Smart Partners

BeetBox Veg

Reliable Wireless Helps This Business Connect With Customers Over Plant-Powered Food

Justin Tisdall and his business partner Bryan Satterford were already a Vancouver success story with their popular restaurant, Juke Fried Chicken, when they decided they wanted their next move to be in a slightly different direction. Green initiatives and local ingredient sourcing were already a way of life for them, but they wondered what more they could do.

“How do we continue that idea of keeping things as eco-friendly as possible and cut down our carbon footprint more?” wondered Justin. “So we looked to the plant-based field.” From there, BeetBox was born.

Located on the West end of Vancouver’s downtown core, BeetBox is a 100% plant-based dine-in and take-out restaurant. “We like to call it conscious comfort food,” says Justin. The menu paints that very picture, with vegan takes on hot “chick-un” sandwiches, reubens, and “cheeze” burgers, as well as more traditionally healthy warm bowls, and sides like crispy onion rings and fried shishito peppers. Kombucha and vegan beer are on tap side by side.

“I think people are gravitating to the fact that you can have plant-based foods and it doesn’t just have to be leafy greens,” says Justin. The owners themselves are flexitarians, but are leaning more and more towards a healthy lifestyle as the years go on. To them, healthy doesn’t need to mean giving up the kinds of flavours they love, nor does dipping their toes into veganism. “If you want to eat fun and healthy we provide that for you. You can choose what you want to do and we don’t put a judgement on it.”

We love when people come in and want to share their experience with us. That’s a sense of building community, so that’s why we offer public WiFi.

Justin Tisdall, Co-founder of BeetBox Veg

Another big part of the BeetBox philosophy is creating a space that people are proud to share. “We love when people come in and want to share their experience with us online. That’s a sense of building community, so that’s why we offer public wifi.” The coming together of friends, vegan or not, is what the ethos of BeetBox is all about. “I think that was really the goal, just to make food that everybody could enjoy without having a label attached to it.”

In fact, the pair consulted with many of their vegan friends before opening BeetBox, concerned that their ownership of a non-vegan restaurant would conflict with the pride many plant-based eaters take in their beliefs. “The response was overwhelming—they’re just happy more people are choosing plant-based,” says Justin. “And we’re moving our values in the right direction.” The shop’s entirely compostable packaging, zero plastic waste, and local, organic ingredient sourcing doesn’t hurt the cause either.

Two plant-based burgers
Bowl of mixed vegetables

To Justin and Bryan, another core value is the creation of a space that serves customers efficiently. The team uses Shaw Business SmartWiFi solution to power their store, from their POS system, to their wireless menu display, their delivery tablets, and their in-store public wireless network. “Initially we went with Shaw Business because personally I use Shaw at home and I found their customer service to be top notch.” But after the opening of their shop, BeetBox switched providers. “It was the worst business mistake I’ve probably ever made,” says Justin. “Anything and everything went wrong. We switched back to Shaw Business, and we’re fortunate they’re very reliable. The installers were excellent and any customer service has been great.”

Justin knows that unreliable service doesn’t just halt business, but breaks trust with the customer, and the people tasked with serving them. “The consequences are huge,” he says. “I judge success on how happy your staff are, how happy the guests are.” Fast, consistent wireless connection is just one piece of the puzzle helping BeetBox deliver their environmentally-friendly message as far and wide as they can.

Though the concept of plant-based eating can be associated with a lot of assumptions, BeetBox’s philosophy is so much more about the impact they have on the industry and on the Earth itself. “We only have one planet, so we know that’s not changing. We want to make things a little bit better,” says Justin.

“That’s something we aren’t going to compromise on.”