- Posted by The CorkGuru
Technology is constantly on the cusp of the next big thing, or at least, the next commonly used thing. The restaurant industry is not excused from keeping up with the pace of technology. In order to be a competitive restaurant, especially within the hotel industry, you must strive for innovation while integrating the evolving industry trends.
Technology and traditional customer service may seem like opposing forces, but if fused together properly, it will result in customer service on an entire new level.
Rather than viewing technology advancements as taking the place of the human touch, think about how paired together, your restaurant can offer every customer’s dream dining experience.
What it boils down to is that, once a new gadget is created, enabling a task to be completed quicker and with more ease eventually it will be widely adopted. That goes for any industry; meaning hesitating to transition with the times will leave your restaurant irrelevant and no longer profitable.
In order to ensure that your restaurant continues to stay relevant and popular consider taking one or more of the following suggestions and implementing it into your establishment.
iPads Are Your Friend
There are already quite a few restaurants, and restaurant chains, that have begun to utilize iPads as part of the ordering procedure. The benefit in having guests place their order through the iPad, rather than the server, is it eliminates errors, streamlining the ordering process. Stacked, a restaurant chain located throughout Southern California, is an excellent example. At each table there’s an iPad and after seating his or her guests, the server goes on to explain and show the guests how to order exactly what they want. Instead of the server having to tell the kitchen staff each modification and change the guests have requested, they can make all of those changes directly onto the iPad which will then get sent directly to the kitchen, thus eliminating room for error.
No More Split Check Drama
One of the biggest pain points of a dining experience is the check. Whether it’s a large party needing 8 different checks, or a group of business men anxious to make it to their meeting on time, taking care of the check can be a struggle. Having an iPad, or an app for smartphones, helps alleviate this issue. If there’s an iPad with a card reader at the actual table, guests paying with cards will be able to check out as soon as they would like and not have to flag down the server for the check.
If there’s a larger party, and each person wants to pay separately, the guests themselves, or the server, can use the iPad to separate out each check and then each person in turn can pay. That way, the servers will have more time to offer even better customer service to the other tables. Consider this – if a server doesn’t have to spend all of his time taking orders, relaying modifications to the kitchen, and splitting up checks, then he will have more time to bond with his tables, offer suggestions, upsell, and more.
Of course, there will always be customers, especially from the baby boomer generation, that have an aversion to technology, especially in a restaurant setting. The key is to never eliminate the customer service aspect, and never make it mandatory that a customer use the technology. Each server should make it clearly known that they are there to help the entire time no matter what. If a customer prefers to have his server input the order into the iPad instead, then the server should do so without trepidation.
If a customer is wary about running her credit card through an iPad, or paying through an app, take their payment in a more traditional method if possible. Identity theft is rampant this day and age and those who’ve suffered from the crime may not want to engage with any type of tablet.
Those are just a few examples and within a year there will likely be a million more ways to integrate technology into a restaurant, the point is keeping up with the times is crucial to the success of your establishment. Above all else, customers visit restaurants because they want to be served so, regardless of technology, make sure your guests always feel taken care of.