In this brave new world where everyone has instantaneous access to a web of information and tools via smart phones, leveraging branded mobile apps can help restaurant owners take their business to the next level.
Before modern technology, the order taking process was messy, disorganized, and prone to errors. With the latest advancements however, order taking can be completed seamlessly and error-free. In a fast-paced restaurant environment, saving time and resources is critical. Leveraging the right technology can enable restaurant owners to optimize their workflow and stay ahead of the competition.
Restaurant technology has made huge strides and has kept up with the needs of restaurant owners pretty consistently. Recently, restaurant-branded apps have come into the spotlight for the many ways in which they improve the order-taking process:
Skip the “go-between” and send orders straight to the kitchen
When information is passed back and forth among many individuals, it’s not uncommon for some of that information to be lost, forgotten, or incorrect. The “telephone game” effectively demonstrates this phenomenon. Unfortunately, the restaurant industry is not immune to these errors. It’s actually quite common for restaurants to experience lost time from orders being passed among staff members. The manual transfer of orders is highly inefficient, and can lead to confusion and disorganization.
Fortunately, this can be fixed with a good quality restaurant app that takes orders on customers’ smartphones and sends them directly to kitchen staff so they can begin working as soon as they receive it. Customers can place an order or open a tab right from the restaurant branded app on their smartphone. Staff members’ time spent answering phones, taking orders, and giving them to the kitchen is dramatically reduced. Utilizing an app like this effectively cuts out the middle man. Not only does this save time, but it increases organization and productivity.
Eliminates lost or dropped tickets with POS integration
In the past, when customers wanted to order remotely, they used to call in orders, which meant that there was an increased risk of entry errors, lost tickets, or double-entries. In a hectic business like a restaurant, processes like this are susceptible to human error, and the high-stress environment can cause staff to enter incomplete orders, or worse, forget them entirely if a new task arises and takes precedent after they get off the phone. On top of that, paper tickets are easily misread or lost.
When customers use a restaurant’s app for their smart device or an onsite self-order kiosk to order however, orders are never illegible, erroneous, or lost. Incorrect or missed orders are one of the fastest ways to turn a positive customer experience into a negative one, so it’s critical to reduce these errors as much as possible. One of the main reasons technology is so reliable is that it doesn’t leave processes open to human error. Restaurant apps and self-order kiosk solutions are a viable way to safeguard and prevent against issues that could turn customers away.
Reduces long queues of customers waiting to place an order
Restaurant apps save time and eliminate confusion. Rather than having a staff member read out a list of menu items over the phone, or repeat orders back to customers, app users can view the entire menu from the app, select exactly what they want, and review their orders before purchasing.
Apps provide the ability for multiple customers to place an order at the same time, rather than having to wait in a long queue, which is becoming increasingly unappealing to customers. With so many options readily available, the amount of time customers are willing to wait before placing an order is dwindling. If the competition has implemented technology that allows them to serve customers without requiring them to wait for a queue, restaurants won’t be able to stay competitive unless they have technology that can keep up.
Provides customers visibility into their place on the waitlist
Waiting customers can quickly turn into unhappy customers if they question whether or not their order was overlooked. Providing customers with a way to view their place in line alleviates potential service issues and ensure that customers remain happy with the level of service provided.
A restaurant app will give customers the ability to track orders and view their place in line on the waitlist, giving them the satisfaction of knowing that their order is queued and will be delivered in a timely fashion.
Offers customers convenience of ordering from any place, at any time
Above all, convenience is what most customers are looking for when placing orders at a restaurant. A branded app allows customers to place orders when and where they need to. This provides multi-faceted benefits to the business. Not only will business owners get to enjoy the increase in business and have orders integrated into the POS, but it allows kitchen staff to prepare for large orders ahead of time.
A restaurant-branded app provides an easy way for customers to place large or complicated orders far in advance, prioritizing the orders received while warning staff about incoming demands that need to be fulfilled. With this information, kitchen staff can prepare ahead of time so that they are ready to complete the order correctly and on time.
Replaces the traditional loyalty stamp cards
Loyalty and gift card programs are valuable for keeping customers engaged and coming back. However, the traditional stamp and punch cards most SMB restaurants give customers to keep track of their loyalty points are easily lost or misplaced.
A restaurant branded app replaces traditional stamp and punch cards, giving customers insight into how many loyalty points they’ve earned and allowing them to apply points to future purchases without the worry of losing a card.
In the end, the restaurants that stay ahead of the competition are the ones that make streamlining and optimizing a priority. While improving the order taking process is well worth considering, it often goes overlooked. A restaurant-branded app is an easy and effective way to increase productivity and simplify the process.
Source: QSR Magazine