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Why an order-taking mobile device?
The tablet or smartphone is the only good way to stay online and keep in touch with clients. Anything else we do not support nor recommend. Printing, emailing or “email to fax” the order details AFTER acceptance is just another thing a restaurant may do, an additional feature, but not a way of accepting orders with our system.
One way to increase sales is to provide existing clients with a truly great service so that they will order again and again. The online ordering experience is part of that service. If the restaurant’s staff can accept and confirm orders within seconds plus giving an individual delivery/pickup time, your clients will be delighted.
To achieve an almost real-time reaction from the restaurant, we first need to assure the client that the restaurant is ready to take the order and to make some noise once a new order arrives.
Traditionally, the telephone is assuring the client that the restaurant is ready to take the order. If the staff doesn’t pick-up the phone in a timely manner people just call somewhere else, right? Simple.
Using a mobile app is ideal for this purpose of replicating what was appreciated by the clients on phone orders and add the benefits of online handling on top. The restaurant needs only an affordable device for order-taking, one that is easy to set up and use, without too much hassle.
However, we send to the restaurant an email with the order details right after it has accepted the order on the app. It is also possible to configure more than one email address under “Advanced settings” -> “Notifications”.
Why not email, fax or PC?
There are systems out there that implemented ways to just send the orders by email, fax, text, PC and even direct to the printer. All these alternative ways do not assure a real-time communication.
An email may arrive in 5-10 minutes, up to 4 hours in some cases to the restaurant’s device. In average the restaurant staff will notice the email in another 5 minutes or so.
An SMS notification is also prone to be missed. Moreover, the order details come in a limited format, difficult to read and confirm fast. Then comes the problem of replying to client with an accept SMS, this is slow and prone to typos etc.
The sending of order directly to fax means to “auto-assume” that the order was accepted just because the fax printed it. Which is not necessarily true. Same for sending to a printer.
The PC apps are also hard to follow, expensive to maintain and fragile, the PC speakers are not loud enough, the PC itself is many times a static workstation or notebook connected to the printer and other equipment’s that remains for long periods unattended. A PC is a complex system on which many other apps are running and conflicts between various apps are very often occurring (viruses, firewall problems, system update issues, etc.). Providing tech support to a PC takes hours is sometimes more expensive than buying and using a mobile device.
And at the end of the day this is all about getting more sales, right? The fact is that online clients are even more demanding than phone clients – if they don’t like something they simply go someplace else and never give the restaurant the chance to make up to them.
The irony is that the busiest restaurants that have most sales with our system (over 50 orders a day) have an average response time of 65 seconds and they simply became addictive of our system. The faster they accept the more clients they have and so on. Those with less than 1 online orders a day are also often missing 50% of those few orders they have.
According to our initial research 3 minutes is “the magical” timespan that a client who orders online is willing to wait before getting a confirmation. When placing an order most clients are already a bit hungry (therefore anxious) and they want / demand to know as soon as possible if the restaurant will take their order, otherwise they try calling or ordering online somewhere else.
This is pure suicide of online business. If we implement these “alternative” ways of taking orders what happens is that the restaurant will make little business online, have many angry people bouncing about their order over the phone and lose customers. And then they blame the system and stop using it.
Receive confirmed orders via fax
The restaurant manager can sign-up with an email-to-fax service provider and obtain an address that looks like [restaurantfaxnumber]@[emailtofaxproviderdomain].com
In each country there may be great rates for domestic email to fax services, some even for free. (e.g. https://www.hellofax.com/info/pricing).
Then, the notifications options from the “Advanced settings” tab of the restaurant’s account admin area to set the fax to receive the confirmed orders via that fax email address obtained from the email-to-fax provider.
Please note, this happens AFTER the order was confirmed in the order taking app.
Accept orders through an emulator
There are some big volume sales restaurants that have a fixed desk position for a full-time dispatcher managing the orders, the kitchen and the fleet on several screens, etc. And some of them find it much faster to use the same mouse and keyboard over all the systems as the input method. In such cases, they told us they use Android emulators like Bluestacks to operate from a PC. However, for these are rare cases but we also don’t provide tech support in such usage scenario.