As an avid deep sea fisherman with more than 14 years experience in the restaurant business, Derek Taguchi is bringing two of his passions together in his new Costa Mesa restaurant, Simply Fish Fresh Seafood & Grill.
The menu focuses on well-priced, well-prepared seafood that can be described as familiar, but never boring. Open for less than a year, the casual eatery has already been recognized by Orange Coast magazine as the best restaurant for fish’n’chips, an honor Derek proudly points to as evidence he’s “taking seafood to the next level and gaining a following in the fishing community and beyond.”
new customer growth QoQ
orders with BOGO promotions
Quality seafood at affordable prices
Deep sea fishing has been a favorite pastime of Derek’s since he was a small boy. He learned about fishing, fish selection and preparation from his Dad. The only thing Derek enjoys more than fishing is making people happy. “I find, where I really shine, is talking to customers, working in the kitchen, and working on new menu items.” Creating the right atmosphere goes beyond great food, he says “with Simply Fish I'm focused on giving people quality seafood at affordable prices, and a dining experience they can enjoy two, three times a week.”
Delivery is key to growth
At 30% of his business, online ordering and delivery is now a key aspect of Derek’s growth strategy, but it wasn’t always that way. “I've changed my perspective on delivery completely over the last five years or so,” he says. “Things are more competitive in the food industry now” and customer service and convenience are essential. “Fast and reliable delivery is one of the ways we show customers how much we care about quality.”
His commitment to quality, consistency, and accuracy are why Derek waited several years before offering delivery in his first restaurant, Fishbonz. Back then, third-party delivery was fairly new and the costs seemed high. “The pandemic changed everything in a heartbeat” including how much people expect from a food delivery service, and how many people use delivery apps to connect with both new restaurants, and their favorite restaurants. “If you aren’t online today, you’re probably missing out on a lot of business” he says.
“There are two sides to doing business with Uber Eats. There’s getting food to your customer quickly while it’s still hot. And then there’s the visibility you gain by putting your restaurant in front of more people. Both are important if you want to grow your business.”
Derek Taguchi, Owner Simply Fish Seafood & Grill
Great delivery requires great teamwork
“Hot, not cold” seems basic in food delivery, but industry folks know many things must happen right for food to arrive in top form. Derek’s passion for delicious seafood is all about precision – both in its cooking and how it arrives for the diner, even if that’s a car ride away.
Having used all of the delivery services at his other restaurants, Derek made the decision to try out an exclusive relationship with Uber Eats for this new restaurant opening. “Out of all the delivery services, Uber performed the best.” Uber’s network of delivery people have impressed Derek with their attention to detail “they're very polite, they check things to make sure that the order is correct.” But working with Uber isn’t just about great service from the delivery network. It’s also about increasing visibility and driving incremental sales.
Results you can measure with Uber Eats Manager
The Uber Eats dashboard is a powerful tool for operators looking to manage their business results. Derek logs into his Uber Eats Manager dashboard regularly to see how his offers and ads are performing, and to monitor customer satisfaction “I’ll look at sales. I’ll look at marketing campaign performance, and of course customer reviews.”
With Uber Eats intuitive tools, it’s easy for Derek to respond to customer reviews, which he believes is a crucial contributor to his success. “You want to know from your customers what’s working, and what needs attention. Feedback is really important.” With the option to set automatic responses, Derek is able to respond to all customer reviews within hours.
The right tech stack makes all the difference
In addition to providing guidance on how to get the most from Uber Eats marketing tools, Lauren’s expertise has also been instrumental in helping Derek manage the initial set-up and integration across his in-store systems. Derek uses Toast as his point-of-sale system, which makes it easy for orders from Uber Eats to seamlessly integrate with his POS and kitchen system. “It’s important to choose the right technology for your restaurant,” Derek says. “Toast and Uber have been a great marriage.”
A favorite feature is profitable pricing
While Derek maintains the menu of record for the restaurant in his Toast POS, one of Derek’s favorite Uber Eats features allows him to independently set menu prices for delivery items, which helps Derek “ensure the profitability of my online orders.” He sets delivery prices a little higher than the store by a set percentage, ”It makes sense because people who order delivery, they already understand they’re paying more for that convenience.”
Between Uber’s smart solutions, the right tech, and Lauren’s partnership, Derek’s optimistic about his ability to continue growing his business with Uber Eats. “We’ll probably eventually just switch to Uber Eats completely in all our restaurants,” he muses. And, as Simply Fish’s first anniversary looms, the busy restaurateur hopes for even smoother seas in year two – and maybe more time to, well, simply fish.
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