Table service centers around the complete guest experience. While with a counter service, delivery, or fast food concept the quality of product and price are the main factors for the guest. While these are still important in table service, much more weight is placed on the guest experience. Among other things, this includes getting the food out quickly and accurately as well as making sure the wait staff is tending to the tables as needed. Our technologies can help solve both of these challenges (and many more!) to help make sure your guests have a great experience leading to rave reviews to their friends and on social media.
Ordering at the Table
Consider the following scenario with a traditional (stationary) point of sale workstation: A server is working a few tables that arrived around the same time. As those tables are ready to place their orders, one of two things happen –
- The server goes to whichever table they figure should get to order first. They take that tables order, walk to the point of sale, and then enter that order. Then they return to the next table, take the order, and walk back to the workstation and enter that order. The order is essentially being entered twice (once in writing on the notepad and another at the point of sale workstation). Then there is the walking to and from the terminal that takes more time, all of which takes away from time they could be using to check up on other guests. Finally, the first order is entered maybe 5 or 10 minutes before the second order. The second table sees that first order come out of the kitchen and may be a little upset that they arrived at the same time, yet received their food significantly later.
- The second way of handling this would be to write down the first tables order, move to the next table and write down their order, move to the next table and write down their order, and then enter them all into the point of sale at once. Again this is problematic but for different reasons. In this case, the server is now monopolizing that terminal with their order and nobody else can use it during that time. Also, they are spending a significant amount of time at the workstation and not checking on their guests. Finally, the kitchen is getting slammed with all those orders at once when they could have been starting on the first while the second and third were being entered.
Our tablet solutions allow your staff to circumvent these extra steps by taking orders directly into the point of sale right at the table. They can enter the order right there as the guest gives it to them, send it to the kitchen, and move directly on to the next table. Add in a hip printer or some strategically placed network printers and you have effectively eliminated any need to make a trip back to a stationary terminal. Not only does this vastly improve the guest experience, but it helps you squeeze more productivity out of your staff which in turn lowers your labor costs.
Another huge benefit of our tableside ordering solutions is our ability to give the waitstaff information while they are taking the order. How many times have you been at a restaurant and had somebody come back to the table and tell you “I’m sorry, we are out of that item would you like to choose something else?” With our tablet solutions, we configure them and train your staff in a way that this will be apparent to them right then and there. We also configure the forced modifiers so they will never forget to ask for a meat temperature or salad dressing at the time of order. Finally, we can provide some suggested upsales via the tablet to remind them to ask things like “would you like to add grilled onions and mushrooms to that steak?” You can then use our custom reporting or Avero analytics to track which staff members are doing the best with these upsales and coach the ones that aren’t (but more on that later…). These tools combine to improve order accuracy and increase your average guest check.
Waitlist and Guest Paging
Telling a guest that they are going to have to wait to be seated can often turn them away and send them to your competition down the street. Having an integrated waitlist on the POS with guest paging can help control this customer loss by allowing the guest to go walk the surrounding area while waiting to be seated. Nobody wants to just sit at the front door or stand right outside while waiting 30 minutes or more for their name to be called. Giving them the ability to walk around and actually do something will help capture more guests and extend the duration of your peak hours. We offer solutions for both hand held pagers and text message paging depending on the requirements of the restaurant.
With minimum wage on the rapid rise, labor cost is becoming even more of a concern. We can provide you the tools needed to address this:
Labor Reporting: Save money by using labor management tools. View labor to sales ratios in real time on-site or remotely via smart phone apps and browser based reporting.View aggregated data for sales, labor dollars, labor hours and labor percentage by hour so you can make sure you are scheduling your employees properly throughout the day.
Labor Management and Security: With our surveillance system integration, search the word “clock” and view each time an employee punches in or out to make sure it’s them. Even take a picture at each time clock entry with our MobileBytes iPad solution. Force your employees to adhere to the schedule by integrating with a labor management system like Hot Schedules.
Expert Configuration: Our staff knows our products. We have hundreds and hundreds of installations under our belt and our implementations team collaborates on every project. This experience benefits you as your system will be configured for maximum efficiency. This saves keystrokes and time consuming mistakes from your staff which means they spend less time at the POS.
Reporting & Analytics
The data collected by the point of sale is invaluable to any restaurant. Most point of sale systems just present that data in reports such as menu item sales, cash turn-in, total sales and if your lucky, sales by hour Our solutions go much further, manipulating that data into truly actionable information. Seeing sales by hour is a great tool for scheduling employees but how much work would it take you to look at your sales by hour for just Fridays over the past 52 months? How about just during college football games last season or when there are events at the theater across the street?
Think about the data you get on your employees and their sales: Some point of sale systems can show you sales by employee. Others might even go as far as to show how many of each menu item those employees are selling. This might give some information as to who is performing better or worse than others. The problem is that when you confront an under-performing employee with that information they will likely reply with “that’s because they get the good shifts,” “they always get the large parties,” or “their section always gets seated first.” Our tools use all the data to provide information on why the more successful staff members are seeing that success. For example, are your top 3 performers selling more bottles of wine than the others? It also shows the estimated lost revenue from under-performing staff members and more importantly their estimated lost gratuity. This gives you exactly what you need to coach the under-performing staff member (“Focus on learning the wine pairings and try to upsell more bottles”) and most importantly motivate those staff members to succeed (“If you even just bumped your wine sales up to the average, you would be taking home $40.00 more in gratuity per night!”).
Having the data is only half the battle. Sure, every restaurant needs to know how much of each item they are selling and needs their sales to balance the books. We have solutions to take it a step further and give you information that can help you drive your revenue through the roof.
Our Table Service Customers
And Many, Many More…
Ask us today how technology can help your restaurant(s) decrease costs and increase profit!