QSR eBook: Winning Combination
How Smart Mobile Technology Partnerships Supersize Speed, Safety and Flexibility for Quick Serve Restaurants (QSR) and Fast Casual Customers
The <font color="#FFB81C">Right</font> Combination for Quick Service Restaurants
<b>How Smart Mobile Technology Partnerships Supersize Speed, Safety and Flexibility for Customers</b>
Recognizing the Value of the Right Technology Partnership “Combo”
As a restaurant decision-maker or operator, you’re used to facing a rapidly-shifting landscape. You have to balance the priorities of:
Increasing order speed and accuracy
Modernizing the customer experience
Hiring, training and retaining skilled team members
Ensuring best practices with food safety
With the onset of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, however, there is an increased urgency to achieve these goals in an uber-challenging environment of social distancing, contactless transactions, drive-thru and delivery-centered operations. Although dining rooms will most certainly reopen at some point, the changes to your customers’ service and safety expectations are likely here to stay.
The good news is that you can leverage mobile technology to address these concerns and other competitive pressures. Handheld devices, apps and services can empower your employees to be an agile and responsive workforce more than able to meet these challenges head-on. You need two things to get it done right:
Read on to find out more about some mobile technology “combos” that can transform your QSR customer experience and supersize your operational goals. This is key for even the most fast-moving and challenging business environments, as well as what the “New Normal” looks like for your business afterward.
The No. 4:
Bring it to the Back of the House
The No. 1:
Line Busting Deluxe
Redefining the Drive-Thru Experience with Mobile Point of Sale and the iPad
The drive-thru lane has long been a dependable auxiliary means to process more orders, reduce wait times and boost the efficiency of your restaurant locations. What do you do, however, when customer demand unexpectedly surges or business conditions force locations with dining rooms and counter ordering to shift to drive-thru as a primary means for customers? How do you position your locations to bring the drive-thru experience to wherever your customers need it to be? That’s where Mobile Point of Sale (mPoS) and iPad® come in.
These days, mPoS is evolving from a big differentiator for QSR locations to an expected channel for customers. It can also be the difference maker in keeping your stores open in extraordinary circumstances. For example, an owner/operator of a mall-based QSR recently found himself in a quandary when the Coronavirus pandemic all but wiped out foot traffic and regular availability. With no physical drive-thru lane available, he reached a creative solution: Standing up a “pop-up” drive-thru in the mall parking lot run entirely by employees using iPad. Within four days, he was able to resume business operations, protect the company’s brand and safely serve his customers without further disruption.
The average drive thru speed in 2018 was 234.08 seconds
The core of this is iPad. While it’s the industry standard in the consumer space, iPad units are also integral to enterprise mPoS scenarios. The iPad has a proven track record of reliability and offers a class-leading and wide-reaching ecosystem of service providers, apps and accessories. This allows operators a plethora of choices when designing the best mPoS solution for their business environment and customer use cases.
An mPoS solution on an iPad offers the flexibility and versatility you need for innovative and agile drive-thru operations. Order up!
The No. 2:
How Kiosks and Other Technology-Based Methods Transform the QSR Dining Room
Giving your customers “what they want, when they want” doesn’t just apply to orders. It means letting them order at their own pace and comfort level. For some of the biggest names in the industry, this has taken the form of iPad® self-service kiosks. These stations are a win/win for operators because they:
In fact, recent studies have shown the average check from a self-service kiosk is 15-30% higher than an order placed at the counter. Modernizing your existing PoS system, however, involves more than just sticking hardware with a card reader on a stand. You need a native software platform like Mad Mobile’s Restaurant Solutions that can integrate with your in-store API and handle front-end duties such as real-time pricing and dynamic menus for tableside/static kiosk ordering with back-end functionality such as authentication and ticket management.
Through deep iPadOS® integration, Mad Mobile’s Restaurant Solutions offers a seamless and easy-to-use kiosk experience that empowers your customers to move at their pace. For operators and decision makers like yourself, it’s a solid return on investment (ROI) as iPad units fully utilizing this software take up less floor space than additional registers and cost less to setup and operate. No data is stored on the devices, so you can comfortably and confidently offer your customers a secure, PCI-compliant payment option.
Current concerns about the cleanliness and hygienic viability of daily usage of a self-service kiosk is easily addressed. iPad screens are easy to sanitize, with Apple recommending a 70-percent alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipe gently applied to the screen. For customers who prefer a contactless form of payment for their comfort, Apple Pay™ allows them to use nothing more than their existing smartphone to complete transactions.
Best of all, the Mad Mobile kiosk solution integrates with your existing payment channels, hardware, printers and other related hardware. That means you can skip the rigorous “rip and replace” method of migrating your current store operations.
Who could pass up ordering a side of self-service kiosk with their dining room operations?
The No. 3:
Get Onboard the Train
Mobile-Enabled Associate Training and Collaboration
It’s one thing to be forward-thinking enough to provide versatile ordering solutions that can give your customers what they want wherever they want. It’s another to have the same type of approach to hiring, training and retaining your employees. The pain points are very familiar. According to a recent survey of restaurant decision makers and owner/operators:
35% currently have job openings that are proving difficult to fill
49% expressed concern about the ongoing labor shortage
Just 59% felt confident in hiring skilled team members
The most important statistic was also the most eye-opening: Only 30% are creating more robust training programs to deal with these problems! Labor issues will only become more exacerbated during extraordinary times such as these.
Effective training programs, however, involve more than handing over a stack of paper documentation to associates to quiz them later. Paper-based training must be replaced with solutions that are simple, visual-based and collaborative in nature. It must be usable in restaurant environments where already limited bandwidth is reserved for security cameras, phones and PoS terminals. Most importantly, it must be scalable for tens of thousands of your associates across hundreds or thousands of locations.
Only 30% of restaurants are creating robust training programs
To maximize ROI on your mobile spend, it’s important that your training platform leverage the mobile hardware you already have. That’s why your QSR operations need training solution providers such as PlayerLync on iPad®. Their digital learning platform streamlines and modernizes by helping you:
Improve operations with centralized easy-to-access information for all your associates
Retain and develop associates with interactive video content that fits the way they want to learn
Publish new and continuously updated content to help ensure compliance
Eliminating wasteful and inefficient paper-based training materials
Creating task sequences that are tracked and repeatable
For your associates, there is reduced ramp-up time because they’re using the operating systems and devices they already know to help them get familiar with the tasks they need to be successful at their jobs.
You might want to make this one a “large” size.
Blaze Pizza Mobile Learning with PlayerLync
The No. 4:
Bring it to the Back
of the House
Improve Food Safety and Increase Kitchen Efficiency
The importance of ensuring that your employees are in full compliance with federal and state food handling and prep guidelines can’t be overstated. Even before large-scale health-related events such as the Coronavirus pandemic, food labeling and traceability were areas of paramount concern and great liability for QSR operations.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations require prepared foods to be clearly marked with calorie counts and other specific nutritional data. Individual kitchen operations need to have select information available at a glance such as:
This allows employees to be more aware of shelf life calculations and reduce the chances of serving your customers spoiled food. It also promotes standardized, consistent labeling throughout all your locations for a more streamlined experience.
Leveraging smart mobile technology like iPad® paired with mobile thermal printers gives your associates the ability to proactively track inventory and avoid spoilage/food waste. They can also simplify food prep with convenient batch label printing. Moving away from handwritten labels also lets your associates incorporate QR codes in labels that can contain additional compliance information. You can further increase the ROI on your mobile technology spend while boosting food safety and gaining valuable insights on your kitchen operations.
That’s a “jumbo”-sized helping of safety, efficiency and profitability you can’t refuse.
Creating a Smart Mobile Deployment and Support Program
We’ve outlined a host of appealing “combo meals” with different ingredients that can transform your QSR operations at a time when they’re especially vulnerable. This isn’t a time to go “light”, however. The current landscape of quick serve restaurants demands bold and innovative measures from operators in order for them to thrive, and now you know more about the top-tier device, app and service providers to power this transformation. So, what’s stopping you?
Well, that’s simple: Your organization is a food service company, not a technology company experienced in creating a comprehensive blueprint for deploying, managing and supporting these solutions. Mobile Device Management (MDM) administration to push well-tested internal updates and data to your kiosk tablets is not your specialty. More importantly, your company likely isn’t equipped with sufficient support to manage replacement and repair for kiosk components (e.g. tablet, card reader, etc.) at any US-based location when they go down, so your store operations aren’t negatively impacted, thereby damaging your brand.
This is where Stratix managed mobile services (MMS) come in. We create smart, iPad-centric technology partnerships that give you the operational speed, agility and profitability you need as a QSR organization to thrive – from leading training program providers like PlayerLync to Apple-native MDM providers like Jamf. It’s all in service of offering 24x7x365 operational support for your entire fleet of devices across hundreds or thousands of locations.
There’s no time to wait, especially in the current restaurant landscape. The time to create your smart QSR mobile blueprint is now.
As the largest pure-play enterprise mobility specialist in the U.S., Stratix is dedicated to guaranteeing nonstop mobility. The company leverages 35+ years of expertise and experience to accelerate and inspire business mobility transformation for some of the world’s most iconic brands. Their SmartMobile programs ensure each client has the right technology, tools and support programs in place to stay ahead. For more information, visit: www.stratixcorp.com