With all the possible technology solutions out there claiming to help your restaurant’s operations run better, it may seem like a smart decision to start implementing as many of them as possible. However, in doing that, you run the risk of introducing even more operational complexity and headaches. Once those inefficient processes have become ingrained in your operations, it’s hard to break the pattern, and you and your staff will be stuck in reactive mode, having to spend time dealing with issues when they arise.
Oftentimes when we start working with customers, we see the reactive approaches they’ve ended up taking with their operations. At Chowly, we can help identify and eliminate inefficient processes to increase productivity within your restaurant’s operations. Below are some of the ways that you can start changing your approach from reactive to proactive.
Tablet Hell vs. Integration
The Situation: You want to start utilizing third-party online ordering platforms.
The Reactive Approach: Adding your menu to multiple delivery platforms indiscriminately. This produces a situation called “tablet hell,” because each ordering platform uses its own proprietary software. With each new piece of software comes an additional tablet for receiving orders, and that means a growing mess of tablets, wires, and printers on your host stand or counter.
This situation causes staff to struggle to manually enter orders into your point-of-sale (POS) system and try to cope with the high volume of orders coming in without making any mistakes. With all that distraction, your staff loses the ability to provide the best experience for in-house customers. In the face of those issues, restaurants may end up hiring someone for the sole purpose of managing delivery operations and manual order entry. Overall, this situation leads to increased stress, order errors, and labor costs.
The Proactive Approach: Integrating third-party delivery orders into your POS. With Chowly’s technology solution, the orders your restaurant receives from third-party online ordering platforms will be transmitted automatically to your POS, sending the order tickets directly to the kitchen. This completely removes the need for delivery tablets and manual data entry. By integrating third-party delivery orders into your POS, you can eliminate “tablet hell,” keep your staff happy, increase your revenue by adding delivery platforms without the operational headaches, and ultimately, provide better service to your customers.
Whole Menu vs. Optimized Menu
The Situation: You want to start adding your menu to the third-party online ordering platforms.
The Reactive Approach: Adding your whole menu to each platform, without taking into account items that 1) have a high cost and low profit margin, 2) may not travel well, and 3) do not align with the items in your POS. Offering such items results in order errors, slower order ticket times, and, almost always, unhappy customers.
Customers may also struggle with placing an online order when confronted with too many menu options. This overwhelming display of options can lead to decision paralysis, which often causes customers to order fewer items or even abandon their carts entirely.
The Proactive Approach: Optimizing your menu for third-party platforms. Rather than giving those customers every potential option, give them an approachable list of curated dishes with only a few add-on or recommended items.
We at Chowly handle menu optimization by reconciling the menu in your POS with the versions on third-party platforms (we call this “menu mapping”) and providing tips on creating a more effective delivery menu for your restaurant. This will make the process simpler for you and your staff so you can focus on providing the best experience for all of your customers.
Technology is becoming a true revenue enabler for businesses and it is important to be mindful in your approach prior to implementing it. If your restaurant is currently reacting to problems rather than preventing them, don’t fret. It’s never too late to start instituting a proactive approach.
If you’re looking to put your plan in place for POS integration and menu optimization, check out chowly.com.