How digital influences speed of service


How digital influences speed of service

A man holding a mobile phone sat with a woman holding a drink

Digital technology has affected all aspects of our lives and the hospitality industry is no exception. Whilst there will always be a place for the human touch in this business, there's no doubt that when handled in the right way, digital can have a positive effect, drastically influencing the speed of service.

This is particularly true in the fast food sector where convenience is king and consumers want 'food on the move' at all hours of the day. Take, for example, the two McDonald's restaurants in Harlow, which recently unveiled digital makeovers, embracing the self-service trend with digital kiosks from which customers can place their orders personally via touchscreen devices. The kiosks enable guests to browse the menu, check nutritional information and personalise their orders. The kiosks have reportedly helped to create 30 new jobs at McDonald's and significantly sped up the time consumers have to wait in-store.

The rise in popularity of apps has also offered opportunities to forward-thinking fast food businesses. Subway recently announced that orders can now be made through Facebook Messenger at 26,500 Subway restaurants across the US - both online and via a mobile device. This pioneering move uses the app to pinpoint users' locations in order to select the closest Subway for pick-up. Once consumers have placed their order, they simply pay using Facebook's payment system or Masterpass - a Mastercard online payment service - leaving the customer nothing more to do than dash in and out to pick up their order.

It appears that 2017 is fast becoming the year of the Messenger bot with increasing numbers of businesses across a range of different industries looking at ways they can utilise this new method of communicating with customers. We expect it won't be long until we see more fast food businesses embrace digital to speed up their service and enhance their guest experience.

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