Ask a server - any server - his or her sentiments on handling delivery orders. I bet you’ll get a response along these lines: “Can’t stand ‘em.’”
As a veteran waitress, I’ve been there.
Takeout or delivery orders can be incredibly frustrating for restaurant staff, especially when they're placed online. But delivery is a trend that isn’t going anywhere. Increasingly, customers not only demand it, they expect it.
Here’s a rundown of the top five reasons delivery orders rattle your staff and what you can do to keep your employees out of the weeds and your guests well-fed.
1. Mo’ Systems, Mo’ Problems
Picture your best server. She’s a well-oiled machine, a master of efficiency.
Now she’s getting called over to the hostess desk with complications on a delivery order from a third-party site. Maybe two. Her groove grinds to a halt as she pauses to input the order info from the kiosk or web service into the POS system. Precious time is lost while order details are being transferred, and do you know who she’s not attending to?
The guests she’s waiting on right now, right here in your restaurant.
2. “Er, we don’t have that anymore...”
When your delivery system isn’t synced with your POS system, staying on top of menu updates with third-parties is a pain and nearly impossible to execute in real time.
Pork dumplings were 86’ed during the lunch rush and you axed the kale cobb from the menu months ago...but your would-be delivery customers don’t know that. Meanwhile you’ve got guests in front of you with apps in the window, asking for waters, and making eyes at you for the check.
It’s not fun, folks.
3. Impossible Orders
Have you ever received an online order with a modifier that simply isn’t possible? Like, maybe someone asks for gluten free mozzarella sticks?
It’s a common scenario when dealing with third-party systems where you don’t own customer data. With no contact info, you can’t dialogue with customers to ask follow-up questions and offer clarifying information. Your staff is left to rectify the situation and none of the options are good.
They might come up with a best guess to accommodate the order (which could be potentially dangerous in an allergy situation) or waste time playing phone tag with the delivery provider.
The lines of communication between your guests and staff need to remain open, whether guests are physically in your restaurant or not.
4. “I’ll be right with you.”
Delivery and takeout guests are ordering ahead for one reason: to skip the FOH experience.
They’re not interested in being seated or waited on, so why distract your FOH staff from dine-in guests who are looking for that attention? When delivery and takeout ordering is integrated with your POS, online orders can go straight to the BOH, skipping the FOH altogether.
It’s efficient, reduces the chance of human error, and keeps your servers on the floor with their guests.
5. “When will I see you again?”
Face it: takeout and delivery orders are a lot of work.
There are to-go containers to pack, tiny plastic ramekins to fill with condiments, and napkins and utensils to track down.
Your staff invests a lot of time and energy into takeout orders, and since on average online orders tend to be 23% higher than dine-in, delivery devotees are guests you want to keep coming back. When online ordering is integrated with your POS, you own customer contact information. This means you can incentivize guests to visit again through targeted discounts, offers, and rewards.
Five Problems, One Fix
Delivery is good for your bottom line, but these pitfalls will stress out even your most seasoned staff. That’s why Toast has partnered with Grubhub to offer a streamlined integration between Toast's core restaurant platform and Grubhub's online ordering systems that addresses each of these situations.
Guest orders from Grubhub orders are sent directly to your restaurant’s Toast POS - where your staff already has their attention. There’s no need for separate Grubhub tablets and orders can be managed and fulfilled directly at the POS. Everybody wins: guests get accurate delivery orders and your staff can focus on delivering delicious food.
If you’re not a Toast customer, check out a free demo of Toast and see how our online ordering function can help save your restaurant money!
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