Posted on 17th October 2013
Wagamama opened its first restaurant in Bloomsbury, London in 1992, inspired by traditional Japanese Ramen bars offering fresh Japanese-inspired food in a friendly, vibrant setting.
Wagamama’s fast expansion has made managing store openings increasingly complicated. The pace of fit out projects is increasingly tight and several sites are opening at any given time. Meanwhile, the chain’s distinct identity needs to be preserved in every new opening.
The company approached IT Architecture, a London based architectural design practice, to create a more effective way of managing new openings. It needed to find a system and process through which project managers could automate as much of the management of openings as possible to allow them to focus on ensuring that deadlines were being met and costs regulated. A major issue that needed to be addressed was the volume of paperwork generated by any one project and how that could be kept organised and secure.
The chief issue Wagamama faced was that the data it needed to store was largely unstructured. It could be anything from invoices or planning certification to restaurant blueprints or photos of installs. Each piece was vital to a project and could be a significant setback if lost.
“Our country wide restaurant roll out program is dependent on a number of critical factors and we needed a system to ensure that anyone involved in our development program was properly co-ordinated.” Commented Sharon Cawthorne, property director, Wagamama
To fill this need, IT Architecture introduced Property Tracker, a bespoke platform built on FileMaker. Property tracker was designed to support restaurant fit outs and their associated processes through an easy to use automated project management database.