If you’re like most quick service and fast casual restaurant operators, you’re always looking for ways to increase your restaurant’s revenue. Implementing point of sale (POS) technology that enables line busting — i.e., shortening or eliminating lines to order and pay for food— is one way to do just that.
Line busting technology takes many forms. This includes hand-held mobile devices for accepting orders and payments, if your POS infrastructure allows, inside your restaurant or in the drive-through lanes. It also encompasses self-service ordering, payment kiosks, and mobile apps consumers can use to place and pay for orders that they can pick up without waiting in a line. But whatever the technology, line busting offers several benefits that support a fatter bottom line:
1. Faster customer service. Orders taken on mobile devices and self-service kiosks can be transmitted directly to the kitchen without delay, as can those that come through via a mobile app. Prep staff can immediately begin to assemble and package these orders. The faster orders are received in the kitchen, the more quickly they’ll be ready for customers to pick up and the shorter the wait for service.
Line busting technology also speeds up customer service by allowing some customers to bypass the line at the POS or in the drive-through, and go straight to pick-up. The wait also is shorter for those in the queue, as there are fewer people in line. Either way, faster service enhances customer satisfaction. The higher the level of customer service you achieve in your restaurant, the greater the potential to boost its revenue.
2. Increased customer traffic. Consumers often choose fast casual or quick service restaurants because they have limited time. They’ll be much more inclined to frequent your restaurant if they know they can be served quickly, and forgo visits to competitors where they know there is a longer wait. They may even tell others about their positive experience at your restaurant where they received efficient service, bringing new customers into the fold. But however you slice it, more customers, and more frequent visits by loyal customers, mean increased revenue.
3. Increased customer tabs. When line busting technology make lines shorter and customer service faster, customers may be more open to the idea of “upsizing” an order or ordering an item or two on an impulse. Customers who wait in long lines may become frustrated and may order only a few items just to speed up service. You can also program mobile devices to remind employees to engage in suggestive selling. In either or both cases, the end result is often higher check totals — and, in turn, a “rosier” revenue picture.
Line busting technology can’t eliminate every obstacle to bumping up your restaurant’s revenue. However, by increasing customer throughput, they create a powerful tool for meeting or exceeding revenue goals. By improving customer service, this technology can have an even more powerful impact on your business by helping to delight your customers with experiences they’ll return for again and again.