As hospitality and tourism operations look and plan forward, there are more options than ever before to consider in terms of how their customers can order and pay.
Depending on the type of outlet and service provided, the conventional order and pay at the EPOS till system will remain as the standard process for the future.
But one of the biggest challenges currently facing the hospitality and tourism sectors is staff recruitment and retention. It is a much bigger picture than solely focusing on controlling costs and looking at ways to boost sales. And there is an even greater need to be able to adapt to the peaks and troughs of footfall, especially when the peak trade demand typically falls at the worst possible time for staffing levels and new recruitment.
The answer and the way forward for many businesses may be operating a hybrid POS solution and process. This is a combination of conventional touch screen EPOS tills with integrated card payments running alongside customer self-ordering and payments. A single solution, a single cloud based back office, one payment provider, but with multiple ways to operate.
In some cases, a combination of ordering and paying at the till, via a self-service order point or the Vine self-order web app will suit their operation 7 days a week, especially when configured in a way that the front of house and kitchen teams operate seamlessly. For others, the smart part may be the advantages gained through being able to switch throughout the day or week. Session times can be set so the trading day or week can move from self-ordering only, to a combination of order and pay at till as well as self-ordering throughout the day and to suit staffing levels.
Flexibility is key and may well be the answer to solving some staffing difficulties. Included in this is the ability for a fully integrated system to be able to handle orders placed at the table, for click & collect and for delivery.
In addition to the operational advantages and potential to lighten the load on staffing levels, there are other significant benefits too. When we look at self-ordering and putting digital menus in the hands of the customers, we see that in many cases the average order value increases. In some cases, and in some sessions, there can be a 25% to 30% increase in self order average transaction values when compared to face-to-face orders placed at the till or even via table service.
Simple to use digital menus, with the option to display high quality dish images, and upselling with dish modifiers contribute to increased orders and are a boost to sales.
As well as providing your customers with more ways to order and pay, the icing on their cake might be the digital rewards or points that you may choose to offer them based on their purchases.