The growing trend in the restaurant business is that more consumers are choosing to have their food delivered or to do take-out. For many restaurants the idea of having their food eaten any place other than at their restaurant present lots of challenges.
Part of the reason why restaurants like to have people eat at their restaurants is because they can control the entire dining experience. This means everything that happens with patron from the moment they arrive at the restaurant. Restaurants invest heavily in the décor and feel of the place. They hire and dress the maître d’ or hostess, train the waiters and waitresses on how to serve and make sure the busboys are quick to remove any plates that are empty. They also closely control the quality and timing of the food that is served to ensure that it is its most tasty.
All of this is done to create a unique experience for patrons that makes them want to return. Another important reason why restaurants want their customers to eat in is because of the likelihood to sell them additional food and drink. Patrons will often decide on getting another beer or desert on the spot. These additional sales can mean the difference between a bad and a good night.
The take out business is a different animal. Restaurants cannot depend on setting the right ambience and the money invested in the other elements mostly does not gain them benefits. A restaurant must also master different skills that allow them to be a preferred choice for eat at home patrons.
Although this will require perfecting new skills and instituting new approaches, with the potential for substantial additional sales moat restaurants cannot ignore this vibrant part of the business.
The best news for restaurants looking to build a vibrant off-premise business is that there are kitchen technologies available to help you build up this part of your business. Here are a few of the best kitchen technologies to consider:
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Kitchen Display Systems
One of the key things you will need to have a constant handle on to successfully begin off-premise sales is the workings of your kitchen and its resources. The kitchen is the complicated center of your business and having a system in place to both standardize things and manage the kitchen traffic is critical. A kitchen display system is a computer based video monitoring system that tracks orders and simplifies kitchen communication and processes. Those involved in the prepping, cooking and delivery of food to patrons have a central location where the food process is displayed.
The best kitchen display systems include a feature called capacity management that has order tracking and real time quotes and comes alive when your restaurant nears its capacity giving you more critical data for you to pass on to your own or third party delivery services so you can correctly tell customers when their food will arrive. For those seeking to create a successful off-premise food business, kitchen display systems increase kitchen efficiency, reduce errors, enhance food quality and greatly improve speed of service.
Having an ordering system that accommodate how off-premise customers want to order and then tracks their orders to delivery is an ideal kitchen technology for restaurants looking to expand their business beyond on-premise dining.
Some off-premise customers will walk-in and order, others will call and some will order online. DineTime® is the only restaurant waitlist and reservation software that connects every order the restaurant receives no matter how it is entered, to a kitchen display system to provide real-time updates about order statuses through the host stand.
Because speed and accuracy are key, DineTime provides your front of house staff with the ability to see real-time order statuses, a tally of off-premise orders, and customer data to help expedite the process.
Utilizing Kitchen Display Systems and new reservation and order management technologies like Dine Time allows any restaurant to seamlessly get into the off-premise food service business.