How many times have you walked into Starbucks with 5 minutes until you have to be at work only to see the line wrapped halfway around the store? Wouldn’t it have been so much easier if you could have ordered your coffee before you left your house, picked it up, and been on your way? Businesses like Starbucks are trying out the new trend of mobile ordering to see if they can try and cut back instances like these for their customers in the future.
Mobile ordering has become increasingly more accurate and effective. With all the research and time that has been put into these systems, it is a smart idea for fast order restaurants to see the benefits. mobile ordering allows the customer to take as much time as they need to order. There is no rush for them to decide and therefore it insures that they will always get exactly what they want. This increases customer satisfaction because the customer knows what they are getting before they ever step foot into the restaurant. It also saves time for the waiters or employees who are taking the orders. They do not have to wait for people to decide and some systems are set up so the orders go directly to the kitchen which saves even more time. This in turn allows for fewer waiters to do more work. Restaurants can also look at the data that is collected from the system and see if there are any trends or problems that they should take note of. For example, if people are not ordering a lot of one particular dish it could be because it does not fit into the rest of the menu choices and maybe it should be removed or revamped to save money. Mobile ordering systems give a restaurant more information and flexibility when it comes to taking orders.
As amazing as an invention of this magnitude sounds there are a few problems that should be called to light. If a restaurant is based on providing interaction between employees and customers and a memorable experience, this is not necessarily something they should consider. This takes the personal touch out of ordering for people. They will have rarely any interaction with a waiter unless they were to call the restaurant with a question or come in. In some cases food quality tends to suffer because of the amount of orders that come in and how quickly the cooks have to prepare them. However this is something that could be fixed by adding more employees or even setting a limit as to the amount of orders that could be allowed at one specific time. It is also possible for people who actually go to the restaurant to have to wait longer than those that ordered online. Go back to the Starbucks example. If you decided to wait in that long line, wouldn’t you be a little angry if someone just walked in and picked up their coffee and left? It may seem to you that you have waited longer and therefore your order should be done first. Balance is something that has to be watched when a system like this is in place or certain customers can feel as though they are not getting the attention they deserve.