Kenn Pluard didn’t grow up with a dream of becoming a restaurateur. As an owner of another business, he ventured into restaurant operations as a side gig. But when the restaurant faced some tough times, he stepped up to the plate.

Today, he is the owner of Kenji’s Ramen & Grill – a bustling, Japanese and Korean inspired full service restaurant, heating up the scene in laid-back Vancouver, WA, or as the locals call it – ‘The Couve’.

As owner, his first order of business was to clean house – from raising the quality of the food to revising his staff, and improving business operations by replacing his restaurant point of sale to Upserve POS. “It was one of the best decisions we made, as far as efficiency,” Kenn notes.

His next priority was growth. Well aware of the demand for ordering food online, this was his opportunity for a new revenue stream. He chose Upserve’s online ordering system and offered delivery through a third-party provider.

Quickly, Kenn saw the orders pour in. Within just a couple of months, online ordering has come to be just over 10% of Kenji’s monthly revenue.

As online order volume climbs- now, about 20 orders per day –  Kenn is looking to put more firepower behind promoting his online webpage, so more guests order directly from Kenji’s, without a middle man and the commissions per order.  He has even considered hiring in-house drivers instead of relying on the third party service. “It kills me to pay high commissions on delivery orders.” The fees Kenn refers to can be upwards of 35% per order.

For perspective, one of the most popular orders is the famous Kenji’s ramen, averaging about $13 depending on your modifiers. If a customer ordered this dish directly from Kenji’s website, Kenn would get to keep the $4.55/order instead of paying that amount in commission. In one month, with just 100 orders of Kenji’s ramen, this adds up to almost $500. In a year, about $5,500. As online ordering volume grows, these numbers really begin to matter.

In addition to fresh revenue, Kenn immediately noticed efficiency in his staff’s time. Upserve’s online ordering solution is integrated with Upserve POS, so when an online is placed, it drops into Upserve POS. There’s no transcribing orders from fax, email or a separate tablet into the point of sale.

“The kitchen sees the order right away. We don’t have to touch anything except hit ‘Accept” [on Upserve POS].”

This also ensures more accurate orders are picked up since there’s no room for human error, like there is in taking the order over the phone.

“It’s so efficient and saves us so much time. 5 minutes saved that we don’t have to take an order by phone, plus 5 minutes we don’t have to spend taking payment when the customer comes in to pick up. With 10 orders/day, that’s over an hour saved per employee per day. It really adds up.”

How Kenji’s is Benefitting

Upserve’s Online Ordering solution lets Kenji’s Ramen & Grill own their online ordering without paying staggering commissions, prepare more accurate orders, and untether their staff from the phones, so they can provide better service to in-house guests.

  • No commissions: With his Upserve online ordering webpage, Kenn lets his customers order exactly what they want, directly from Kenji’s. Zero commissions per order unlike with a third party service.
  • Integrated with point of sale: When a customer places an order online, it flows right into Upserve POS, eliminating time spent on transcribing and avoiding human error.
  • Labor efficiency: By offering online ordering, Kenji’s staff has become efficient with their time. Instead of getting hung up on the phones for minutes, it’s seconds to accept an order, so the kitchen can start preparing it, exactly as the guests intended it.

Learn More About Kenji’s Ramen & Grill

Kenji’s began as a Japanese ramen restaurant that wanted to be unique, adventurous and without boundaries. With a passion for culture we set out to bring Japanese and Korean culture to the Vancouver area. From our traditional Japanese ramen broths to our Korean inspired pork belly fried rice, you’re sure to find a wide variety of flavors from both of these rich cultures! We pride ourselves in sourcing all of our produce and meats from local farms to ensure that quality is as fresh and sustainable as can be! Kenji’s and its staff are determined to give each one of our guests an incredible dining experience each and every time. At Kenji’s you are more than just a customer to us, you are Family!

Please check our website at

Written by   |  
In a perfect world, Theresa would spend her days reading good books and writing all the time... and she'd own all the shoes her heart desired. When she's not on the hunt for shoes, you can find this Rhode Island transplant on the hunt for food that comes close to "Long Island". Her favorite? Caffe Dolce Vita in Providence's historic Federal Hill.