A layered approach to ordering technology

There is no doubt that we live in a rapidly evolving technology world. To date, most restaurants have implemented some form of digital technology. With ongoing labor shortages and consumers adapting to getting food at their fingertips, innovative technologies have increased ordering efficiency, customer and staff satisfaction, and overall restaurant sales to meet these challenges.

At Zunzi’s, we have taken a multi-layered approach to integrate technologies that drive our brand to thrive today and beyond. We have implemented a new POS and administration system – Toast – which consists of an at-table order and payment system, self-order kiosks and Toast Go handheld POS. Now 75 percent of our revenue comes from ordering and paying at the table QR codes and kiosks, leaving only 25 percent from handheld orders placed by our staff. We don’t see these digital trends abating anytime soon, so our three-tiered approach to ordering technology will remain.

Here are three reasons why optimizing ordering technology can have a positive impact on your restaurant:

Each customer has a unique ordering preference

We found that ordering preferences vary by age, with 30-year-olds preferring QR codes, 30-60 year-olds preferring kiosks, and over-60s preferring to order in person. We’ve seen a significant change in ordering preferences in restaurants, and a KOALA survey showed that 70 percent of respondents prefer to order from a device at a restaurant rather than from a human. In the same survey, 80 percent of respondents prefer using a personal device to order over restaurant-provided devices when ordering digitally onsite.

Allowing the guest to personalize their experience with these different ordering options gives consumers more control and leaves it up to the team member to easily fulfill these requests. Offering a variety of ordering methods can attract different consumers to your brand, whether it’s a consumer looking for a quick and easy grab-and-go experience or someone who wants to sit down with minimal human interaction. These different tiers open up opportunities to expand your reach within your local market and beyond.

Labor income and productivity increase

Our multi-layered approach to technology has empowered our team members to be more productive and focus on the guests. The kiosks allow team members to have a larger area to ultimately service, which allows them to make more money. We’re also separating drink orders from food so waiters can focus less on the food and more on serving customers their drinks and a “SHIT YEAH!” Experience.

Our tips are around 16 percent, which includes online and delivery sales. This allows us to use a tipping model in our business that many quick service restaurants don’t have. We strive to take and combine the best of full service and fast casual, such as gratuities. This whole process was a big part of how Zunzi’s manages our work at the company.

Customers are happier at peak times.

We always want to get better as we get busier, not the other way around. When a guest can order at a table, all they have to do is be greeted by a waiter or hostess. The guest can sit where they want and order what they want, giving them the choice of how to approach their Zunzi experience.

In this day and age, most restaurants seem to use technology to minimize the labor involved in running the business, which is not Zunzi’s goal. We want to use technology to enable our existing team members to provide a better guest experience. Ultimately, when we can leverage technology and give team members time to focus solely on service and creating an experience for the guest outside of the product, that drives our “SHIT YEAH!” Experience.

No matter what stage your quick service restaurant is in the technology space, implementing a flexible service model can improve hospitality, work experience, and overall revenue. Arrangement in kiosks and other technology allowed Zunzi’s to stick to our core as a takeaway, fast-casual concept but to offer an immersive bar experience that’s so great our customers say, “SHIT YEAH!”

ChrisSmithThe owner of Zunzis and ZunzibarHe has never been one to put off until tomorrow what can be done today. This drive led him to become a Five Guys franchisee while still a student, opening seven locations within eight years. And it’s the same spirit that drove him, on his first visit to Zunzi’s sandwich shop in Savannah in 2008, to declare that one day he would own the restaurant – a goal he finally realized in 2014. Zunzi’s Franchising LLC, a newly formed subsidiary, is focusing its efforts in a 10-state territory that includes Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

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