Sure, mobile technology is amazing. But, can it really replace your wait staff without your business suffering? QSRweb recently conducted a survey on that very question and came up with some interesting results:
- 88% of diners love the idea of ordering from their table. They say they appreciate the ability to thumb through choices without worrying about the people behind them.
- 47% of diners say they would use self-service technology to customize their orders.
- 31% of diners say they like the idea of being able to split a bill using self-service technology.
- 71% of Millennials love the idea of self-service tablets, but people over 55 are overwhelmingly against the idea. Gens X and Y are not even interested.
- In fine dining only 6% of diners would like to self-order, while only 13% of fast-food diners say they would actually use tablet technology.
- Fixed POS stations are a must-have in today’s modern restaurants, but they are geared more towards staff use not diners.
Zagats Ranks Fast Casual Sector
International restaurant ranking giant Zagats recently published its ranking of top fast casual restaurants, FastCasual reports. Coming out on top in the new survey were some familiar names: Shake Shack, Good Stuff Eatery, and Bobby Flay's Burger Palace. Among hot up-and-comers are Cambodian specialty restaurant Num Pang, Mighty Quinn's Barbeque, Israeli eatery Taïm, and Xi'an Famous Foods, specializing in Chinese foods.
Being More Productive
Entrepreneurial advisor Provendus Group recently tackled an age-old dilemma: How to get more done in half the time. While it may sound like a come-on, co-founder Mike Michalowicz says that the number one problem is defining productivity. Is it getting things done quicker? Doing the important stuff first? Or increasing the quality of what you do for your business and your customers? According to Michalowicz, articulating what you really want is the first big step. Then you need to set some deadlines using something called Parkinson’s Law, which states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” In other words, if you need something done in a week, set a completion date of 4 days instead of 7, and hold yourself accountable. Another approach is what Michalowicz calls “burst work.” Committing to long periods of work is usually not very productive. Take a break now and then, go out for a walk, and clear your head. Finally (and this is something we all know but rarely do), make a list. You and your staff will find that making lists really does improve productivity and helps us to accomplish objectives that really mean something rather than just “keeping busy.”
Agricultural Commodity Trends
As corn and wheat prices continued to inch lower last week, soybeans moved up on expectations that China is in a buying mood. While that may seem encouraging, the USDA is reporting bearish fundamentals will continue into October as good news is hard to find, Farm Futures reports.
Judge Trashes New York City Ban On Foam
A New York State Supreme Court judge has overturned New York City’s ban on the use of plastic foam cups and containers, Nation’s Restaurant News reports. The law went into effect in July, but enforcement is not scheduled until 2016. Now it looks like it will never happen, at least in its current form. The ruling was overturned after manufacturers presented evidence that the plastic containers can be recycled. Mayor de Blasio’s office says it will appeal the ruling. Similar bans are already in place in dozens of U.S. cities, including San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle.
Starbucks Expands Mobile Ordering And Paying
Starbucks recently announced that it is expanding its mobile ordering and paying nationwide, FastCasuual.com reports. "Bringing mobile order and pay to our customers is about meeting their needs of convenience and customization at any time of the day," Adam Brotman, Starbucks chief digital officer, said in a statement. "The fact that it also represents the fastest technology application rollout we have ever done is indicative of the strength of our digital ecosystem, how well it has been received by both our customers and store partners and the impact we think it can have on the future of retail." The announcement affects more than 7,400 stores across the U.S.
What Customers Value
Okay, so price will always come out on top, and showstoppers like twofers and Half Price still attract diners’ attention. So what follows price? Try quality, Technomic reports. Or maybe loyalty programs. Recent research verifies that consumers value their overall dining experience, whether it be romantic, fun, engaging, or simply unique. According to Technomic’s surveys, people are looking for that something extra in their night out. If your restaurant has that special something – from atmosphere to live music – you will likely see higher grossing results.
Importance Of Music In Dining
Forget the multiple TV screens. Most diners are out on the town to avoid TV for the night. But, that doesn’t mean people want to eat in silence. On the contrary, Southeast Food Service News reports that music, especially from classic jukeboxes, provides diners with a nostalgic reason to dine out. But, don’t be fooled. Today’s juke is not only fully stereophonic, new units are also digital, offering hundreds of the newest tunes and old classics at the flick of a finger or a mouse.