The pros and cons of pre-ordering


The pros and cons of pre-ordering

The pros and cons of pre-ordering

Christmas draws near a certain aspect of large group dining starts to become commonplace in pubs and
restaurants across the
UK -
pre-ordering. It can be a useful technique to deal with issues surrounding Christmas parties and similar events but is rarely carried out successfully.

In just December 2,500 pre-orders will be collected by the average UK restaurant and 60 per cent of establishments have adopted the process. After all it is important that all of the members of a group get their food at the same time and should not be faced with items running out because they ordered after their colleagues.

Pre-ordering means that these issues can be avoided as purchasing ingredients can be done to exact numbers and preparation carried out in advance. But it can be difficult for some people to decide what they are going to want to eat weeks or in some cases months in advance. This is then followed up by these same customers not remembering what it was they ordered and either accepting a different dish or sitting there trying to recall their decision. If the wrong dish is given to them then the chances are that another member of the party will end up with food which was not their choice.

The key to getting pre-ordering right is organisation and restaurants approach the task in a number of different ways. Some simply have the name of the group and numbers of dishes, so it is up to the customers to remember, which often goes wrong. Others have table plans or lists of guests matched up with the food they ordered, which is of course more work, but can pay dividends and ensures that everyone leaves the restaurant happy.

A new solution to the problem has been developed by a couple of entrepreneurs, which has been named EasyPreOrders, reports Eat Out magazine. It encompasses a number of techniques together to form a whole system of dealing with pre-orders from everything from creating table cards and kitchen cheques to front of house reports and adjusting stock levels accordingly.

The digital system is currently being trialled by the likes of Jamie's Italian and
Loch Fyne, showing that it could be a major contender in the hospitality world in the future.

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