Transforming the way you handle table service doesn’t just overcome frustration for staff and customers, it can accelerate your operations and boost your revenue.
More restaurants are rethinking the way they manage table service. Typically, it’s the front line of customer service but it can also be a bottleneck for restaurant operations.
However, equipping each member of your waiting staff with Smart Table Service tech can be a game-changer. With the right device and app, your team can take orders and accept secure payments instantly.
It sounds simple enough but the difference this makes to your operation can be profound. Everyone wins: Customers, waiting staff, the kitchen team and your business itself.
Here are five areas where you’ll see the benefits.
1) Taking orders
Service can improve significantly when staff use a tablet, smart-phone or dedicated device with an intuitive app that’s loaded with your menu and special offers.
Waiting staff: Taking orders is fast and easy. Staff have all the information and options at their fingertips. This helps new staff especially.
Customers: Guests have their orders taken quickly and accurately.
2) Sending orders instantly to the bar and kitchen
This is where you’ll start to see big gains. As soon as orders are taken, waiting staff can send them to the bar or kitchen in a single click before they leave the table. Job done.
Waiting staff: The pressure eases on your team. They don’t have to dash around and queue at a POS terminal to input details or hand orders to the kitchen. Also, orders aren’t delayed because staff get waylaid by incoming groups of guests wanting to be seated, or customers at other tables calling for their attention.
Customers: Customers no longer have to watch in frustration as waiting staff are distracted before their order even reaches the bar and kitchen. Guests get their food and drinks faster. In fact, the drinks order could be clicked through and brought to the table by bar staff, while guests are still ordering their food.
Kitchen staff: Orders no longer get delayed and then all arrive at once, as waiting staff save up their orders and queue at the POS terminal. Instead, orders arrive in a timely way, so the kitchen can get into a steady rhythm, focus on quality and produce meals on time. This also avoids friction over service running late and leads to greater customer satisfaction.
Your business: The tech used by your waiting team is connected to your all-in-one restaurant platform. As a result, real-time data from every order is fed into the system immediately, updating your sales records, inventory and forecasts.
Step 3: Taking additional orders
If guests experience great service and receive items quickly, they’re more likely to be spontaneous and order extra sides, desserts and rounds of drinks.
Customers: Guests can enjoy themselves and have a better dining experience, free from frustration.
Waiting staff: Your team can improve their own sales performance, rapport with customers and increase tips.
Your business: You earn extra revenue.
Step 4: Accepting payments instantly
Your waiting staff can take payments at the table at any time on the same device they carry with them, thanks to integrated and secure payments.
Staff: There’s no need to queue at the till, go looking for a card device — and then inputting the bill amount. Everything they need is on their device already.
Customers: Guests can pay, the moment they are ready. Their experience doesn’t sag at the end of the meal because they’re waiting around to pay. Their receipt can be printed, emailed or sent to them by text. It’s their choice.
Step 5: A shift in culture and performance
Smart Table Service enables a shift in approach at the heart of your business, so you prioritise the customer and the time you spend with them.
Waiting staff: Instead of walking something like 10km in a matter of hours — as they zip between the tables, bar, terminal and kitchen — waiting staff typically now have around 20% more time with guests. In fact, each team member might now be able to manage a zone of six tables instead of four.
Customers: Guests notice your staff are more relaxed, attentive and closer at hand — and so are able to give better service.
Your business: Overall, your restaurant could see revenues increase by 5-25%. With optimised ordering and payments, you can turn tables faster and earn extra income, especially over busy and crowded lunchtimes. With happier guests, your business can expect better reviews, greater customer loyalty and repeat business.
Find out more about Smart Table Service with iiko.