Making Food Halls Run More Efficiently
Food halls can be a challenge to manage. With vendors and customers all fighting for your attention, there aren’t enough hours in a day to assist them and keep track of operations.If you’re looking for a way to improve efficiency, upgrade to a digital, cloud-based ordering and payment processing system. It helps you keep track of data and manage operations from anywhere at any time, so you can spend more time on what matters most: providing a quality customer experience.Use technology to your advantage and have your food hall running like clockwork.Interested in learning how to improve efficiency in food halls? Keep reading for steps on how to streamline your food hall with cloud-based restaurant technology.
Step 1: Upgrade Your Technology
Ready for an upgrade, but concerned about the cost or integration process? Contactless ordering and payment systems are built to integrate seamlessly into your current system. Because these systems are digital and cloud-based, they don’t require installing any expensive or complicated machinery.Instead, a digital point-of-sale (POS) system works as follows:
- Customers scan quick response (QR) codes with their smartphones to access services like the menu, promotional offers, and your food halls’ website.
- Through their smartphones, customers have the opportunity to self-serve—they can order and pay on their own, giving servers the opportunity to focus more on the experience and less on the POS.
- Since it’s cloud-based, you can access all the POS data from anywhere with an internet connection.
The right technology for your food hall should make operations convenient and quick for both staff and customers.
The Benefits of Upgrading to Digital Tech
Digital technology improves every aspect of how your food hall functions. It offers the flexibility and support your business needs in order to continue developing.Benefits include:
- Contactless services that are tailored to the needs of individual customers
- Secure, encrypted order and payment transactions
- The ability to process more orders and thus increase revenue
- The ability to grow and scale without the limitations of outdated technology
With little to no integration cost, it’s easy to get on the path towards better staff and business performance.
Step 2: Train Your Staff
Once you have up-to-date technology, the next step is to train your staff on how to use it.
- Make sure that everyone working at the register understands how contactless ordering and transactions work. While some may already be familiar with mobile apps or digital wallets, others might not understand what happens behind the scenes.
- Now that the customers have the option for a contactless experience, a server’s day-to-day duties and schedule may look a little different in the dining hall. Set expectations about how they should use their new free time.
You’re only able to improve efficiency in a dining hall if everyone understands how to operate the new system. By thoroughly training your staff, they’ll be ready with the answers to all customer questions and can continue to provide quality service.
Step 3: Streamline Transactions
Is your staff still manually inputting orders at your food court or dining service? Slow transactions because of a legacy POS means long lines and customers on the verge of losing it. The alternative? Contactless ordering and payment technology that brings the POS right to the customer through their smartphone. There are many benefits of contactless ordering that your food court or dining service can take advantage of.Instead of multiple point-of-sales complicating the transaction process, a cloud-based POS simplifies the experience for both the customer and the server by allowing for:
- Additional Payment Options – With contactless tech, customers have the convenient option to pay using their phone's digital wallet (for instance, using Samsung Pay, Google Pay, or Apple Pay).
- Reduced Transaction Time – Paying on a smartphone means not having to wait in a long line to pay. The process is quick and even allows for multiple customers to pay at once, making it possible for your food hall to serve more customers overall.
- Better Service – Because servers won't have to manually input orders, they’ll have extra time to assist customers who request help through the QR code.
Step 4: Personalize the Customer Experience
The primary goal of any successful food hall is to provide the customer with top-quality service. But with customers all having their own particular preferences, a service that can satisfy everyone may seem impossible.With contactless technology, it's more than possible. That’s because digital, cloud-based technology is specifically designed to provide customers with options, such as:
- Having full control over their order and what goes into each meal (reducing the likelihood of receiving a wrong order due to miscommunication
- Tracking their meal from the moment they order it to when it's placed in front of them (ensuring they receive the correct order)
- Deciding how much contact they want to have with servers
Customer Trends Shaping the Food Service Industry
One of the most effective ways to improve your customer service is to understand what your customers value most, as these values change the way customers interact with restaurants and food halls. Three of the most notable customer values are convenience, cutting-edge technology, and safety (especially in light of the recent pandemic).In fact, based on their research, Deloitte has found that:
- The number one reason 62% of customers chose a certain restaurant is based on convenience.
- 58% of customers value digital ordering.
- 92% of customers are choosing not to eat out as often because of safety concerns surrounding the pandemic.
Offering a contactless service not only allows for a convenient, technological approach to food hall service, but it also addresses one of the biggest customer concerns: safety. Providing quality and efficient service with the option to socially distance can make customers feel significantly more comfortable when dining at your food hall.Customers who prefer to pay with credit cards or cash can do so while customers who prefer to remain contactless can pay with a digital wallet. This technology caters to every single customer without limiting any options.When you understand where your customer is placing value, your food hall can better serve them with convenient, efficient, and safe contactless ordering and payment technology.
Step 5: Adjust Operations According to Data and Feedback
Digital technology also makes it easier to keep track and monitor the activities of your food hall. The ability to access your sales data, as well as customer feedback, can give you insight into what items are selling, and more importantly, why they’re selling.With all this information at your fingertips, you’ll be able to pinpoint exactly what items to highlight and promote, and what areas of your operation you can improve upon.Contactless technology organizes all of your data and stores it in one place, making it easy to:
- Study customer feedback to improve service
- Track customer traffic
- Adjust staff schedule to reflect your busiest times
- Create a budget based on your revenue and expenses
- Update the menu according to ingredient inventory and customer preferences
Step 6: Open the Lines of Communication
Contactless service doesn’t mean zero communication—it actually fosters open lines of communication between customers and vendors. When miscommunication occurs between these parties, it can lead to negative customer reviews, hurt feelings, and decreases in efficiency.For a food hall that operates at peak performance and delivers quality service, take advantage of digital technology that allows customers and vendors to connect and communicate in new and exciting ways:
- Vendors can advertise their social media through the QR code as a way to connect with customers outside of the food hall.
- Customers can leave feedback , complaints, or compliments while still in the food hall.
- Vendors can better communicate to customers who they are and what they stand for through their online branding and messaging.
- Customers can see in real time if any ingredients are out-of-stock or if there are any special menu offers.
Bonus Step: Keep Improving
When you’re trying to improve your food hall’s operations, the biggest misstep you can take is to settle in your comfort zone. Technology is constantly changing and so are the demands of your diners. In order for your food hall to continue to grow and be successful, it needs to adapt to the latest tech and customer trends.Here are some common signs that may indicate you’re hindering your food hall’s efficiency and growth:
- Holding on to outdated or old-fashioned technology
- Disregarding customer feedback
- Refusing to adopt new ideas or modify aspects of your business operations
- Not taking advantage of connecting and communicating with customers digitally
Changing certain aspects of how you do business may seem overwhelming at first. But, as you follow these steps and explore the advantages of digital technology for your dining space, it’ll be easier to adapt and implement these new and effective ways to operate your food hall.
Experience Better Efficiency with GoTab
If you’re struggling to offer top-quality customer service while keeping track of your food hall’s logistics and data, consider upgrading your food hall operations with GoTab’s contactless ordering and payment technology.Our digital, cloud-based solution is easy to set up, saving you both time and money. Plus, because our system was designed with simplicity and efficiency in mind, the transition from your current system is quick and seamless.At GoTab, we’re changing the way the food service industry does business. To be part of the revolution and start curating quality experiences for your customers, check out our website or request a demo today.Sources:
- Business Insider. What is a QR code? A Guide to the barcode’s basics, why you’re seeing it everywhere, and how to scan one. https://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-a-qr-code
- Deloitte. The restaurant of the future. https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/consumer-business/articles/restaurant-future-survey-technology-customer-experience.html
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Situated “in the heart of it all, yet tranquil enough to make you feel away from it all too,” The Limelight Hotel Snowmass offers 99 hotel rooms and 11 residences, as well as footsteps-to-gondola access in winter and summer — right in the middle of Snowmass Base Village.
Especially over the last few years, the Limelight Hotels IT team had witnessed a significant shift to contactless technology in the hospitality industry. After evaluating friction points in the guest journey, aligning with modern technology platforms in their restaurant was determined to be an effective way to offer elevated contactless dining experiences to their guests while also evolving their technology platforms to continue to support long-term company goals. Limelight Hotel partnered with GoTab to provide an enhanced on-demand dining experience on par with the brand’s reputation for exceptional guest service.
Reducing Staff Touch Points Without Sacrificing Guest Experience
Guests are now able to begin a tab from their room or the property’s restaurant by scanning a QR code, texting a link to friends or family members on the ski slope to add in their orders, then meeting up together at the patio or lodge to enjoy their meal and après ski festivities without interruption. By streamlining tasks like inputting orders and processing payments, this eliminates friction for hotel staff and allows them to focus on delivering renowned guest service for a memorable experience. Since partnering with GoTab, Limelight Snowmass has consistently seen higher check averages and sales.
“We found the Point of Sale platforms we were looking at offered the guest and staff limited opportunities to further reduce touch points or improve the traditional restaurant experience. The GoTab platform enabled the guest to take an active role over the flow of their experience while simultaneously reducing touch points and further streamlining restaurant operations.”Nick Giglio, Manager of Hotel IT Operations, The Little Nell Hotel Group
According to the Limelight Hotels team, some of the other platforms that were evaluated were either missing some of the pieces they were looking for, had weak customer support models, or had little willingness to develop integrations to existing hotel platforms already in place. To that end, GoTab integrated with cloud-based platform, Infor. Together, GoTab and Infor are providing dynamic solutions to support central, efficient service across hotel amenities and deliver exceptional guest experiences.
“Previously, guests would call down to the restaurant to begin an order from their room or while they were out enjoying the ski slopes. Using GoTab, guests can now place orders from anywhere on the resort, giving them the on-demand service they want without interrupting their day. GoTab empowers us to give control to the guest, reducing touch points and streamlining overall restaurant operations, making Limelight Hotel the resort of choice for Snowmass.”Nick Giglio, Manager of Hotel IT Operations, The Little Nell Hotel Group
Since introducing GoTab, The Limelight Hotel has seen a consistent level of upsells and items sold per check resulting in additional revenue capture. They have been able to maintain service levels in their restaurants during periods when there was reduced staffing available without significantly diminishing the guest experience.
Eliminate Phone Orders – Take Orders from the Slopes. Guests can start a tab from their room or on the mountain without interrupting the flow of their day.
Future-Proofed Technologies – Delivering elevated contactless ordering via integration with the Infor hotel management platform.
Eliminating Friction in the Guest Journey – Maintaining service levels during periods of reduced staff without diminishing the guest experience.
- Eliminating Friction in the Guest Journey – Maintaining service levels during periods of reduced staff without diminishing the guest experience.
- Eliminating Friction in the Guest Journey – Maintaining service levels during periods of reduced staff without diminishing the guest experience.