How Supannee House of Thai Doubled Sales and Increased Profits by 798%

Restaurant ownership has shifted dramatically since the beginning of the global pandemic. Maybe you’ve heard your bustling dining room grow quiet. Maybe your restaurant has gone from a well-oiled machine to operational chaos. Maybe you’ve gotten a steady increase in phone calls — and a resulting increase in misheard orders.

Alec House, the owner of San Diego’s Supannee House of Thai, has been there.

But because he offers online ordering through MenuDrive, Alec has stayed on top of demand while significantly streamlining business operations. He has doubled his takeout business since Covid hit, and he has used coupons so astutely that one coupon alone has had an ROI of 798%.

If you’re looking to streamline operations at your restaurant, you’ll benefit from finding out how Alec and his staff did it.

A House That Reminds You of Home

Alec and his wife, Supannee, opened Supannee House of Thai in 2010 for a simple reason: to share the Thai cuisine they love with their fellow San Diegans.

Inspired by traditional fare from Supannee’s native Thailand, their restaurant is committed to growing fresh ingredients at their gardens in Point Loma and El Cajon. They serve their customers farm-to-table meals that earn euphoric reviews.

Alec and his wife, Supannee, opened Supannee House of Thai in 2010 for a simple reason: to share the Thai cuisine they love with their fellow San Diegans.

Alec and Supannee quickly built a dedicated customer base. In 2013, they added partners Brent and Patchara Sandage, who helped them grow the business into what it is today. As its customer list grew, the restaurant expanded from 20 to 65 seats.

Expanding Online

About five years ago, Alec and Supannee implemented online ordering through MenuDrive at their restaurant. “I had at least one other system prior to that, and it was really bad, and I come from an e-commerce background. I looked around a lot, and at that time, MenuDrive seemed like one of the better applications,” Alec said.

The result? Smoother operations and greater efficiency. Alec notes that one important outcome of the transition to online ordering is fewer time-consuming phone calls, resulting in better service and improved order accuracy.

“Enabling online ordering and reducing the call volume was key,” he said. “It’s always been a bit of a conflict for our servers to answer the phone when they are also trying to help guests seated in the restaurant.” He used MenuDrive to simplify the process, remove pressure from his staff, and eliminate human error from order processing. “It replaced a lot of phone calls and reduced operating expenses as it relates to taking orders manually.”

“MenuDrive has substantially streamlined our operation by reducing phone calls by over 60% and allowed us to take more orders when our phone lines are busy. It has also helped eliminate human errors in the order-taking process and increased margins per order.”

– Alec House

Building Customer Connections Through Coupons and Email

Before setting up his online menu, Alec hadn’t employed a coupon or promotions strategy. But because MenuDrive’s coupons and rewards were easy to set up, he gave it a try.

Over the past six months, he’s attributed over $80,000 in sales directly to MenuDrive coupons. One of Supannee House of Thai’s coupons was redeemed 2,789 times, for a return on investment of 798%.

Results of one coupon used by Supannee House of Thai through their MenuDrive platform

Alec now uses MenuDrive to communicate with customers by email. The restaurant automatically messages new and existing customers once a month and on special occasions (such as birthdays and anniversaries), resulting in a consistent flood of profitable orders.

Complete Control, Even in a Pandemic

Up until March 2020, business was booming, and operations were humming along. Then, with the hit of the global pandemic, customer behavior shifted almost immediately.

For Supannee House of Thai, orders are still rolling in.

“Our takeout business has doubled since Covid-19, which has been a lifeline,” Alec said.

Alec is pleased with his investment in MenuDrive, particularly because it means he doesn’t have to rely on third-party apps to drive online orders. Without MenuDrive, he said, “we would be at the mercy of third-party delivery apps, which would cut deeply into our margins and likely would not be viable.”

“MenuDrive enables your restaurant to increase direct sales, helping to eliminate or reduce the use of high-margin 3rd-party app sales as well as increasing operational efficiency by reducing or even eliminating phone volume. It also has built-in delivery functionality should you wish to deliver.”

The Bottom Line

When Supannee House of Thai added online ordering through MenuDrive, they increased efficiency, takeout orders, and coupon usage while reducing dependency on high-commission delivery services.

Alec’s advice to restaurant owners? Go online. If you are online, make sure your online ordering is optimized.

“I would just highly recommend online ordering to reduce costs and to streamline the customer experience and even integrate delivery through DoorDash at this point. The [MenuDrive] software even includes the ability to manage your own deliveries, and I think a lot of restaurants would like that considering the third-party delivery fees out there. … I would just say for anyone that it would grow your takeout business significantly.”

Increase your profits. And keep them.

Boost your restaurant’s bottom line with commission-free online ordering.

Scroll to Top