Today’s blog is a continuation on the topic of the digital ordering experience, and today we explore how operators can leverage this technology to improve operational efficiency.
As discussed in our most recent blog post, we’re seeing mobile (online) ordering steadily increasing. We expect this trend will continue throughout the next 18 months. We’ve also observed how online and kiosk ordering creates bottlenecks at the pick-up counter, with lots of guests waiting for their orders to be completed.
Text messaging is more commonly being used to notify customers with a specific time when orders will be ready, which streamlines the guest flow at the pick-up counter. Additionally, KDS systems can send text notifications automatically when orders are complete, so long as the digital ordering solution has captured a guest’s mobile number. With digital ordering kiosks, the kitchen has the added benefit of a full view of the order status, which also helps organize kitchen processes.
Guests may use different platforms to place orders, be it a mobile app, an on-site guest-facing kiosk, or online. Regardless the method used, the ordering experience needs to be consistent and familiar for the guest every time. We all move about different modalities in our everyday lives and by creating uniformity in digital ordering across these platforms, brands ensure they are not impeding the guest’s purchasing experience. Operator should seek guest-ordering technology platforms that support these experiences.
It’s also important to strike a balance between the technology and guest service. We want the level of personalization to still be noticeable and we want the technology to complement guest service. Kiosk and online ordering solutions should enable not just accurate interactions, but they should also make guests comfortable and confident when engaging with, and customizing their orders.
Digital ordering capabilities are still evolving, but there is a rise in the number of brands providing mobile ordering and payment solutions, particularly in quick-service environments. This is enabling more purchases from outside the physical restaurant and with features like scheduled pick-up and targeted upsell, guests receive a more personalized ordering experience that fits into their schedule.
Another example is tablet-based kiosks at the guest table. Most of us have already seen these, and many operators are experimenting with these solutions with the desire to enhance the guest experience, making it easier to order and provide an overall quicker, more efficient level of service. Going forward, operators looking for these types of solutions should consider those that reduce the amount of effort it takes for guests to order with easier access to detailed menu items.