touchbistro toronto

A major malfunction meant that some people in Toronto got a lot of free food this weekend

A malfunction over the weekend led to free food for people in Toronto ordering from one restaurants, and at least one more in Ontario, which led one restaurant owner to publicly warn others that this might happen to them.

"Just throwing out a giant warning for people using TouchBistro for their online ordering today, check your receipts," Earlscourt BBQ owner Jason Rees wrote in public Food and Wine Industry Navigator Facebook group on June 5.

"Chances are you PAID your customers to eat your food and drink your beverages."

He goes on to say that people ordering multiples of an item were only being charged for one, and that no one at TouchBistro (a tech company that creates restaurant management systems) was available to help him with the issue during the weekend.

One person commented on the post saying the same thing had happened to them, and several people chimed in offering alternatives to TouchBistro.

Though Rees says he has no way to know exactly how much was given away because the error was affecting orders that had already been placed, he estimates it was around $900. Thankfully, TouchBistro has provided Earlscourt with a refund.

"TouchBistro has been sympathetic to the error and had provided us with a refund for past services and no charge for future services to make up for the loss," Rees tells blogTO.

touchbistro toronto

Earlscourt BBQ specializes in serving BBQ meats and sides.

"I think that adding online ordering to their platform was a very big challenge for them as we all do the 'pandemic pivot.' This error cost less than I would have paid in monthly commissions to use Uber, Skip or DoorDash as Touch Bistro's ordering is commission-free."

People still got exactly what they ordered, as the restaurant printed scheduled preorder tickets as they came in and stapled them to bags, meaning the original tickets went out with the bags and couldn't be reviewed.

"Somewhere between ordering and picking up TouchBistro had a glitch. Things started disappearing from orders and all items that were multiples were only charged for one item," says Rees.

"We didn't notice until we were almost sold out of BBQ on Saturday night when a customer asked for an additional receipt for the order, which we printed and noticed that that customer's original $200 worth of BBQ was only $89 on the receipt."

Unfortunately this also resulted in a huge loss of business on Sunday as they had to turn off online ordering until the issue was fixed on Sunday at 4 p.m.

"We had over a dozen voicemail messages asking if we were already sold out for Sunday for those that tried to pre-order their Sunday dinner that morning," says Rees.

The restaurant has already struggled to reopen after a fire and of course a pandemic over the last few years, so now that they're finally back in business, technical glitches are the last thing they need to be dealing with.

Photos by

Jesse Milns

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