New technology to improve restaurant services

Updated: Aug 06, 2019, 13:31 IST | IANS |

Published in the journal Management Science, the findings reveal that restaurants should introduce tabletop technology in a demonstrated way to improve service and satisfaction

Lord of the Drinks is on the third floor of Trade View building in Kamala Mills compound, Lower Parel
Lord of the Drinks is on the third floor of Trade View building in Kamala Mills compound, Lower Parel

We've all been there...you're out to eat and in need of a refill or the check and the wait staff is nowhere to be found. Now, a recent study shows that adding a tabletop device can improve restaurant services and increase revenues.

Published in the journal Management Science, the findings reveal that restaurants should introduce tabletop technology in a demonstrated way to improve service and satisfaction.

Tabletop technology allows customers to view menu items, re-order beverages, pay for the meal, play games and browse news content. The technology is meant to assist waiters, not replace them.

"We estimate one per cent sales lift per check which translates into $2 million extra sales or $1 million profit per month in the short-run, and that's a conservative estimate," said Tom Fangyun Tan, Associate Professor at Southern Methodist University in the US.

The research reveals tabletop technology is likely to improve sales by 1 per cent per check and reduce meal duration by 10 per cent. The combination of these two effects increase the sales per minute or sales productivity by 11 per cent.

The data was collected from a restaurant chain here in the US that owns 66 establishments. It looked at transaction data from 2012 to 2014 or 2.6 million transactions.

"A good, attentive waiter already does what the tabletop device does...a less attentive or forgetful waiter does not, but relies more on the device, which makes up for the lacking ability resulting in faster service," Tan said.

The data suggest that restaurants re-evaluate their operations to fully reap the benefits of tabletop technology.

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