Square Helps Iconic Australian Restaurant, Fishbowl, Go Global with US Expansion

Jun 11, 2024

The Bondi Beach–founded healthy fast food chain used Square technology to open its first international venue, Thisbowl, in New York

Fishbowl, an Australian healthy fast food chain, has partnered with Square to power its expansion to the US. The quick service restaurant was founded in 2016 by Nathan Dalah, Nic Pestalozzi, and Casper Ettelson in Sydney’s Bondi Beach and has become an Australian icon with more than 40 locations across the country. In April 2024, the three friends opened a new store in New York under a new name: Thisbowl.

“Our growth plans are ambitious, but we’re taking on the biggest challenge first: if we can make Thisbowl work in New York, we believe that it will give us the runway we need to fuel our growth in the US along with other major cities around the world,” said Nathan Dalah, Founder and Head of Global Growth at Fishbowl and Thisbowl.

“Consistency is a huge part of our success, and our team appreciates how Square’s technology makes it easier for us to focus on ensuring our food and our service is always consistent, always high quality,” Dalah says. “Square has been with us this whole journey. We’ve used Square since we opened our first restaurant in Bondi, and it’s really grown alongside us and helped us scale.”

In harnessing Square’s front- and back-of-house restaurant technology, Fishbowl seamlessly processes dine-in, to-go, and catering orders, while ensuring a consistent customer experience across all locations. The QSR has modernized its operations and grown their customer base by using Square technology across a variety of key business priorities.

Delight diners as soon as they order
Diners’ orders are taken using Square Register, which gives customers a fast and secure checkout with a second screen to see their order before they pay. Customers can easily complete their transaction through a simple swipe, dip, or tap of their card or digital wallets. Square’s streamlined software design also makes it easy for staff to manage Fishbowl and Thisbowl’s highly customizable menu.

Run a smooth operation
Part of the appeal of Fishbowl and Thisbowl is the speed, efficiency, and the attention taken during the quick service turnaround. Orders are sent instantly to Square’s Kitchen Display System, which kitchen staff use to easily manage the near-constant flow of in-store and online orders. The full operations of the restaurant are centered around Square KDS, from full recipes on tickets, to precision timing of operations, to quality control before any bowl is served up.

“My favorite feature of Square is their kitchen display system, or KDS. It’s been really helpful. A lot of people ask us ‘how long does it take for a bowl to get made?’ or ‘how long until I get my bowl?’ And now we can get down-to-the-second updates. Our whole kitchen system runs off of it, and it really helps us keep track of the team,” said Dalah. “Every chance Square has had to test out technology with us, we have been happy to use it and we’ve ended up using pretty much all of it in the store.”

Have full visibility of all stores
As businesses grow, having full visibility of each restaurant is a challenge. For Fishbowl and Thisbowl, that was a key benefit to using Square.

“Square is the point of sale for our generation,” said Nic Pestalozzi, another founder of Fishbowl in Australia. “As we grow, we can’t be everywhere at once but we can just go on our phone and see our locations, see how they’re performing - what’s selling, what’s not. That information allows us to scale with the same attention to detail when we had one store, even when we have forty-plus.”

With real-time sales data, analytics, and business intelligence, Fishbowl and Thisbowl’s founders get full visibility on any of their restaurants - no matter where it is in the world - all from their phone.

“We’ve been working with Fishbowl since the beginning, and it’s been exhilarating to partner with and support their growth – and now international expansion – especially despite the current challenges of the industry,” said Ming-Tai Huh, Head of Food and Beverage at Square. “Square’s technology is helping restaurants of all types and sizes to both streamline and expand to new markets.”

To learn more about how Square can power your food and beverage business, visit our website.