How to Implement an Ordering System in a Traditional Restaurant Setting

Have you noticed how the restaurant industry is changing at lightning speed? Traditional restaurants are finding it increasingly challenging to keep up with the competition.

One way to stay ahead of the game is by implementing a restaurant ordering system. It can help streamline the ordering process, reduce wait times, and improve customer satisfaction. However, introducing a new ordering system can be a challenging task, especially for traditional restaurants.

Fortunately, implementation of the ordering system is not as difficult as many thought it would be.

Assess Your Needs

Before implementing any new system, it’s important to assess your needs. Take a look at your current ordering process and identify any pain points. Are orders often lost or delayed? Do customers complain about long wait times? Are your servers overwhelmed during peak hours? Once you’ve identified your pain points, you can start looking for a solution to them.

Choose the Right System

There are many different restaurant ordering systems on the market, each with its own set of features and benefits. When choosing a system, it’s important to consider your specific needs.

Some systems are designed for fast-casual restaurants with self-service kiosks, while others are better suited for full-service restaurants with tableside ordering. Look for a system that is easy to use, reliable, and customisable to your restaurant’s needs.

Train Your Staff

Implementing a new system requires training your staff on how to use it. Make sure your staff is fully trained on the new system before launching it. This will ensure a smooth transition and minimise any disruptions to your operations. Provide ongoing training and support to ensure your staff is comfortable with and can use the new system effectively.

Integrate with Your POS System

Integrating your new restaurant ordering system with your existing POS system can help streamline your operations and reduce errors. This will allow orders to be sent directly to the kitchen, eliminating servers’ need to enter orders manually. Choose a system compatible with your POS system, or consider upgrading your POS system to a more modern, integrated system.

Customise Your Menu

Customising your menu in your new ordering system can help improve the customer experience and increase sales. You can add high-quality images of your dishes, provide detailed descriptions, and include nutritional information. You can also offer customisation options, such as the ability to add or remove ingredients to cater to individual customer preferences.

Promote Your New System

Train your staff on how to explain the new system to customers and highlight its benefits, such as faster service and more accurate orders. You can promote the new system through your website, social media, and in-store signage. Consider offering incentives, such as discounts or free items, to customers who use the new system.

Monitor and Evaluate

After implementing your restaurant ordering system, monitoring and evaluating its performance is important. Keep track of metrics such as order accuracy, wait times, and customer satisfaction. Use this data to identify any areas for improvement and make adjustments as needed. Regularly soliciting feedback from customers and staff can also help you identify any issues and make improvements.

Considerations for Traditional Restaurants

Implementing a new ordering system can significantly change traditional restaurants operating for years without one. It’s important to consider the impact on your staff and customers.

Some staff members may be resistant to change, so it’s important to communicate the new system’s benefits and provide training and support. Additionally, some customers may prefer the traditional ordering process, so consider offering both options to accommodate different preferences.

Security and Data Privacy

Make sure the system complies with industry standards and regulations, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

Protect customer data by implementing strong passwords, encryption, and other security measures. Clearly communicate your data privacy policies to customers and obtain their consent before collecting personal information.

Cost and Return on Investment

Consider the upfront costs of buying and installing the system and ongoing costs such as training, support, and maintenance. Take into consideration as well the return-on-investment (ROI) in terms of increased efficiency, sales, and customer satisfaction. Calculate the ROI to determine whether the investment is worth it for your restaurant.

Future Trends in Restaurant Ordering

The restaurant industry is constantly evolving, and new trends in ordering systems are emerging. For example, some restaurants implement mobile ordering and payment systems, allowing customers to order and pay using smartphones. Some restaurants use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to personalise the ordering experience and make recommendations based on customer preferences.

Keep an eye on these trends and consider how they could benefit your restaurant in the future.

Final Thoughts

In an age where customers expect quick and efficient service, implementing a restaurant ordering system in a traditional restaurant setting can make all the difference. Sure, it may seem like a big change, but with the right system and approach, you can streamline your operations and provide a better customer experience. Take the time to assess your needs, train your staff, and customise your menu.

Promote the new system and monitor its performance to ensure it’s meeting your expectations. And don’t forget to consider factors such as security, cost, and future trends. Doing so, you’ll be well on your way to creating a more efficient and enjoyable dining experience for your customers.