It’s no secret that enhancing customer engagement has become a priority for many restaurant operators as they strive to increase customer loyalty, bolster the bottom line, and set themselves apart from their competitors. But what some players don’t realize is how effective mobile POS technology can be in helping them to up the customer engagement ante. Let’s take a look at three ways in which mobile POS technology has a positive impact on customer engagement in quick-service, fast casual, and fine dining establishments:
Mobile POS technology enables line-busting at the quick-service checkout.
Quick-service restaurants are supposed to provide just that: quick service. However, during peak periods (and occasionally, at other times as well), these establishments have long lines leading to the counter and bumper-to-bumper traffic in the drive-through lanes. This leads to the opposite of customer engagement—customer frustration.
Conversely, with a mobile POS solution in place, engaging customers is easier because there’s little or no wait for service. Employees use hand-held devices for line-busting purposes, taking orders from customers in the queue, transmitting orders to the kitchen, and accepting credit or debit card payments. Customers need only pick up their food when it is their turn for service, and to quickly pay for their purchases if your POS infrastructure dictates.
Mobile POS technology facilitates tableside ordering.
The principle here is the same as in quick-service restaurants—except that instead of being used to accept orders while customers stand in line, mobile POS equipment is leveraged to take patrons’ orders right at the table and send them directly to the kitchen. This gives wait staff extra time to interact with customers at the table, leading to better service and increasing the likelihood of repeat visits to the restaurant.
Additionally, harnessing mobile POS technology to automatically transmit orders from customers’ tables to the kitchen streamlines food preparation. Servers need not wait for other wait staff to key orders into a single computer on the restaurant floor; this also speeds up order processing in the kitchen. Food arrives at patrons’ tables faster, again contributing to enhanced service and boosting the potential for long-term customer engagement.
Mobile POS technology increases the level and caliber of servers’ interaction with customers.
Many mobile POS solutions available today have the capability to prompt wait staff to engage customers by asking them how they would like their food prepared. This not only leads to more meaningful interactions with diners in general; it also goes far towards ensuring that customers’ food emerges from the kitchen properly prepared the first time around. When requirements are met and orders are mistake free, customers are happy.
Additionally, mobile POS solutions can be programmed to remind wait staff to upsell or cross-sell additional items, such as specialty beverages, appetizers, desserts, and/or side dishes that will complement particular entrees. These solutions can also be used to prompt employees to promote specials and to provide wait staff with descriptive verbiage to entice diners to try special items. Remember, many servers are excellent at handling diners’ queries and have the personality to do so—but even the best ones need occasional reminders about upselling, cross-selling, and any specials you may be offering in your restaurant on a given day.
Increased flexibility, cost savings, and many benefits in between all work together to make sure mobile POS brings a wealth of advantages to restaurant operations of all types and sizes. As you can see from the above examples, opportunities to engage with customers at seemingly every turn rank among these “pluses” and cannot be taken lightly when deciding whether a mobile POS configuration is your next step on the technology deployment front.