Small Business Spotlight: NoHo Cafe

The North Hollywood neighborhood, known as NoHo to the locals, is home to a mix of everything. There are young adults who have just finished college and are moving out for the first time, actors and comedians from the nearby arts school, doctors with their own practices, and local shoppers. NoHo is quickly becoming the artsy and trendy center of Los Angeles.

NoHo Cafe is at the heart of this neighborhood. It’s a family-owned restaurant serving Mediterranean-style food with a modern Californian twist (lookout for their kebab with hot Cheetos sprinkled on top!). It’s also located “inside” a car wash.

Car Wash Near NoHo Cafe NoHo Special at NoHo Cafe

Christian (Manager of NoHo Cafe) does it all: cooking, cleaning, and social media. The restaurant was started by his parents, who are immigrants from the Middle East. They’ve been in the restaurant business for 30 years. For 4 years, NoHo Cafe has served food on styrofoam plates, fostered a casual environment for customers, and been a big part of the community. To this day, Christan’s mom still pours her love and passion into NoHo Cafe. She’s always standing at the cashier welcoming customers.

Because of this passion, NoHo Cafe has a 5-star rating on Yelp with 600+ reviews. Even so, Christian wanted to focus the business more on customer retention. NoHo Cafe saw a lot of first-timers, but did they come back? How frequently? Was that information trackable?

Christian was going to tackle these problems by placing a box at the front of the cashier, having customers drop their business cards, and tracking it in a spreadsheet… until he saw Fivestars at a local protein shop across from his gym. Fivestars would provide NoHo Cafe with the technology to capitalize on revenue and help the business grow even more by getting people to come back more frequently.

It’s a bird, it’s a spaceship… it’s Fivestars Pay!

Fivestars Pay is a modern approach to getting intimate with your customers without being intrusive. It’s fantastic —Christian says.

Fivestars Pay at NoHo Cafe

Christian loves the fact that the Fivestars Customer Touchscreen is upscale, involves less paper, feels trustworthy, and is quick. “It looks like a spaceship!”

While it may look like something from the future, it was easy and intuitive for the NoHo Cafe team to learn the system. “It was so easy and fast to learn that my parents picked up on it within a day.” Before Fivestars, NoHo Cafe had a standalone credit card reader to process credit card payments, but that company really only focused on processing payments and charging fees. This is typical in the industry, as most payment processors don’t provide additional value to businesses beyond the fundamentals of processing credit cards.

And… we have liftoff! (to your customer database)

Christian’s parents were with the same payment processor for 30 years, but Christian convinced his parents of the need to understand their customers and build a database. With Fivestars, Christian is excited to be able to reach out to NoHo Cafe’s database of customers using Promotions, and has already seen the benefit of being on the Fivestars network through Acquisition

Be open-minded to Fivestars and prepare to be pleasantly surprised. [Local businesses] have nothing to lose and there’s no one else in the payment processing game that does what Fivestars does.

With Fivestars, NoHo Cafe has seen its customer database grow by over 70+ signups a week. This number will continue to rise and the number of returning customers has more than doubled in a month. Every customer will be automatically recognized and automated messages will be sent out to bring customers back twice as often. Fivestars allows NoHo Cafe to not only provide a welcoming environment and excellent service, but to both make sure it understands which customers are coming back and reach out to other customers to return for some delicious home-made food.

In the neighborhood? Check out NoHo Cafe and get a free soup and drink!

About the Author
Jason Liu

Jason Liu is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Fivestars. When he isn't launching new products and features, he's collecting points (mostly at boba tea shops) and adding new memberships (75 and counting!) at local businesses with Fivestars.

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