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How mobility is changing the game for today’s restaurants
Today's Restaurant Internet Exclusive
Sunday, 08 June 2014 21:19

ncrBy: Steve Lowrimore

The trend of mobility in the restaurant industry continues to be a hot button topic for owners and consumers alike. Mobility covers a wide range of enhancements for the day to day operations for a business, and we are just starting to scratch the surface of what the technology can do for you and your restaurant. Popular innovations are helping restaurants operate, manage, and engage with consumers in ways that are improving business methods and consumer relationships. From door to seat or seat to check, we are finding products and ideas that are in the process of reshaping the dining experience as we know it.

With mobility, you can engage your customers the minute they walk through your door. Guest list waits are making the move to mobile on tablet devices, where they can easily handle large wait lists and inform guests of their wait times and table availability over SMS messaging. Utilize the device your customers carry with them at all time, their cell phones, to let them know their wait time, specials or when their table is ready. It gets rid of the paper and pen method of taking care of a list and instead can ‘time’ wait times with table times or ticket times, and can also allow special party notes and information about table status for the host to help personalize the experience.

Another mobile trend that’s changing the game is the handheld ordering device. These are great time-saving solutions for restaurants and can help quickly bust long lines during your lunch hour or create a seamless table to kitchen ordering process in the dining room. In Florida, we see many restaurants opt for handhelds because of high-volume business, which is multiplied throughout the year by large increases in seasonal business.   Effectively combating against these large increases in customer base is a reason handhelds will continue to be prevalent in this market.

Though mobility isn’t always about the customer- owners and operators use it to help them run the business efficiently. I’ve seen mobility change the lives of restaurateurs with the download of just one simple tool: real time data. Having real time sales numbers, employee information, sales trends on daily, weekly, and yearly numbers and more has led to overwhelming operational insight. By using a mobile tool like an app to hold this data, technology providers are giving you actionable information in the palm of your hand. The data you can pull at the end of the day from your point of sale and back of house reports gives you invaluable insight into your operation. Knowing that information at any time of the day is not only peace of mind, but business-changing.

As mobility continues to develop in this industry there will be new innovations that will help you run your businesses. Mobile ordering and loyalty continue to be developing at a rapid pace, as do mobile payment applications. The ability of these solutions to touch both you and your customer are making indelible changes on restaurants today- and the evolution is something you should be keeping a close eye on.

NCR Corporation is a leading global provider of innovative technology and services to the hospitality industry. We help our clients operate and manage their business efficiently and redefine the consumer experience in more than 100,000 restaurants, stadiums, cinemas and other customer-service venues worldwide. Our continuous innovation, global presence, vast service network and customer-first mindset enable us to provide integrated solutions that drive productivity gains, attract and engage consumers and directly impact the bottom line. Visit ncr.com/hospitality to learn how we can help provide the right combination of solutions that benefit your business.

 
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