Creating an excellent customer experience at a restaurant is all about quality, delicious meals served quickly by friendly waitstaff at a reasonable price. The presentation also plays a role, but speed, accuracy, and quality are the top priority.
When people visit a restaurant that takes forever to serve the food, or the orders are wrong, they don’t usually return. Slow and inaccurate service is often the result of manual order-taking, and the good news is, there’s a solution: handheld, digital devices.
Restaurants benefit from digital orders
In recent years, many sit-down restaurants have upgraded their order-taking to a digital format by equipping their waitstaff with portable tablets. For example, Zebra devices are a popular choice for restaurants because they’re waterproof and rugged, which makes them ideal for a food service setting.
There’s no denying how much a digital order-taking system can transform your business and increase your revenue. It’s estimated that a restaurant can increase revenue by up to 20% by going digital. Surprisingly, there are plenty of establishments that haven’t yet made this change.
If you own and/or operate any kind of diner or restaurant, upgrading to handheld devices will make you more profitable by improving the efficiency of your customer service.
Here’s why these devices are a must-have.
Manual order-taking is prone to error
The biggest hurdle with manual orders is inconsistent handwriting. Your cooks have to decipher a multitude of different handwriting styles just to prepare orders correctly. Sometimes, cooks misread shorthand and/or skip over some of the written details because it looks like a scribble.
When orders are created digitally, your cooks will get them in an easy-to-read digital format. Errors are always a possibility, but they will be less frequent.
Manual order-taking is cumbersome
In addition to illegibility leading to incorrect orders, it can be painful writing orders all day long. Even your best waitstaff will struggle when forced to use paper and pen to take orders. On top of that, you have to constantly keep a stash of order pads and pens available for use.
A digital ordering system is easier because it’s virtually effortless. Waitstaff can push buttons pre-loaded with order details and type in the rest with a virtual keyboard. There’s no hassle for the cooks, either. They’ll get orders in as soon as they’re punched into the system, long before the waitstaff returns to the kitchen.
Digital tickets get sent to the kitchen immediately
Since cooks get digital orders immediately, guests receive their food about five minutes sooner. This may not seem like much time, but for hungry guests, it makes a huge difference in how they perceive their experience.
Getting orders out to diners quickly is one of the keys to running a successful business. Nobody wants to wait too long for their food. Depending on the dishes you serve, some orders can take longer than others. However, people tend to lose patience after around the 30-minute mark.
If it currently takes about 25 minutes to serve guests, when you switch to digital ordering, you can potentially knock that back to about 20 minutes.
Digital devices can be used for self-payment
One of the best reasons to switch to a digital ordering system is to give customers the ability to pay for their meals without leaving their table. Depending on the restaurant, sometimes waitstaff will pick up the checkbook from the table, run the credit card(s) or process cash, and return the receipt(s) to the table. Other times, patrons take their check to the cashier and pay on their way out.
With a digital system, guests can pay at the table and split their check however they want without involving waitstaff.
Handheld devices speed up drink delivery
Guests love getting their drinks fast, and that’s a done deal with handheld devices combined with tabletop devices. When guests place their order at the table, the information will be sent directly to the kitchen and the waitstaff at the same time. Guests can seat themselves, start an order, and get their drinks in just a few minutes.
Digital ordering can double as entertainment
When you put a mobile device on each table, guests can use it to place their order and then it can serve as entertainment for the kids. Many restaurants offer games on their tabletop devices, although, the downside is that you have to pay to play.
Handheld devices for digital ordering will make you more profitable
Whether your goal is to streamline orders and payments, reduce errors, or increase speed, a digital ordering system can help. When you switch from manual checks to handheld devices, your waitstaff will be more efficient, customers will be happier, and your business will be more profitable.
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