38% Ability to connect to delivery services from a mobile device
The fervor for off-premise dining is driving restaurant operators to invest in solutions that promote and streamline order-ahead, pickup, drive-through and delivery options. Diners are clamoring for delivery and pickup options that offer the ultimate in convenience. Guest data from the 2019 Customer Engagement Technology Study charts that deliver in specific areas.
Hospitality Technology’s 2019 Restaurant Technology Study also confirms that providing guests with customized hyper-convenience will be a top strategic goal. Removing friction from food delivery whether that be takeaway with curbside pickup and drive-thru or delivery will require strong integrations and nimble tech partners.
Hospitality Technology’s Off-Premise Technology Showcase offers a look at solutions that help restaurants provide the seamless convenience diners want in delivery or takeout. Read on for exclusive executive insights and product spotlights from sponsors.
Patrick Chen, Senior Product Engineer, Advantech
Toby Malbec, Principal, TWM Insight
Toby Malbec, Principal, TWM Insight
What systems are vital for restaurants to manage and streamline an increasing off-premise business? What integrations will be most important to make an effective infrastructure?
TOBY MALBEC: With the variable of timed orders introduced into off-premise or takeaway business, it is essential to be able to manage orders that are for the immediate and not-so-immediate future. This means that in-restaurant technology needs to be able to manage timed orders both in terms of when to fire them into the kitchen as well as a method of alerting customers when orders are ready.
To achieve in these areas, integrations will be vital. A POS system must be capable of holding orders until the appropriate time. A kitchen-display system (KDS) needs to display all the vital information and a guest communication process (most likely the app where they ordered from) will need to integrate to the KDS to know when the order has been bumped and is either available for pick-up or on its way.
What role will mobile play streamlining pickup, drive-through and delivery? What are some aspects of mobility (ordering, payment or mobile order management) that operators overlook or under-utilize?
MALBEC: I expect we will see a growth in the number of vendors using location services on customers’ mobile devices in order to improve the quality of service provided. For instance, by using geo-location services, a restaurant could know when a pickup customer is three miles out from the restaurant and time the preparation of the order to avoid the food sitting around or the customer needing to wait. Additionally, in locations where parking is a challenge, geo-location allows a restaurant to identify exactly where a customer is parked enabling operators to run the order out to the car, avoiding unnecessary congestion, and moving traffic along.
How can restaurants leverage digital signage to improve experiences for in-store pickup, curbside pickup, drive-through or delivery? What will the next generation of digital menu boards look like and what internal technology will make this possible?
MALBEC: Digital signage in general is poorly leveraged. I have high hopes that in the next ten years a digital convergence will take place that will allow restaurateurs to manage a single menu item database across all channels and not have to manually keep five to six different databases in sync simply because vendors cannot establish a standard or work collaboratively. As for improving the guest experience, tighter integration with the customer’s online ordering app (using location services) combined with integration with KDS would allow a customer order delivery board to dynamically show orders in the queue and those that are ready for pickup. There are some versions of this out today but from personal experience they are still far from bulletproof.
What emerging technologies do you think have real application to remove friction from off-premise dining?
MALBEC: I think alerting via text message (two-way) will have major benefits to managing a professional and timely transaction with the customer. Through the use of chatbots, many orders can appear more personalized yet require less human intervention. That, combined with the integration between restaurant systems that know when the order is ready and the mobile app would make for a much better customer experience and should also lead to a better quality food product. Since we know the craze of off-premise dining has moved some restaurateurs into the space where they are recognizing that product doesn’t travel well, all of these technologies can help to make the experience as enjoyable as possible.