Is At Table Ordering the future of service?
Quick service chicken restaurant Nando’s implemented At Table Ordering technology late in 2019. Here, marking director Helen Reece shares what the team discovered about developing and implementing a new ordering system.
Where did the idea come from? Why did you decide to implement At Table Ordering technology?
We identified an opportunity to set a new standard in Customer Experience as the first fast-casual-dining restaurant group in the Australian market to roll out this type of technology.
The core of Nando’s Customer Experience strategy is to provide our customers with innovative ways to order and dine with us, so At Table Ordering was the natural step forward for us to lead customer experience in the Australian market. This new technology allows our customers to experience Nando’s in their own way, by either ordering at the counter, or via the Nando’s app from the comfort of their table.
How did you make the idea a reality? What was the implementation process like? What were the main challenges?
We trialled At Table Ordering in three restaurants over a twelve month period to ensure we got the process right for our staff and customers.
The main challenge was to ensure that customers were aware they had the choice to order at the counter or from their table with the Nando’s app. We communicated this via table caddie advertising and emails to our loyalty members, and found that once customers had used the technology, re-visit rates were very high.
What have the business benefits been so far? (e.g. efficiencies, data, etc)
We’ve seen great results so far, with positive feedback from staff who feel the process has relieved some pressure on restaurant operations during peak times. We also know our customers don’t like to queue, so At Table Ordering is a great way for them to order from the comfort of their table.
Customers are also enjoying browsing our menu and ordering at their own pace. It can be daunting ordering at the counter if customers aren’t familiar with our menu, or if they’re undecided about what they’d like to eat. At Table Ordering explains our menu and allows customers to personalise their experience and meal to their preferences. At Table Ordering also allows multiple orders to be placed at the same table, so customers are able to order and pay for their meal separately whilst dining out with friends.
Any venue styles you think the concept is better suited to? Or venues that it wouldn’t work in?
We believe this type of new technology is practical for any restaurant that has busy lunch or dinner trading times.
We know that customers can be deterred from coming into a restaurant if there is a long line for ordering. Nando’s At Table Ordering technology combats this by allowing staff to manage the flow of service by directing customers to order from their table.
How have diners responded?
Survey results show customers are loving it, and anecdotally, feedback from staff tells us that diners really value the option to use the app in restaurant, and enjoy a meal with us in their own way.
What other POS innovations does Nando’s have planned for 2020?
We have a calendar full of initiatives in 2020 focused on improving customer and staff experience at Nando’s, making it easier for customers to order and making the process more intuitive for staff. Watch this space.
Read more about the latest point of sale trends in Hospitality’s February issue.