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Connected RestaurantTechnology That Talks: Breaking Down Silos in the Quick Service Restaurant

Posted by SICOM | September 18, 2017

 

Your quick service restaurant technology can talk. Are you listening to it?

Today’s QSR leverages a variety of technology solutions that aid in front of house, back of house, and above restaurant operations. These diverse solutions, which range from point of sale (POS) solutions to kitchen management systems and drive-thru timers, all too often operate in separate silos—isolated to their respective sections of the restaurant.

While these QSR solutions may demonstrate measurable results on their own, operating them in isolation leaves significant untapped potential on the table.

The real key to unleashing the full potential of all solutions in the QSR environment is technology that talks. Technology that talks has the power to collaborate with other technologies to reduce redundancy, improve efficiency, and exceed performance expectations. Technology that talks does so effortlessly—all customer gain, no customer pain.

Let’s look at three technology conversations that demonstrate how talking tech can transform your QSR operations.

 

Inventory Management and Digital Menu Boards
“Chicken’s out.” // “Hamburgers are in.”

Features on your digital menu boards capture customers’ attention prior to purchase and drive sales for particular items. A digital menu board’s success hinges upon its ability to suggest the right items, to the right customers, at the right times. By talking to the QSR’s inventory management system, digital menu boards can proactively remove out-of-stock items to avoid negative customer experiences.

Consider an example: Your inventory management system knows you’re running low on chicken sandwiches and your hamburgers are fresh right now but will expire soon. With this insight, your digital menu board switches promotions to highlight an appetizing hamburger, both inside the restaurant and outside in the drive-thru.

 

Point of Sale and Kitchen Management
“Egg sandwiches sell like hot cakes on Saturday.” // “Today’s Saturday. Let’s cook 30 percent more.”

For the majority of QSR crews, educated guesses based on historical sales help determine how much food to prep each day. Yet, food waste still tops the chart as a QSR’s second largest expense. Food preparation is a high-stakes game: prep too little and upset customers, prep too much and pour money down the drain. By communicating with the point of sale system about what items are ordered and when, the kitchen management system can accurately predict food preparation requirements while accounting for day of week, day part, location, and seasonality.

Consider an example: A QSR’s most popular item on Saturday morning is its egg sandwich. In anticipation of this demand, the kitchen crew prepares enough to meet the demand but avoids the guesswork that can result in preparing too much and wasting food.

 

Point of Sale and Order Confirmation Units
“One spicy chicken sandwich, no drink.” // “How about a cold lemonade to put out the fire?”

For drive-thru guests, order confirmation units have the power to deliver a rich, engaging customer experience. These screens can deliver targeted recommendations to up-sell and cross-sell to customers, but only if they know what products to suggest. By talking to the point of sale to learn what a customer has ordered, order confirmation systems can serve up the most relevant promotions to satisfy guests and increase average ticket amount.

Consider an example: A hungry guest pulls up to the drive-thru and orders a spicy chicken sandwich. The point of sale notes the order and recommends a lemonade to complement the customer’s meal. Seeing her need for a drink, the customer adds a lemonade to the order, increasing the ticket total by more than 30 percent.

 

The opportunities for conversant technologies are limitless, and so are the benefits yielded by a QSR that facilitates the conversation. At SICOM, we deliver flexible QSR technologies that span the entire restaurant operation—from front of house point of sale and digital menu boards, to back of house kitchen management technology and speed of service solutions, to above restaurant management and data analytics.

Can you hear what your restaurant technologies are saying? We’ll help you transform your restaurant into a powerhouse of data-driven conversations that have the ability to transform how your QSR runs. Contact SICOM to learn how.

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