There are two segments to this post. First is a fictitious sequence of events in a tech enabled restaurant, that I would like to see. The second is my take on how there exists bits and pieces of this experience, but not quite the entire flow yet.
- We walk into a restaurant. Greeted by the Maitre’D and guided to a table.
- Waiter heads over to our table and hands us a tablet and gives us general instructions on how to use it.
- Once the orders are punched in, and ‘Done’ has been clicked, the waiter comes and takes away the tablet.
- When the food is ready, the waiter brings in the food and he exactly knows which food goes where (because he can find out from the backend version of the app)
- After the meal, the waiter brings back the tab, where the app can either take payments by splitting the bill or one person pays the bill. The payment can be done through any of the existing online payment mechanisms or by cash.
- Folks tip the waiter for the service and leave.
A few observations/opinions about the above experience.
- To my knowledge, the above ordering experience is not yet present in any app/service. A slightly manual version of this exists in some restaurants. The waiter have the tablet with them and punch in the order as the guest rattles out what he/she wants.But even here, I am not sure, if the app that they use help the waiter by table position. It probably takes the order for everyone together.
- This would improve waiter productivity immensely. Apart from the time it takes for the food to be prepared, the biggest bottleneck is the order-reciting part to the waiter.
- A related productivity benefit is the billing part. The order is directly translated to the receipt. It results in exponential productivity improvement especially when the guests would like to split the bill.
- With the whole tech experience, it is only natural to complete the payment also through an online gateway such as PayTM or PayU or Instamojo.
- A side feature that could be built in from the restaurant side is the capability to get very focussed reviews from the guest (eg. how was the paneer tikka?) or getting feedback on a new menu etc.
Mock-ups courtesy the awesome online tool – moqups.com