Learnings from two foodies:
- Sometimes it’s about the journey, not the destination – creating memorable experiences can often be as important as the product you’re selling
- Find someone to balance your workload – leaning on someone with complementary skills can help ease the load and ensure operations run smoothly
- Don’t stop once you find success – consistent quality requires ongoing attention, so don’t kick your feet up once the praise starts rolling in
10 MIN READ
MYOB Community: Cloud accounting provides flexibility for Angel's House
Working in restaurants in Bali meant brothers Anthony and Jeremy Blanchet were a world away from Provence, their home in the south-east of France.
Being avid surfers, the brothers instead set their sights on nearby Australia as a holiday destination. After falling in love with Western Australia, the brothers opened French bistro Angel's House in Fremantle.
But while food is their passion, it’s teamwork that drives their success.
“My brother and I are really complimentary,” Anthony says.
“Working with Jeremy makes my life so much easier because I know he controls the kitchen perfectly and I don't have to get involved.
“He's also lucky to have me, because I handle all the front of house and all the accounting.”
A modern menu offering old world charms
French bistros might conjure up images of fine dining, but Angel's House is anything but. Instead, it’s a casual, approachable dining experience supported by a menu close to the brothers’ hearts.
“We offer traditional recipes from our grandmother who was a chef,” Anthony says.
“We offer all the classics, like cheese souffle, steak tartar, and boeuf bourguignon.
“My favourite dish at the moment would be the cassoulet. It's a dish that comes from Toulouse in the south of France. But every city has its own way of making it.
“They’re like ancient dishes; we just make it our own way and people love it.”
By emphasising authenticity, the brother’s food represents more than the sum of its ingredients.
“We’re pretty close with our customers, and I think they enjoy the homely feeling they get when they come here.”
And customers eat it up. For many, it’s an opportunity to be transported elsewhere.
“We want to provide a dining experience but also take our customers on a trip for a few hours.
“Our favourite comment is when customers say that it reminds them of their last trip to France.”
"We want to provide a dining experience but also take our customers on a trip for a few hours.”
"When you work in a restaurant you have so many things to do, so you’re always looking for systems to make your life easier.”
Accounting for improved ways of operating
Their rustic grub hits the spot, but Anthony couldn’t say the same for the outdated approaches to accounting.
“I wasn't using any accounting software when I started,” Anthony says, laughing. “I was doing everything manually.”
It was only after their accountant recommended MYOB that the brothers realised how easy it was to lighten the load.
“The greatest lesson I've learned is that you need to be organised to make your life easier, and MYOB is a great tool for that.
“When you work in a restaurant you have so many things to do, so you’re always looking for systems to make your life easier.
“MYOB gives you time to rest.”
Overseeing operations from Fremantle’s beaches
With MYOB taking the accounting load off, the brothers were able to sink more time into one of their passions: surfing.
“Being on the cloud is convenient because I can work from anywhere,” Anthony says.
“We're also close to the ocean which is a good thing for us because we're both surfers and wind surfers.
“I can be surfing and checking what happened in the restaurant the previous night during service.”
Having this information at his fingertips means Anthony can remotely make meaningful business decisions.
“You can see straight away where you're standing that month or that financial year and it gives you an idea of how your business is doing.
“It shows which expenses we have to be careful with and when we have to attract more customers to increase revenue.”
"I can be surfing and checking what happened in the restaurant the previous night during service.”
"We’re proud to give jobs to other people. It's not all about us – it's about the whole team.”
Blanchets find business is an experience best shared
The brothers now employ seven staff, and relish in the fact they can put food on the table for other families.
“We’re proud to give jobs to other people. It's not all about us – it's about the whole team.”
But managing so many people isn’t always an easy order. And that’s where MYOB lends a helping hand.
“Payroll is great because we have a few staff in our team and it keeps track of everything.
“Once you input all the information everything kind of flows together.
“You just have to input the hours they work and on which days, and the payrolls are created.”
Success means never resting on your laurels
Success can be a great driver when you kickstart your business, but wins are often hard-earned. If they don’t come as fast as you like, don’t assume they won’t happen.
“When you start a business, you need to be patient – especially when you open a restaurant,” Anthony says. “Things take time.”
“We have ups and downs, but since we've opened, we've been pretty lucky.”
But once you’ve achieved success, not letting high standards slip can be another challenge altogether. Just remember that customer positivity is an excellent motivator.
“We’re very careful with the service and the food we provide,” Anthony says. “I think that's why people give us good reviews – they're just happy at the end of the night.
“The feedback is a huge acknowledgment of what we do, and we don't take it for granted.
“We make sure that we keep it on the same level.”
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