Rockpool Restaurant Group is one of Australia’s most famous names in hospitality. The company runs eight restaurants in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth – each with a unique dining experience but with the shared values of a commitment to the finest sustainable produce, world class service and a progressive approach to food.
The Rockpool Group was founded by Neil Perry, one of Australia’s leading and most influential chefs, and Trish Richards, an established businesswoman and as it happens, Neil’s cousin. The flagship store – Rockpool in Sydney – was opened in February 1989 and has remained one of Australia’s finest restaurants, winning countless awards.
Just like its forward-thinking approach to dining, the Rockpool Group also has a progressive attitude to technology. Working with its technology partner Vision3 IT, the hospitality company is an early mover when it comes to new technologies. Vision3 IT and Rockpool Group have embarked on a business modernisation project that has seen it not only refresh its back-end infrastructure but also explore new technologies when opening new businesses.
The Rockpool Group’s most recent venture, The Burger Project is testament to this.
The Burger Project is a unique concept that brings the fine food experience to Sydney’s casual dining scene. The venue is taking Sydney by storm at the front-end but it’s at the back-end where the magic is happening, and not just in the kitchen.
The venue is taking Sydney by storm at the front-end but it’s at the back-end where the magic is happening, and not just in the kitchen
After discussion between Vision3 IT and the Group, it was decided on infrastructure based entirely on Microsoft Azure running Office 365.
All the users at The Burger Project are on Office 365 and can collaborate and communicate from anywhere at any time. Being a new restaurant, teething problems are more likely and with Microsoft Azure, directors now have the ability to log on from wherever they may be to ensure that The Burger Project’s formative years are a success.
“This is the start of our cloud journey, and it’s been a major success. As cloud becomes more reliable and more feasible it certainly becomes more desirable for us as an organisation. We pride ourselves on being ahead of the curve when it comes to dining and we’re the same with technology. We want to be the most innovative hospitality group in Australia.” said Trish Richards, executive director, Rockpool Group.
We pride ourselves on being ahead of the curve when it comes to dining and we’re the same with technology
It’s not just its newer restaurants that are adopting the latest technologies. Rockpool Group has also embarked on a mission to refresh the back-end of all its restaurants. One of the key components of this refresh has been a server migration project, with all instances of Windows Server 2003 being migrated across to newer versions. As a result efficiency, performance and mobility for staff have dramatically improved across the group.
“It’s crucial that a business like Rockpool Group, which has such a reputation for flawless service, is not hamstrung by slow technology. We were proactive in ensuring that we got the company up to date with the fastest IT available. With their progressive approach to business, this ensures their customers receive the fastest and smoothest service possible,” said Nigel Moore, director of Vision3IT.
Apart from keeping the backend IT running efficiently and seamlessly, keeping the servers up to date has also resulted in new benefits for the Rockpool Group. One of these benefits is the remote access that Windows Server 2012 R2 enables, which wasn’t possible with older versions of the software.
Trish Richards is responsible for running the Rockpool Group’s business from an operations and financial perspective and her life has dramatically changed thanks to the newer versions of Remote Web Access that are now available. Trish is able to spend more and more time working remotely often from her farm in the lower Hunter Valley. With a hospitality empire that spans three cities and both coasts of Australia, it greatly reduces her need to commute around the country.
“Being able to work from anywhere at any time has changed the way we operate. Decisions can be made much faster and we have become more efficient as an organisation. Right now, I can be sitting at my farm overseeing staff working on recipes for our partnership with Qantas, but still also oversee the operations of restaurants as far as Perth,” said Trish Richards.
“I can be sitting at my farm overseeing staff working on recipes for our partnership with Qantas, but still also oversee the operations of restaurants as far as Perth”
The Rockpool Restaurant Group place great value on partnerships, whether with suppliers, customers or other restaurants. The partnership with Vision3 IT is crucial to success, according to Trish, “We know dining, and we know fresh produce and we know world class service. We aren’t experts in IT and the proactivity of Nigel and his team in ensuring all our back-end IT is up to date has been invaluable for us,” she said.
“Although I do not have a technology background, I can say for certain that we’ve noticed a major difference in how smooth our IT has run since we began migrating away from old server technology. Importantly, with Vision3 IT managing the IT, we can focus on what we do best: offering a unique and sought-after dining experience for our customers.”
So what’s next for Rockpool Group? Well thanks to this modernisation of its server platforms the organisation is well placed from an IT perspective to implement a centralised booking system across its eight restaurants. Staff at the Rockpool Group will now be able to view each restaurant’s capacity, staffing levels and customer database from one central location. This will result in an even more streamlined and efficient organisation, meaning Rockpool can continue to do what it does best – create some of Australia’s best dining experiences.