30 Nov My New Favourite Feature: ePOS Now Caller ID
Pick up, to go, and take out have become staples for the modern, busy restaurant. Whether you are a pizza/sub shop or a casual family restaurant, a carryout (and potential delivery) program is imperative to keep revenue up when table seating isn’t getting the job done. Online ordering is on the rise and phone orders are on the decline, but according to NPD, an independent market firm, the number of phone orders still surpassed those completed online or via an app (e.g. UberEats). In fact, they outperformed online and app ordering by about 40% last year. This exemplifies the value of a phone order and reaffirms the need to implement a systematic approach to handling inbound calls. With that said, MPI is excited to announce we have a Caller ID function built into our new Point of Sale ePOS NOW.
Keep in mind that there are issues to consider when taking phone orders: capacity, speed, and logistics. Let’s break down those issues in greater detail.
I would say this is the largest downfall for many high volumes, to-go food establishments. Restaurants take the time to make their food great and build a solid reputation, but oftentimes they don’t think about the basics of being busy. How many orders can your kitchen handle and still meet customer expectations? Do you know how to set longer expectation times when the kitchen is overwhelmed? It is important to keep an eye on your cook times when things get busy and to keep these questions in mind when setting up your front counter and kitchen. When things start to get busy keep an eye on your cook times.
Example: Your pizza oven can cook a pizza every 6 min and can handle 4 at a time meaning you can cook 40 pizzas an hour at optimum efficiency. Realistically, if 30 pizza orders came in from 6pm – 6:15pm the total cook time is considerably longer. This is where knowing your queue and setting accurate wait time expectations for pick up customers is paramount.
Maximizing dinner rush production can put 20-30% more in your bank account. In order to reach this max potential, there are some things to consider: Does your phone have a hold and a queue function? Are you properly staffed during peak times to take the inbound orders?
Now that VOIP (Voice Over IP) phones are relatively cheap and easy to use, there is no excuse for a customer to hear a busy signal when calling in. Hold music and time estimates are built into most VOIP systems and even during extremely busy periods these systems set an appropriate expectation for your callers. In addition to a good phone system, an efficient POS experience is also important for keeping up with the rush. Set up your POS to be easy to use, and to prompt staff to offer all possible options without slowing down the process. This caller ID function brings up the customer and their previous history automatically. It makes the standard delivery information available from the previous order and cuts phone time in half. This reduced time allows your team to take more orders and reduces the need for additional employees during the busiest times.
ePOS Now Caller ID: See How It Works
The final hurdle to overcome is implementing logistical rules that are realistic and easy to follow. For example, your pizza shop might have guidelines in place that state:
- Only deliver within 7 miles.
- If delivering south, take all orders in that direction at the same time.
- Put four pizzas in the oven at the same time when possible so they cook faster.
- Time customer pickups by 15-minute blocks.
Rules like this are what make your business run more efficiently. Once you have them in place it is imperative to remind your employees at every turn. Hourly staff members are coming in for a paycheck, not to worry about operational fluidity, so don’t expect them to. Ensuring your staff are properly trained from the beginning and forcing common sense to the employee level will yield major dividends for your business.
Interested in learning more about our point of sale options? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-518-5020.