Everything you should know about the new self-serve restaurant systems,
their benefits and best use suggestions.
The future of service delivery in the restaurant industry is automation. Already, we have the perfect infrastructure to support this transition: the internet, smartphones, connected devices, and a tech-savvy population.
There are over 2.5 billion smartphone users in the world. According to BrizFeel, 49% of consumers make purchases with their smartphones. Although the ecommerce industry accounts for the bulk of purchases, the restaurant industry has a tangible share (women spend 18% while men spend 14% of their budget shopping food online), and it can grow too.
That is possible if restaurateurs adopt the needed technology (self-service ordering systems) to automate the service delivery process, increase POS (point of sale) points, and efficiency. The introduction of technology in the restaurant industry will eliminate human error, optimize productivity, and boost profit.
So far, the best examples of automation technology in the restaurant industry are self-serve kiosks. These terminals allow customers to view the menu, make a choice, place an order, and pay for it.
Self-serve Kiosks have improved customer service tremendously, but they still have a limitation. Kiosks can only be used at a store. Customers have to be inside a store to use the device. This limitation gave rise to research into new ways of self-serve ordering. And one of the best alternatives that have been invented is self-serve ordering systems. These systems are multi-platform. They can be integrated with your business app, website, kiosk, and other interactive devices at your restaurant. A self-serve ordering system such as Anchors offers restaurateurs tools to serve customers on the web, mobile, and in person. Customers can browse your menu, order, pay, and even set a delivery timeframe remotely.
Example of companies using the self-service ordering system
On a macro level, we are beginning to see how automated self-service systems can work in traditional industries like the retail sector. One of the best examples is Amazon Go by Amazon. For a while, Amazon has been launching self-service stores that offer customers full control of their shopping with zero human interference.
Buyers with an Amazon account can walk in, pick the items they need, and walk out. All transactions are handled automatically. Instead of standing on a queue for your goods to be valued and payment processed, your Amazon account is charged, and a receipt is sent to your email.
Amazon Go is an advanced display of automated service delivery. Much like a vending machine, the Amazon Go stores cut out the human effort that can cause delays and allows the customer to shop and pay seamlessly. The result is convenience and time efficiency. It is no surprise that millennials and other age groups are drawn to these shops.
Amazon Go stores may seem unrelated to the restaurant business, but it will have a disruptive influence on the service industry. First, as Amazon Go stores become popular, consumers will begin to expect faster service delivery from similar businesses.
Patience for slow service has never been a strong suit of consumers, and it won’t improve.
Secondly, Amazon is selling the technology behind Amazon Go to third party retailers already. It won’t be long before a modified version is introduced to the hospitality industry.
Meanwhile, restaurant chains are implementing versions of self-service ordering systems. So far, the results have shown that the technology can improve customer experience and profit bottom line. Also, these self-service ordering systems are becoming popular among the younger generations. According to QSRweb, 52% of US internet users are likely to order food through their smartphones, if possible. Approximately 74% of millennials expressed interest in ordering food through their smartphones or online.
Considering these stats, restaurateurs have an important decision to make: adopt technology and capture the growing market or ignore it.
Whether your restaurant offers a quick service or fine dining experience, a self-service ordering system can improve your operations at several levels. With online ordering systems and apps such as Anchors, you can get the following benefits.
The advantages of self-service ordering system for a restaurant
Higher productivity – Have you ever considered how much time your servers spend moving back and forth between customers and the POS system?
The time spent registering online orders into the system for the kitchen staff to process?
These are all traditional restaurant activities that make up daily work, but they are time sinks. With a self-service restaurant system, you can automate these regular restaurant activities.
Restaurant goers can walk into your store, input their orders into a kiosk, and receive immediate feedback on the estimated delivery time. Alternatively, customers can order take out or home delivery through your customized app or website set a delivery time, and wait for their order. The system also completes the final phase of the order process by sending a notice to the customer after their order is shipped.
Implementing a self-service food ordering system in your restaurant chain doesn’t mean giving up the human touch. Instead, it allows your business to do what it loves most, providing delectable dishes and unique guest experiences.
After implementing a self-service food ordering system in your restaurant, you can program the system to execute most of your upselling tactics. When customers interact with the system to place an order, the system automatically suggests the best side dishes/treats that go with the chosen meal. Also, it will display your promo offers as well as the best value meal combo. This way, the customers can make a decision that will reward them and you in a short time.
One of the less popular reasons why programmed upsells are effective is that it is customer controlled. So the customer does not feel they are being sold to by another person. All the conversation and decision making happens in their head. Consequently, the customer will be more confident about their choices and would appreciate the experience.
Note: You can always try to combine your self-service systems and waiters to upsell better. Perhaps, your servers will reinforce the upsell suggestions between the customer waiting for their order and being served.
Decreased wait times
Nothing ticks off restaurant-goers like waiting several minutes to be served or pay for food. If you’ve waited on the checkout line with a grumbling stomach, then you can understand why customers hate it. Sadly, it is almost a common experience during rush hours. This is not only a problem for the customers but the restaurant as well. To make optimum sales, you want your foot traffic to come and go as quickly as possible. Some restaurants solve this problem by employing more waiters and cashiers, but a more efficient way would be to implement self-service food ordering systems. With your customers able to view your menu, place an order, and pay for it at their leisure, you can serve hundreds of customers in a day.
Thankfully, you don’t have to worry that your patrons will be overwhelmed by the self-service systems. Most consumers use mobile payment apps like Apple pay, Google Wallet, and Alipay regularly. So they know how automated shopping and payment works. In fact, given the rise of these payment systems, your customer’s standard for convenience is higher than ever. To keep them happy and loyal, you need to provide a high-level convenience and a memorable experience. Will a line of 20 people at the cash, do that? NO. How about the option of ordering and paying with their phone? Of course, it will.
Save Money on labor
From the benefits discussed so far, it is evident that self-service systems reduce the need for human capital. It follows that less human capital will lower overhead costs. Ultimately, this leads to huge savings on labor. If you are a profit-oriented restaurateur, you must dream of making huge gains with a minimal overhead cost. Or perhaps triple sales without increasing your staff strength. Your dream can be realized somewhat; when you deploy a self-service ordering system for your restaurant.
With a self-service system in place, your customers can access your service through the web, via your mobile app or at a kiosk in your facility. The system will also be connected to the screens in the kitchen, as well as the order management platform monitored by your delivery personnel. A self-service restaurant system is a comprehensive software that can take orders, process payment, and send necessary notifications to workers in the delivery chain.
Enhance Order Accuracy
With customers choosing their meal and placing the order, there is little room for order errors. A self-service software with a visual menu will make things even easier. Customers would see exactly what they want and order it. That means they cannot come back and say this is not what I wanted.
With enhanced order accuracy, your kitchen won’t prepare wrong orders, and your front desk staff won’t deal with wrong order complaints.
Ability to build a database
When your patrons use your online self-service system to place an order; it is an opportunity to capture information, such as email, and use it to create a database. With this database, you can easily communicate with your customers, share information about your latest cuisine, promo, and reward programs. Engaging with your customers after delivering a service keeps you at the top of their minds. When they need a restaurant service, they will likely come to you.
As a restaurant owner, you should encourage your customers to use your web platform or self-service restaurant app to place orders instead of calling. When customers call, you only get their phone numbers readily, which cannot be used to reengage them. Emails are just better for marketing due to cost, convenience, and social norms.
Unlock customer purchase insights with analytics
A self-service ordering system automatically keeps a record of the order history of your customers. Also, the system offers insights on their buying habit, average order value, purchase time, and frequent requests. With this information, you can tailor your menu and service to fit your customers individually. Your staff doesn’t have to memorize the buyer’s preferences; the information is saved on the system and comes up when the customer interacts with your business.
Keep customers in charge and engaged
In business, attention is gold. Once you are able to hold the attention of your audience, you can expect their business. With that in mind, a self-service restaurant app can be a useful tool for engaging your customers. Online ordering systems and apps such as Anchors, come with customizable features that allow restaurants to offer their patrons freebies and table booking option. When your customers are able to make reservations, they can plan their hangouts with your restaurant in mind.
With the Anchors app, you can roll out exciting programs such as secret menus, raffle items, and promotions on lunch and dinner.
Deploying a self-service ordering system can bring limitless benefits to your restaurant. The benefits discussed are general advantages to using an automated restaurant service system. However, you can get even more benefits when you build a self-service system for your restaurant. Jamii technology is one of the biggest names in this space.
Automation is the future of service delivery. As automation-enabling technologies such as automated restaurant service systems are developed, industries will change the way they do business. In turn, consumer tastes will change. Consumers will see convenience as unnegotiable and go to where they can get it. For you, the restaurant manager, you have two options: evolve or die. That means embrace technology or lose your market to progressive businesses who are bold to fuse technology with service delivery.
If transforming your business with technology and increasing your bottom line sounds like a good idea, an online self-service system could be your silver bullet. And you’re in luck. Jamii technology has just launched an innovative self-service restaurant app, Anchors, that helps restaurants process order and manage customer engagement. The self-service system market has known names, but none of them offers the personalized service, efficiency, and zero downtime guarantee, Jamii technology offers. Learn more about Anchors and Jamii technology’s incredible offer.
Everything you should know about the new self-serve restaurant systems, their benefits and best use suggestions.