As the old saying goes: “time is money.” Running a quick service restaurant is no different. Every second counts in your customer’s experience. We’ve all got places to be and things to do. Sitting in a long line or drive-thru waiting for our order is not on top of our list. Some customers may wait it out or leave the line completely. Potential customers leaving with a bad impression is not an outcome that will help you grow your brand or bring in repeat business. To stand apart from your competition, you want your service to be not just average but excellent! An important component of the customer experience is your speed of service and your operational logistics.
What are some key data points that you can measure for SOS (Speed of Service) at your Quick Service Restaurant?
- The amount of time for a customer to enter and exit the restaurant with a takeout order.
- The length of time taken for a customer to enter the restaurant and place their order.
- The time it takes for a customer to receive their meal after placing their order.
- The length of time a customer waited to arrive at the order confirmation unit in the drive-thru.
- The time the customer waited to arrive at the pay window after ordering in the drive-thru.
How can you improve your Speed of Service?
Your employees available for each shift, customer traffic, proper staff training, and POS software all play an important part in your speed of service. Understanding your customer’s buying profile; key visitation patterns, the way they order, and how they pay for their order will also go a long way in developing processes to improve your operational flow and checkout for your customers.
1. Software for Quick Service Restaurants
One way your speed of service can be dramatically improved is by finding an efficient software system for your quick service restaurant. Having the right tools in place such as online ordering system, optimized screen to enter orders, mobile apps, Drive-Thru POS, QR Code menu, and self-service kiosks will help to improve your customer experience and speed of service dramatically. Online, mobile, and in-app ordering options give customers the chance to cut down on their wait time by ordering takeout.
2. Set up Additional Hardware
Another way to improve your speed of service is by having the hardware available such as a credit card terminal, bar code scanner, cash register, pin pad, or receipt printer. Having the additional hardware will help to speed up the checkout process at the time of purchase. This way your staff can quickly accept credit or debit card payments, scan QR codes, enable mobile wallets or other contactless payments.
3. Provide Hands-on Training for your Staff
Being properly staffed is a necessity for having a short wait time and quick checkout process for your customers. In addition to having the right number of employees scheduled for each shift, it’s also important that your staff goes through hands-on training before being thrown out to the floor. Getting familiar with the point-of-sale system and trained will help to eliminate the employee from making time-consuming system errors, delays in finding certain features, or other system mishaps. It will also give the employee the speed and confidence they need to direct all of their attention to the customer during the sales process.