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The Future Of Taking Food and Drink Orders

Imagine the scene, there you are, in your shop and a customer walks in. She looks like she is in a rush. As she approaches, you take a quick glance across your shop, it's busy. There is a hum, the hum that comes from when you are over 75% full, it's the sound of customers chattering, the sound reverberates gently over your ears.

Your waitresses and waiters chat with your customers, orders are taken, but your waitresses continue to talk to your customers, why wouldn't they, the orders are beamed from the table, digital packets of light, direct to the kitchen, where the chef sees them, printed effortlessly at the pass and he instantly prepares them.

A split second later, you hear the sound from your kitchen as your chef calls "Service" and Sally your head waitress diverts, collects and takes the order, a dish that is made from the freshest of ingredients, delighting your senses as it waves in Sally's hands on it's approach to your customer at Table-10 who ordered it, direct from their phone. You know this as your ipad in front of you is flashing the order. At the table, they wait in glorious anticipation. They prepare for that feast your kitchen has prepared them for. As your waitress serves, the flashing in front of you goes silent, you are pleased another completed order and it was served within the breach time you set.

To your left you hear the rustle of a delivery bag being prepared. Items of food for order #3412 are carefully placed into the bag, the receipt, it's your logo, not that of the food portal you used to use proudly admonished at the top of the package of items. The bag and its treasure trove of food fit for a king, sits, proudly steaming away. It does not wait long, Adam your delivery driver has no time to spare, he wants the food getting to your customer piping hot. Seconds later it's gone, on it's grand voyage through the local suburbs of your bustling city, meandering it's way to your customer, a customer who you know has ordered from you every week since they first discovered you. This particular order, was free. The customer used all the point's they'd earned from their previous 25 orders to pay. You smile, knowing you're loyalty system is working.

But in that moment, you realise, the customer who walked in needs serving. You prepare yourself, your brain fibres contract, blood pumps, heart rate increases and your face moves into that position that humans find most pleasing, a warm smile unfolds across your face, the signal to your customer, that right now, in this second, they and only they, are the most important person to you in the entire world. Their brain releases endorphins due to that warm smile, further establishing that loyal bond you are creating between yourself and your customers.

You greet your Customer, Jenny in this case, you don't ask her what she wants, why would you? You already know. You always know what all your customers want. You politely greet Jenny, you ask her about her day. Just 10 seconds later a member of your team "David" passes you Jenny's order, it's a Latte and Fresh Salad, you notice that it's not what Jenny normally orders, "something new today" you remark, knowing full well the specials you put on offer last night are selling like hot cakes.

You hand the items over, Jenny thanks you and leaves with her food. You jump, forgetting to take payment from Jenny, but then you snap out of it, you realise, no need to take payment anymore, you already received it, right when Jenny placed her order, just before she walked in. You take a breath.

You take another look across your cafe, tables are full, customers are ordering, delivery drivers are making their drops, you relax for a moment. You take a quick look at your orders dashboard, today's been a good day, 20% more orders than last month, 27 new customers and only 1 refund all week. You spot an upturn in sales in two of your recently added products, you are happy with that.

Running your digitally connected shop you hardly get any time, your next customer has just entered, it's a new face, it's their first time. You get ready, once again, your smile prepares, your prepared. You already know what they want.

Mobile ordering technology will change the way you engage your customers. It's not something that will be ready in 10 years and it's not something that costs a fortune. It's ready now and if you can afford a mobile phone, you can afford your own mobile ordering technology.

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