by Mike Zozaya, Nexus Practice Manager, Security/Mobility/Infrastructure
My favorite restaurant makes great pizza, but I think they could use injection of wireless technology. The entire process just isn’t very efficient, and that inefficiency often results in frustration for both customers and staff – and reduced profits for the owners. Here’s what happened last Friday night:
- Our server showed up at the table and took our order by writing it on a piece of paper.
- The server took the piece of paper and waited in line with other servers to enter the order into the proprietary point of sale system.
- The server must have made an entry error because instead of putting onions on our pizza, the kitchen staff added olives.
- The server picked up our order and brought it to the table, but as noted above, the pizza didn’t have the correct topping.
- So, our pizza went back to the kitchen (and became a loss), and a new one was prepared.
- Meanwhile, we sat at the table waiting.
- When the new pizza arrived, we were HUNGRY, and it vanished in a flash. It was time for our check.
- The server again waited in line at the point of sale machine to print out our check, then brought it to the table and left to take care of other customers.
- I placed my credit card on the tray with the bill and waited for the server to return.
- The server returned and picked up the check, then waited in line at the point of sale terminal AGAIN to process my credit card.
- Finally, the server returned to our table with my credit card and my receipt.
Wouldn’t it have been easier if:
- The server used a smartphone or tablet to enter orders wirelessly.
- A secure, cloud-based application automatically sent the order to the kitchen and the restaurant manager and, at the same time, removed the ingredients from inventory.
- The server picked up the order (which was correct because the server also owns a smartphone or tablet and is very comfortable using mobile apps) and delivered it to the table before customers were so hungry that they were ready to consume almost anything.
- When it was time for the check, the customer had the option of viewing the check on the server’s device or requesting a print out of the check from a portable printer.
- The server processed credit and debit cards at the table using a card reader attached to the smartphone or tablet.
- Receipts could be sent to a customer email address or again printed at a local portable printer.
Using a secure wireless solution, my favorite restaurant would be able to:
- Assign more tables per server
- Serve more customers at peak times
- Reduce waste due to errors
- Track inventory in real time
- Make their customers happier
Bottom line, my restaurant would make more money and I’d probably go there more often because I knew that I’d get great food, fast.
Because I can’t live without the good pizza my restaurant serves, there’s a good chance that I’ll be back at my favorite spot in the very near future. But I’ll be dreaming about a place where the pizza is great and secure wireless technologies make the service fast, the orders accurate and the restaurant so profitable that they become an international chain.