With their iconic sushi conveyor belts, YO! has been one of the best-loved British restaurant brands since the 90s. As pioneers in the tech-powered restaurant space, it is no surprise that YO! was also an early adopter of digital ordering. They began their partnership with Vita Mojo in 2019, but it was the Covid-19 pandemic that accelerated full-scale digital transformation for the Japanese chain.
When the UK went into lockdown for the first time in March 2020 YO! seized the opportunity to innovate its operations. With a view to evolving their original legacy systems, they worked with the Vita Mojo team to create a single, fully integrated, tech ecosystem for their restaurants, and roll this out in just six weeks.
''Throughout our partnership with Vita Mojo, they have continually taken the time and made the effort to understand who we are as a business. We are thrilled that this process has led us to our fantastic new concept, combining the very best of belt and digital ordering technology to reinforce YO! as a market leading brand for the future.”
Emma Deabill, Managing Director, UK & International Restaurants, YO!
YO! implemented mobile Order & Pay across their restaurants which, combined with their new and improved conveyor belts, powered by Monk Conveyors enabled a fully contactless dining experience. They also introduced Click & Collect and a self-serve Kiosk system for ‘to-go’ orders. Switching to Vita Mojo’s EPOS and kitchen display screen, YO! moved to a single view operation which aggregates all direct orders, plus those from Deliveroo, for accurate and timely fulfilment. Integrations with Yumpingo, Fourth stock management and Toggle complete the YO! tech stack.
By boldly adopting digital solutions across their estate, YO! has achieved a significant reduction in labour costs and decreased food waste in their restaurants while evolving the customer experience to meet the needs of their consumers and the market. After 22 years of operating with limited sales data, YO! is working towards having a single customer view including frequency of visit, customer feedback and basket-level sales data across all ordering channels.
How YO! transformed its business with technology:
- Reimagined the YO! concept to incorporate digital ordering and rolled out the new system across more than 40 restaurants in just six weeks
- Built an integrated tech ecosystem to enable more efficient operations, decrease food waste and reduce labour costs in YO! restaurants
- Improved the guest experience, allowing customers to order what they want, when they want in YO! restaurants with seamless mobile Order & Pay technology
- Increased transparency of the full YO! menu, supporting the brand’s diversification into non-sushi items and preventing a bill-shock for customers at the end of the meal
- Unlocked sales data - after 22 years of not knowing what dishes actually sold, YO! now has basket-level data for 95% of all transactions and guest name and email address for those that opt-in
- Chicken Katsu remains YO!’s bestselling dish - some things never change!
Moving away from the comfort-zone of legacy systems can be scary, especially when you have a large estate to manage and a much-loved brand experience to preserve. However, YO!’s success has demonstrated how embracing digital solutions, supported by the right partnerships, can be key to unlocking new opportunities and efficiency in your business.
This digital transformation project has been a win-win-win for YO!’s customers, teams and business; both bringing immediate value and reinforcing YO! as a market leading brand for the future.
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