Consumers said they planned to spend 9.1% less per restaurant meal in 2014, according to a survey from consulting firm AlixPartners. However, if customers have a positive and memorable dining experience, they will more likely spend more time and money at a restaurant.
Helping to address this trend, La Cage Aux Sports, a Canadian restaurant and bar chain, has increased average table income by 10% since implementing a mobile ordering system powered by a wireless local area network (WLAN) solution and ET1 tablets from Motorola. The restaurant chain collaborated with POS Terminal 2000 Inc., a Motorola PartnerEmpower Silver partner, to test and roll out the technology.
“We’re always trying to be up-to-date with the newest technologies to help our servers and management provide a better client experience,” said Mathieu Laliberté, director, Information & Technologies for La Cage Aux Sports. “We were looking to do some up-selling while also reducing labor costs, which is the biggest cost for our business.”
Combining the WLAN with tablets has empowered service staff to engage in more personable conversations with consumers, while also boosting cross-sells and upsells and improving overall order accuracy. Depending on the size of the restaurant, each location has one or two WLAN access points and between seven and 10 tablets.
“There definitely has been an improvement in customer satisfaction,” reported Laliberté in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “They get their food faster because orders go straight into the kitchen as soon as they’re entered through the tablets. Servers no longer need to go to the fixed POS system to enter everything manually, which also has greatly reduced order errors. Servers can stay next to customers during the order-taking process and ask questions along the way. It’s much easier for them.”
An Immersive Sales Experience
With improved ordering processes, employees also are able to serve more customers, which allows them to get more tips. Laliberté noted this as a key selling point as La Cage Aux Sports got employees on board with using the technology.
“It was difficult to get employees to embrace a new way to work,” Laliberté noted. “Some servers have been with us for 10 to 15 years, and at first they didn’t want to use the tablets because they were used to the same old way of working. But we implemented a plan to show how it could help them better serve clients and get more money, too.”
Each of La Cage Aux Sports’ 50 locations is designed to welcome customers to eat and drink at their leisure — especially as they’re watching sporting events on one of the restaurant’s many big-screen TVs. This is another “huge upselling opportunity,” according to Laliberté. Now, with the mobile ordering system, people can stay three or four hours “and never run out of drinks.”
La Cage Aux Sports initially tested the mobile technology and WLAN in a single location, and is in the process of rolling it out across the entire chain, Laliberté reported. The entire process should be completed by the end of 2015.
“The competition is harsh these days, so we have to do something different to get customers to remember us,” Laliberté said. “By trying new things like this we’re able to improve the experience and get our customers to come back to our restaurant.”
Want to learn more about La Cage Aux Sports’ mobile journey? Watch the below video: