An electronic menu ordering system, also known as a digital menu, is a technology-driven solution that allows diners to view a menu, place orders, and pay directly using a digital device, such as a tablet, smartphone, or dedicated kiosk.
What creates the ultimate dining experience?
73% of diners agree that restaurant technology improves the guest experience, loyalty, and repeated restaurant patronage. That said, the ultimate dining experience typically lies in:
- Personalised service : 60% of diners prefer receiving a personalised service, and restaurants have seen this as a competitive advantage and unique selling point with 85% of restaurants delivering a personalised experience
- Quality and consistency : The food is the highlight and main aspect of a restaurant that keeps diners coming back for more
- Memorable atmosphere : The setting, the environment, and the energy the restaurant fosters play a massive role in the dining experience
- Efficient customer service : 95% of guests report that good customer service is vital to brand loyalty. The way a restaurant handles diners plays an important role in retaining and attracting customers
What are the key components and features of an electronic menu ordering system?
While there are many components that users look for in such a system, some key features are the following:
- Menu display : This is a system that displays menu items, including descriptions, images, prices, and any available customisations or special offers
- Order placement : Diners can browse through the digital menu and place an order based on their selections by adding them to a virtual cart or order list. This feature can allow diners to customise their orders based on preferences, lifestyle, dietary, and health restrictions
- Customisation options : Diners can modify, customise, or add special elements to their dishes to elevate their orders; for example, a diner can choose toppings, specify cooking preferences, mention spice tolerance levels, or opt for substitute ingredients
- Confirmation and payment : Before an order is sent to the restaurant, diners or customers can go through the orders, make last-minute changes, and proceed to pay directly using the system’s interface payment methods
- Analytics and insights : Ordering systems have features that process data and analytics that gather data on customer preferences, popular menu items, and peak times. This allows restaurants to make informed decisions about menu changes, promotions, and improvements
How does an electronic ordering system help restaurants manage peak times?
Electronic menu ordering systems streamline ordering processes, enhance accuracy and reliability, and improve the overall dining experience for diners whilst providing valuable insights that can aid in restaurant management.
There has been a 400% increase in online ordering, whilst more than 40% of total orders come from online ordering systems. Peak hours mainly account for dining and takeaway orders which build the majority of the bustling culture in a restaurant.
However, restaurant peak hours depend upon the day of the week, the type of food served, the location, the main diner base of the restaurant, the season or time of the year, and access to delivery and takeout.
During peak hours, an electronic menu ordering system is essential for:
- Faster order processing : A menu ordering system allows diners to go through menus, select their dishes, and place orders with the convenience of their own devices. This reduces the time spent by waiters taking orders, allowing them to focus more on attending to diners, delivering food, and allocating more time for the preparation of food, which will also contribute towards the atmosphere and environment of the restaurant
- Reduced waiting times : According to data, diners will not wait more than 45 minutes for food, but this depends on the type of food being served by the restaurant. Since a menu ordering system streamlines the ordering process, it minimises the wait time for diners, which enhances the overall dining experience. Since wait times are reduced, this increases the scope of the restaurant to accommodate more diners, affording the restaurant a competitive edge
- Accurate orders : Since diners have specifications and sometimes alterations to their orders, it can sometimes lead to human error stemming from rushed order taking. The adoption of electronic systems reduces errors by allowing customers to input their orders directly, which assures accuracy and reduces the likelihood of incorrect items being prepared, ensuring an error-free environment and better communication between the restaurant and diners
- Improved efficiency : Peak hours are a time of high demand, which requires agility and a faster pace in serving diners. Electronic ordering systems transmit orders directly to the kitchen which reduces the time taken to serve the food and minimises the chance of miscommunications between staff members. It also lowers wastage whilst preserving the restaurant’s image and reputation
- Better promotion and marketing : The use of electronic menus allows analysis so that promotions and marketing projects can be suggested to increase the chances of upselling. In busy and peak periods, this feature can help boost sales without adding pressure on kitchen staff
- Improved customer service : Since less time is spent taking orders, waiters can prioritise ensuring diners have a positive and memorable experience, even during the busiest and bustling hours
Invest in an electronic menu ordering system to tackle peak hours to achieve the ultimate dining experience even during the busiest times
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