The April GDP report indcicating that business is up by at least 6.4% and the hospitality industry is seeing the biggest uptick from last year. Restaurants are seeing over an 80% increase year over year and nearly a 13% increase in business from 2019. At the same time the April jobs report showed us that we had a major miss to expectations of new jobs in April which only confirms what restaurants are already knew, a major labor shortage.
We are going to look at five best practices that you can use in your digital experience to enable your wait staff to work more efficiently.
Pay at the Table
There are two types of pay at the table solutions, Self Checkout (Taby, Ziosk and Presto) and Assisted Payments (QR code on a bill or handheld tablet like Toast or Skytab). Self Checkout Solutions like Taby, Presto or Ziosk can save your servers 20% of their work by completely elminating the payment as part of their job duties. Over 90% of Americans opt to use a self check out solution when presented with the option, both for security of their credit card as well as convenience. Self Checkout Solutions are known to eliminate up to 2,400 minutes of wait time in one day at one single restaurant.
Point of Sale Congestion
Buying another point of sale terminal can be an added expense but if your wait staff are waiting on a terminal to free up this can significantly impact their ability to deliver quality service. Make sure you have multiple terminals spread out in convenient locations that make it easy for them to access. One important thing to note is that if you have a pay at the table solution then you will naturally see a decrease in Point of Sale congestion as your servers need to make less trips to a terminal to do their job.
Point of Sale Configuration
If you see your wait staff going back to the kitchen on a regular basis to tell the kitchen speacial instruction or get a speacial sauce or side then your Point of Sale is likely not configured correctly to allow your wait staff to work effectively. Make a rule that wait staff does not set foot in the kitchen. If they need something tell a manager and manager need to ensure these modifications are making their way into the POS.
Throughout the pandemic having a digital menu accesible via QR code has become much more common. Some restaurants took shortcuts and just uploaded a PDF that can be downloaded but this can lead to a frustrating experience to your customers as some phones struggle to open the PDF and the PDFs were designed to be read on a 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper not on a small smartphone screen. On the other hand some restaurants have implemented mobile first digital menus. These menus are built with a mobile phone experience in mind and allow for easy navigation to find what they are looking for. Now each item can have a picture next to it and a more detailed description. Your guests will be able to know what you are offering and your wait staff will spend less time answering questions that come from your menu.
Cut the Tedious Tasks
Many restaurants made big leaps towards expanding online ordering options in 2020. Third party vendors were brought in and every restaurant ended up with 3-6 tablets near one of the POS terminals. Servers are asked to check on these regularly to enter in the order to the Point of Sale. There are services like Chowly that automatically take all online orders and write these orders to the POS directly. This eliminates errors in order entry or delayed responses and results in your servers having more time to focus on guests in your restaurant. It also leads to a better experience for your customers that order through these different online ordering services as the food is consistently delivered on time. Consistency in delivery is equally important, if not more important to getting repeat business from these customers.
As you watch your restaurant floor ask yourself what is keeping my wait staff from focusing on guests, food and beverage? The second question is which of these processes is taking the most time and what can I do to make it easier? If your restaurant needs help with a digital menu or a pay at the table solution reach out to us for more information at email@example.com
Why do 90% of Americans care about Pay at the Table?
QR Code on a Bill or QR code on a Table? Don’t make the $800k mistake!
How much does Pay at the Table cost?