Any restaurant patron is familiar with bottlenecks in the dining process while dining out. Restaurants have limited options for accommodating customers whose priority is to dine out in a faster timeframe while enjoying traditional hospitality. A Minneapolis based startup named Waitless is one company providing an approach for catering to this customer demographic. Waitless’s proprietary technology helps customers place orders on their phone ahead of their arrival and pay for their meal before or after using only their mobile device. The approach satisfies the time sensitive customer demographic while ensuring faster table turn.
Beside satisfying customer dining needs and staying ahead of customer orders, mobile ordering can provide merchants other benefits. Marketing directly to customers’ mobile devices is a burgeoning opportunity. Significantly more cost effective than print ads and more direct to relevant customers, mobile marketing can put a merchant in the forefront of customers’ dining insights. Marketing is not purely about creating the most noise, it is about strategically placing the right ads in the right right place. Waitless offers two types of marketing tools to merchants. The first, and most familiar, is publishing customized offers for customers to redeem while in the restaurant. Best practice for restaurants is to structure these types of promotions to ensure positive cash flow from the offer. The second marketing tool for merchants is appealing to existing and prospective customers based on what their current demands are. If a customer creates an order online but has not yet acted upon it, a marketing opportunity is available. A merchant can offer a supplement to an order to entice a customer to fulfill their order. The pathway helps get valued customers through the doors.
There are some who have raised concerns that technology is a threat to traditional labor. Technology is most successful when it creates efficiencies for existing labor. It is challenging to think of any other industry that has not benefitted from employees wielding new technologies to perform their job more efficiently. Mobile ordering is a tool the dining industry labor force can use to turn more tables and ultimately generate more profits. Technology in the dining industry will be used to help more customers enjoy their experience, thereby generating greater yields for sales staff and restaurants.
The long term trend is that restaurants seek to please their existing and prospective guests. Mobile dining is a tool that can be used to engage customers and increase efficiencies within a restaurant.
Go Swiftly LLC is a Minneapolis based Start-up that develops and deploys mobile applications for consumer use. The company’s flagship product is Waitless, a dining application that caters to mobile ordering and payments in the food and beverage industry.