HungerRush Interviews Joe Funicello of Tutti’s Ristorante
The Funicello family of Norwalk – Pasquale, Joe, Maria, and Elvie Funicello – own and operate the full service fine dining establishment Tutti’s Ristorante located in Westport, Connecticut. They were all born in Southern Italy before moving to the Fairfield County Area and pride themselves on an authentically Italian experience that is about more than just food. They live by the motto “Good Food, Good Friends” and emphasize hearty portions and a family atmosphere. The open air kitchen allows you to watch the preparation of family-style meals, providing the sense that one is at home enjoying a home-cooked meal in a comfortable, cozy setting.
How long has your family been operating Tutti’s Ristorante?
Was there a particular issue that led you to choosing an all-in-one POS system like HungerRush?
When I came into the family business, I really wanted to give my mom and dad some help because the restaurant was getting a lot busier. I wanted to increase our efficiency and customer service and a POS system seemed to me like a good way to do that.
Had you used a POS system prior to HungerRush, and if so, what can you tell us about the experience?
HungerRush is our first POS, and it’s been really great. Our lives are so much easier than before – it makes a huge difference.
You’ve been installed for about 4 months now. What positive effects have you already seen?
The organization that the POS offers is amazing. It keeps track of everything for us – orders, sales, inventory – so many other things, too. The increase in efficiency helps us do our jobs better and offer the best customer service possible. We’re also able to serve a lot more customers in a night because of the increase in efficiency. When everything is running very smoothly, it’s easy to have more customers coming in because everything is moving much faster. Because everything is so organized and streamlined, the customers’ experience is better, and they’re happier, too. We can do more business with our POS, while still offering really great customer service.
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?
I do think so, yes, because it improves customer service so much. Writing orders by hand can’t compare and the level of organization a POS provides makes everything so much better.
Do you believe that a POS system has a direct impact on a customer’s experience?
Definitely. I think when you’re doing a lot of business and having really busy nights, the POS makes the entire experience much more organized, efficient and detailed – for the customers and for us. Customers appreciate that things move much faster and they really like even the small things like the level of detail on a receipt.
You are a full-service restaurant and also looking to install HungerRush™ online ordering in the near future. Can you tell us about that?
Yes, we’re actually looking to do that sometime this summer. The restaurant is doing a lot more business and we want to increase that further. We really want to expand the Tutti’s brand and I think offering online ordering is definitely one way for us to do that.
What advice would you give to other restaurant owners/operators out there like yourself?
Organization is key to a successful restaurant and anything you can do to increase your efficiency is going to be good for your business. I highly recommend HungerRush if you want to achieve these things.