How many times do you order something at a restaurant and it comes out wrong? Depending on which stats you believe, it’s somewhere around 1 in 6 or 1 in 7 times.
Mistakes like that are costly to restaurants. You either have to eat the food and go away feeling unhappy, or you send it back and have to wait for your correct order to come out a second time.
Online Restaurant Ordering Will Save the Day…But It May Cost Jobs
Panera is ready to launch the restaurants of its future. Using online restaurant ordering, you will either place your own order on your smartphone or on a tablet device at the restaurant. And then the kitchen staff will just show up with your order after you pay on your phone or on the kiosk.
This method frees up labor to work on food prep and serving. It enhances order accuracy and gives you better service. But will you miss the human touch of a waiter or waitress?
Having done this kind of ordering outside the U.S., I can honestly say you won’t miss it at all.
There’s also another reason why you’ll see online restaurant ordering take off in the near future. In areas where they plan to boost the minimum wage, there’s a good chance that will equate to labor cutbacks. So the person taking your order will be replaced by a machine!
Chili’s goes modern too
Tablets are also coming to the table at your local Chili’s to take your order, to offer pay games to entertain your kids…and to upsell you on dessert!
Chili’s will install table-top tablets in its more than 1,200 stores by next year, according to The Wall Street Journal. Applebee’s has also been testing such tablets, but no word yet on a full rollout from them.
The tablets Chili’s have will price app-based games at 99 cents. In addition, you can also pay for your meal through the tablet. But perhaps the biggest selling point for restaurants is that customers tend to order more high-profit margin desserts when confronted with the tablets.
That’s because the computer knows when you’re about halfway through your meal, and it uses that time to pop up pictures of scrumptious goodies on the screen for ordering — before you’re actually full with your meal!
Some restaurant chains will look at this technology and see a way to reduce staff headcount. But the really smart ones will use it as a way to get their servers focused on super-serving you at the table — since some other parts of the job that used to be done by people are now going to be automated.
Remember, eating out can become a very costly expense and a big budget buster. However, we all like to live a little and eat a little with good company. It’s a fact of life. So be sure to check out this article on 8 ways to save while dining out.
And if you’ve ever wondered how much to tip when eating out, you may want to read this article about the new normal when it comes to restaurant tipping!
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