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Schwartz Brothers Restaurants


Reduce Spelling Errors, Improve Addressing Capability in OWA

Industry: Leisure

Products: Plus Pack for Microsoft Exchange Server

Messageware Plus Pack Is Secret Ingredient In Seattle Restaurant Group’s Outlook Web Access Deployment


To world-class chefs, details matter. Heat a ganache above 110 degrees and it will “break,” making it unsuitable for truffles or tarts; carve a prime rib too soon after roasting and the juices won’t be evenly distributed.

It’s this kind of attention to the “little things” that has put Schwartz Brothers Restaurants atop the Seattle culinary scene. Founded by Bill and John Schwartz in 1970 and still devoted to getting the details perfect, Schwartz Brothers Restaurants has grown to encompass six premier full-service establishments—all repeat winners of the ZAGAT Award of Excellence—as well as a full-service catering business, two bakeries, and a
retail/wholesale box lunch operation. The company has also licensed its Chandler’s Crabhouse dining concept to an operator in Yokohama, Japan.

Many of Schwartz Brothers Restaurant’s 950 team members—chefs, managers, executives and support staff in particular—have email accounts to communicate with corporate customers, food vendors, business partners and the general public. Because these employees often move frequently from one restaurant or food facility to another, Schwartz Brothers Restaurants’ IT staff, led by director Jim Irwin, recently selected Microsoft Outlook Web Access (OWA) as the company’s email client.

“OWA eliminates the need for fixed profiles. With Web-based access, our people can handle email from their office, their home or any other location,” said Irwin. “The more we relied on OWA, however, the more we realized there were some business-critical issues at stake.”

Irwin explained that the lack of spell check and advanced global address features caused complaints from employees who were used to Microsoft Outlook. “Poor spelling or grammar is not tolerated at Schwartz Brothers Restaurants,” he pointed out. “Also, OWA doesn’t parse out email addresses as you type. You have to search for and click on recipient names to send an email, which our users found frustrating.”


With Outlook-style productivity features in mind, Irwin and his systems administrator, Noble Ferrero, began looking for an OWA enhancement solution. Their search soon led them to Messageware and Plus Pack for Microsoft Exchange.

“We found a few plug-ins for Exchange, but none of them did the entire job,” Ferrero stated. “Once we found Plus Pack we realized it would do everything we wanted.”

Messageware Plus Pack is a unique product that makes Outlook Web Access look and operate like Microsoft Outlook, with all the features Outlook users expect. Installed at the server level within an enterprise’s Microsoft Exchange platform, Plus Pack provides features like Outlook-style addressing, global address list contacts, one-click addressing, roaming personal dictionaries, a thesaurus and more.

Irwin and Ferrero agreed that Messageware Plus Pack was worth trying, and subsequently downloaded and installed the free evaluation version. “It took about a minute to install and five minutes to configure,” Ferrero reported. “That was it. I was instantly surprised at how well the global address feature worked. And the dictionary allows users to add words they use often, which is important when you’re dealing in exotic
ingredients and menu items.”

No sooner did the IT team deploy Plus Pack to its employees, than the complaints about email stopped. That is, until some time later, when the free trial period ended.

“Immediately—and I mean immediately—we started hearing ‘What happened?’ That’s when we knew we had to keep Messageware Plus Pack,” Irwin noted.

– Jim Irwin, IT Staff Director

Messageware Plus Pack has proven it can quickly get them back out where they want to be—in the dining room with the people.


“High quality, professional communications are a part of our corporate culture. You simply don’t send out email without spell checking it first. That’s a ‘personal must’ from our owners,” Irwin said.

With Messageware Plus Pack now providing the productivity features their users demand, Irwin and Ferrero can now focus on other tasks. “We maintain roughly 35 third-party applications within our company, plus servers, Active Directory, SQL databases, middleware, you name it,” stated Ferrero. “Plus Pack does its job without supervision, which is the way we like it.”

Irwin points out that Schwartz Brothers Restaurants’ team members are too busy to deal with email issues. “Our catering staff communicates constantly with high-profile customers like Boeing, Microsoft and AT&T. And our restaurant managers are interested in serving the needs of our patrons, not figuring out email. Messageware Plus Pack has proven it can quickly get them back out where they want to be—in the dining
room with the people.”

About Messageware

Founded in 1993, Messageware develops and markets solutions that secure, enhance, and customize Outlook Web App. A trusted Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and a Global Exchange ISV for over 15 years, our applications give com-panies of all sizes a greater return on Microsoft Exchange. Messageware products are used by over 2,500 enterprises and 4 million users worldwide, from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses, in every industry including banking, education, financial services, government, healthcare, and legal services.

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