Anthony likes helping people reach their true potential. Being the victim of his own fears and insecurities in his own business, he has decided to help others create more opportunities.
What if you actually tried to be different? While most restaurant owners still stick to old-school practices like paper menus and overwhelmed waiters, you can decide to break away from tradition and disrupt your industry before it disrupts you.
It’s natural to be scared of new technology. More often than not, however, it is invented for you to make more profits. This article will focus on highly innovative ordering systems for your restaurants. They are probably going to be quite common in a couple of decades but you can be a pioneer.
Why you should pay attention to new technologies
Marketing genius Guy Kawasaki often tells the story of the iceman. It’s probably the best way to illustrate the importance of looking ahead. In the late nineteenth century, the iceman was the guy who delivered ice to the people in hotter cities. The people working in the ice industry would simply live near a frozen lake and harvest the ice to ship it further south. As backwards as this process may seem today, the ice industry eventually employed some 90 000 people in the US.
Then came the first disruption, in the form of an ice factory. Suddenly ice could be made even in hotter places. Unsurprisingly, the people harvesting ice up north went out of business. You can guess what happened to ice factories when the first home freezer appeared on the market though… The bottom line is that you always want to jump ahead of the curve. If you are trying to catch up, you have already put your business in danger.
What we are seeing in the restaurant industry is the beginning of a disruption. An increasing number of restaurants are using more effective ordering systems. Some have even done away with paper menus and give tablets to customers so they can place their order. Most smart solutions allow restaurant owners to reduce the size of their staff and increase the amount they can bill.
How to make more money with fewer waiters?
Waiters are still indispensable for restaurants. However, they are sometimes unreliable when it comes to selling. A good waiter should be able to prompt customers to consume 20 to 30 percent more than they initially intended. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find staff who can do that infallibly. Not to mention, when you have a full house, they probably get too busy taking orders, payments and serving food to fully commit to upselling customers.
What if they didn’t have to take any order anymore? By giving a tablet to your customers so they can place their order when they’re ready, and the tablet can upsell customers efficiently. Paradoxically enough, a lot of automated ordering systems can upsell better than humans. Another added benefit is that you no longer need to print out paper menus. You can change your menus with a few clicks and track the success of your menu items.
For your customers, such an ordering system will dramatically reduce their waiting time. While people generally accept waiting for their meals to be prepared, they generally dislike having to find the waiter when they are ready to order or ready to pay. With a fully integrated ordering system that also allows them to pay when they’re ready, their experience can only improve.
The 2 major actors who can revolutionise your ordering systems?
While Livepepper can certainly provide you with a no-hassle online ordering solution, let’s look at new ways to serve your sitting customers. Two of the best actors in these kinds of technology are Ordamo and IRT (Interactive Restaurant Technology).
Ordamo uses a tablet system. Your waiters simply hand the customers tablets instead of paper menus, and they place their orders on the tablet.
In the back end, you have a clear vision of what each table has ordered so you can manage your staff more effectively. Not to mention, they only need to focus on providing assistance and delivering the food to the right tables. It’s a much better experience for both the customers and your staff.
IRT (Interactive Restaurant Technology)
The Rolls Royce of this kind of technology is IRT. Instead of external tablets, the whole table becomes a touchpad. That means you can change the decoration of the table as you like. You become one of the very few restaurants to offer that system.
Your customers are in for a truly unique experience, as they can now use their table to surf the web and post about you on social media. You also get a ton of information from your customers, which can give you a bird’s eye view of your business.
The initial cost for these highly sophisticated tables is a bit steeper (about £5/per seat), but they estimate the return on investment to show within 11 months.
In this day and age, time is of the essence. If your customers spend less time waiting, you can serve more of them. Time is probably the most precious commodity for your customers as well. They’re much more likely to revisit if they experienced efficient service.
Everybody is scared of trying new things, especially if those things require an investment. If you have a long-term vision for your restaurants, however, there is no better way to prepare for a huge disruption than by jumping to the next curve when you still can.