For quick service restaurants (QSRs), an ongoing goal is to provide faster service and better products all without sacrificing the customer experience. And on that score, solutions like mobile order ahead offer some clear advantages for customers who are interested in getting in and out fast.
After all, what better way is there to improve the customer experience than giving them the means to order when they want, from where they want, and letting them skip the line when they arrive? From a QSR perspective, this is a dream come true. But while the benefits are centered around your customers, they aren’t limited to your customers. In other words, mobile order ahead can bring some interesting benefits to an employee workforce that are worth a second look.
Will More Orders Speed Things Up or Slow Them Down?
“Now hang on a minute,” we can already hear a few of our readers saying. “Earlier you said that mobile order ahead for restaurants was in demand. But more demand means more work! How can that boost productivity?”
This is a great question that’s worth exploring. QSR owners with overworked teams may rightfully feel that new solutions will bring challenges and opportunities in equal measure. After all, if your team is already at capacity, bringing in a new, substantial source of customer orders may complicate things. Overworked teams slow down, the in-store customer experience suffers, and overall, QSR quality drops.
Not necessarily. It’s natural for managers to be concerned about overworking their teams, but rest assured – mobile order ahead can address this issue through the innovative way it empowers your workforce.
Mobile Order Ahead Boosts Worker Productivity
There’s plenty of talk out there about how mobile order ahead improves customer experiences, but there’s less focus on how it can support the employees steering the ship. So, let’s go over the basics and dispel any notions that your team won’t be able to handle a mobile order-ahead solution.
Less Time Spent Taking Orders
We’ve all seen it happen. The queue moves forward at our favorite coffeeshop or sandwich joint, pushing a first-time customer to the register.
“What’ll it be?” The cashier might say.
“Well, I’m not sure…” the customer inevitably replies.
This kicks off a five-minute discussion between cashier and customer in which the customer asks question after question, kicking the tires of every choice until he/she is finally ready to purchase.
It’s good customer service to accommodate these guests. But meanwhile, you have a frustrated queue of customers stewing in the background, some of whom may be rushed with little time to waste. If any of these customers leave, you’ve lost revenue.
Mobile order ahead subverts this issue by giving customers a way to browse and order well ahead of their visit. Within the app, they can browse their options, note substitutions, and place their order, all without taking up any of your employees’ time. Sure, not every customer will take advantage of it, but many of them will – and for every one that does, you’re earning a sale without any need for direct input from your team.
Less Money Management
Along the same lines, it’s fair to say that few employees enjoy managing money. It’s an essential part of the job, but between ringing up orders, explaining prices to customers, and handling card, cash, and coin, the money management process gobbles up a lot of time.
And while modern payment processing systems for QSRs have certainly sped this process up compared to the days of paper checks, all that counting is still one of the less appealing parts of the job for many QSR employees. Mobile order ahead offers a method for capturing that revenue without requiring your team members to spend time handling money. Over the course of a normal week, this could mean whole hours freed up to focus on other tasks.
More Focus on Production
So, employees aren’t taking orders, and they aren’t handling money. What they heck are they doing? The answer, of course, is doubling down on production!
When employees are freed from needing to deal with administrative functions like register management or money collection, they have more time to spend on the actual day-to-day tasks that produce value for the QSR. And in many cases, this experience can pay dividends for the customer experience.
Think about how this applies to QSRs on the level of, say, Starbucks. It’s easy for a Starbucks employee to produce a tall drip coffee, but what about an iced venti vanilla/caramel decaf frappuccino? This type of order takes some serious practice to get right, and even after several attempts, the employee may still have a long way to go.
Let your team forgo the hassles of administrative work and focus on the tasks that require real skill to pull off. The more training they get, the better they’ll be – to create better, more consistent experiences for all customers.
Mobile Order Ahead Supports Queue Management
All of the above benefits come down to this: When you have a mobile order-ahead solution, the queue becomes much less intimidating to deal with.
Sure, employees will need to balance their in-store customer against an increasing flow of mobile orders, but as noted above, those mobile orders don’t require nearly as much time or administrative input to complete. No customers holding up the line, no money changing hands, no confusion. It’s a simple system that helps the company maintain its revenue in a way that supports both customers and employees, all in one move.
If you’re curious about exploring mobile order ahead for your business, we encourage you to contact PoppinPay for a quick assessment of your company. A mobile order ahead solution is closer than you think!