A recent survey conducted by Long Range Systems, LLC (LRS) reveals how casual diners feel about the appeal and uniqueness of technology concepts. The overarching conclusion: Diners want more information and more control over their dining experience. Top technologies selected by recipients included regular updates on their status in the queue and estimated remaining wait times as well as the ability to peruse menu items and order while waiting. Guests also want more control of the dining experience, as evidenced by high marks for push-button server/manager paging and the ability to pay at the table without ever handing over their credit card to a server or cashier.
The survey also showed that guests enjoy being rewarded for loyalty. Guests gave high ratings to applications that record their visit at check-in and offer rewards or discounts for repeat visits.
LRS commissioned Risky Business Solutions to survey more than 500 general respondents and focus analysis on those who reported having visited a casual dining restaurant in the previous 90 days.
Among all concepts presented to respondents, five consistently got high marks:
1. Info and pre-order – A device that provides the entire menu and allows you to order drinks, appetizers or even your entire meal while you wait.
2. Wait forecast – A device that provides moment-to-moment information about where you stand in the queue.
3. Loyalty program – Check-in application that records your patronage at the restaurant and rewards you with loyalty points redeemable for discounts and prizes. Or, if you prefer, an app on your smartphone that will “recognize” you whenever you enter and credit you for a visit.
4. Wait staff pager – A device that can be carried to your table, allowing you to page your server or the restaurant manager whenever you want.
5. Bill pay – A pay station device that allows you to securely pay your bill via credit card, debit card or PayPal from your table.
Respondents were asked to rate the appeal and uniqueness of various functionalities on a scale of one to five. Here’s now the various functionalities indexed in the study:
Pre-order 4.16 4.17
Wait Time Queue Updates 4.10 4.12
Loyalty Program 4.03 4.07
Page Your Server/Manager 4.01 4.32
Pay Using the Device 3.92 4.10
Menu Information 3.86 3.97
Nearby Businesses 3.48 3.87
Ads/Promotions 3.21 3.73
The results of the survey speak to the value of several of the solutions that LRS offers. On Cue by LRS is a waitlist management application that keeps guests updated with accurate information on expected wait time and offers customers the choice of a traditional guest pager or text notification. LRS also provides customizable push-for-service systems that allow guests to page a server or manager to their table.