All QSRs aim to increase the number of guests they can serve each hour and decrease the amount of time it takes each guest to order and receive their food. This is a key part of QSR optimization. But long lines in restaurants and backed up drive-thru lanes threaten these metrics. In order to combat this, QSRs must align with the changing customer expectations. In some cases, customers expect a queue experience where they might personalize their Chipotle burrito. Or maybe they prefer to pick out their favorite drink in the Starbucks app and have it waiting for them when they walk in. And these mobile apps are enabling QSRs to offer varied experiences that can be supercharged with ultrasonic technology.
Mobile Apps Drive QSR Optimization
Mobile apps are taking over the QSR segment, as a study of 2,500 diners showed 63% of respondents had one or more QSR apps installed on their smartphones and 85% would visit QSRs more frequently if the restaurant had an appealing app.
QSR leaders are leaps and bounds ahead of the competition on providing ordering and checkout experiences that cater to the mobile-first nature of their customers. This could come in the form of customers sitting down and choosing to place their mobile order from their seat or pulling up to the drive-thru and ordering from their app instead of shouting out the window to the drive-thru attendant. Mobile technology is making these new QSR scenarios possible and making the customer experience within modern QSRs highly customizable.
With the help of these mobile apps, QSRs can garner more sales in less space. This can become a reality by encouraging guests in the restaurant to order via mobile, either before they arrive or when they walk in. Both options will cut down on the amount of time guests wait in line, making it possible to improve the experience of each and every guest.
Mobile ordering allows QSRs to improve customer experience and speed, while also managing traffic. After all, no restaurant wants a guest to arrive with the intent to buy and turn around and go to a competitor when they see how long the line is. But when it comes to the customer experience overall, 74% of shoppers will choose a competitor if they deem a restaurant line to be too long and 41% will even abandon a purchase. Guests expect to get their food quickly and seamlessly, and encouraging them to order ahead will reduce friction.
This does require additional consideration of how QSRs will approach mobile orders to ensure they save consumers time. Starbucks has a dedicated area for mobile orders at the end of the barista counter to allow guests to walk in, get their order, and get on with their day—and they have largely set the bar for QSR optimization. This example is a low touch approach and other QSRs might choose to do mobile check-ins instead, allowing staff to add customer orders to the queue when they are inside the restaurant to avoid handing off a warm milkshake.
Authenticate Accurate Pick-Ups
As more guests opt for mobile ordering, processes will need to be in place to ensure that the right customer is getting the right order, even if it’s being delivered by a third party. Some QSRs choose QR codes (which have proven unsafe in a number of cases) or simply have customers give their name when they walk up to retrieve their order. These methods create bottlenecks and do not fully guarantee accurate order pick-ups. This results in lost revenue for QSRs, not to mention frustrated customers.
To solve for this, QSR optimization calls for efficiently confirming identity for pick-up orders—whether it’s being picked up by a delivery service or the customer themselves. This requires the ability to securely authenticate their identity and understand when they are inside the restaurant.
Just as QSRs have been working hard to bulk up their mobile capabilities, there is a missing piece that completes the puzzle: a seamless way to transfer data between the restaurant and the guest. Leading QSRs already allow guests to order from anywhere. Depending on the type of data transmission technology QSRs employ, guests that are ordering on their mobile devices while in the restaurant don’t even need to have cell service or wifi.
Ultrasonic data transmission provides an industry-leading, secure alternative to QR codes. The variable proximity capabilities allow multiple customers to simultaneously and securely confirm their identity and receive the correct order. This reduces fraud by acting as a proximity second factor authentication at the point of pickup.
In a time of such intense competition, all QSRs want to be able to provide faster checkout without degrading the customer experience. And with mobile order ahead and in-restaurant mobile payments, it is possible.
Want to learn more about QSR optimization through improving your ordering, authentication, and pickup flow? Download our free QSR innovation eBook or get in touch with the LISNR team to learn more about our retail technology.