First Line IT is working with the company that is bringing popular US restaurants Shake Shack and P.F. Chang to the UK.

Any one of the thousands of people visiting its London restaurants each week can testify to the reason for its popularity. Shake Shack, the newest premium fast food chain to hit the UK, makes a delicious burger – a fact confirmed by John Crozier, who valiantly tasted one on behalf of First Line IT.

Shake Shack also has a distinctive service process that’s all part of the fun. You order your meal at one counter and, after you have paid, pick up a small ‘pager’ marked with your order number. You move into the seating area and find a table – and the pager will buzz when your meal is ready!

Head Office Support

First Line IT has been working with Shake Shack’s UK owners, Diverse Dining, since 2015. Initially contracted to provide ad hoc support to the small team (then just three people) in the Watford Head Office, First Line’s role has expanded with the business. Eighteen months after their first contract was signed, Diverse Dining now has 20 staff in the Head Office and has opened seven restaurants in London and Cardiff.

First Line project-managed the technical side of successive office moves as the Head Office staff expanded, supervising the installation of broadband and telecoms as well as setting up hardware and systems.

Restaurant Support

Then they started supporting the restaurants as they were opened. ‘Working with retail stores was a totally new experience for us,’ said John, ‘but we have found it exciting and enjoyable. While we’re concentrating on installing the leased line for the broadband and setting up the computer screens and telephones, we are working alongside other teams who are experts in setting up kitchen equipment, from refrigerators to deep fat fryers. Then there are other teams who are responsible for the specialist retail kit such as tills and card readers – as well as Shake Shack’s pagers.’

Once each restaurant has been fully equipped, First Line continues to provide support to the users. They are also working with Diverse Dining on a brand-new project – the UK launch of the P.F. Chang range of Asian-themed casual dining restaurants. This chain is enormously popular in the USA, with the freshly hand-made dumplings and lettuce wraps being highly recommended. Nim has just finished the survey of the first restaurant. When that happens, we’ll all be pressing John to do his duty and sample the menu.