitality. Family owned and operated, Petit Café’s menu features healthy, flavorful, low calorie, and low cholesterol preparations, enhanced by the best and freshest ingredients available, whether imported or locally harvested. An extensive wine list is available to complete your dining experience at Petit Café. We create lasting impressions of memorable events through our catering services. Please contact us; we would love the opportunity to create a menu perfectly tailored to your event.