With the takeover of smartphone and tablets, restaurants will continue to explore new ordering solutions linked to these devices for convenience to the customer and familiarity.
Pre-ordering cuts down on kitchen backup and offers customers the convenience they're looking for in their busy lives, Chapman says. "Many operators are trying to figure out which applications to try to make pre-ordering easier." Some look to solution providers to custom-design their apps while others latch onto existing platforms like Snapfinger to build out their programs.
"Plus, operators are trying mobile apps for reservations, games, loyalty programs and even customer feedback," Chapman says. "Mobile is going to continue to gain prominence."
On the flipside, some places like 4Food in New York City and Staked in California offer in-store tablets to customers to use in customizing and placing their orders. In many cases, these tablets link directly to POS stations for faster speed-of-service, or they can replace the POS altogether.
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