The POSsibilities of a flexible future…Andy Simmonds
Anyone that has visited a McDonald’s lately will not have failed to see the self-service kiosks that now dominate the majority of its restaurants; not to mention the significance of its app. Gone are the days when you queued up in lines to place your order before handing over your cash. (Cash – remember that!)
But of course, this doesn’t mean that this style will work for every restaurant/takeaway. As smarter people than us have said, ‘there is no one-size-fits-all solution for how the future of POS in the restaurant sector will evolve.’ Almost every place will want something different from their POS, usually guided by its customers’ expectations and wants.
Thankfully, one of modern technology’s greatest assets is how flexible it can be. We are no longer forced to all wait in that queue to get our hands on a McRib (ah, if only!). We can still queue of course. Or we can use the self-serve kiosk. Or place the order on our phones before we’ve even left the comfort of our homes and then check-in once we get there. What we as customers really want, is flexibility.
And with online apps and Mobile POS (M-POS), flexibility is more than covered! Some could argue that these two solutions are actually in direct competition with each other, but the key point for businesses is that they don’t ever just have to offer one or the other solution. They can use these and more in order to give their customers the ultimate in flexibility.
Simplifying customer ordering
Restaurant and takeaway apps are growing hugely in popularity. Not least because the way in which the apps can streamline services. Using your own app, or third-party ordering and delivering services such as Just Eat and Deliveroo, means that takeaway orders can be placed far more easily and quickly than via phone for example.
Eat-in restaurants are also now realising the massive benefits that this can offer their own dine-in customers. Having the ability to order via their phones when they arrive, or even beforehand is huge, especially for customers with a limited amount of time – on their lunch break for example. Similarly, being able to pay via the app means that you can leave when you are ready, and you are not sitting there desperately trying to get someone’s attention. (Usually doing the internationally recognised hand gesture for the bill!) They are also great for running incentive schemes or loyalty programs to your regular customers.
Of course, again, not everyone wants to do everything via technology. Some people enjoy the human side of being shown to their table, read through the specials, being given recommendations and generally being made a fuss of. Utilising an M-Pos will allow your teams to still offer this personalised at-table service, whilst maintaining the efficiency of the online ordering system.
Using an M-Pos tablet not only minimises the chance of mistakes being made with an order – as nothing is being written down and therefore not open to misinterpretation! But it will also report if anything on the menu is no longer available. That way a decision can be made then and there for the customer on an alternative dish or item. Nothing worse than ordering and then 5 minutes later someone coming back to the table to say they haven’t got it and you have to choose again.
So, whether you are using apps, self-service kiosks, M-Pos or a combination of all three, everybody wins. Your customers are served more quickly and with less chance of errors being made, and you get to serve a higher number of people due to the efficiencies made, therefore increasing your turnover!
If you would like any further information about any of the POSsibilities available, we’d be happy to help! Please call us on 01299 488031 or email us via firstname.lastname@example.org. Oh, and if anyone from McDonald’s is reading this, bring back the McRib!!!
With thanks as always to Aures for their help with this article.