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Optimizing your Hospitality business for digital order and pay: A five ingredient recipe

Before implementing a digital order and pay system it’s important to make sure your business is ready for the technology.

Ensure your set-up is streamlined and prevent rollout roadblocks by adhering to our five golden rules:

  1. Understand your problems

Get to know your problems and understand how they interrelate. If you don’t know what is causing your bottlenecks or long wait times, and how each issue depends upon the other, you won’t be able to use technology to offer an effective solution.

Panera Bread is one of the best examples of getting it right when it comes to comprehensive order and pay pre-planning. The fast-casual chain is on track to surpass $1 billion in digital sales for 2017 (kiosks, mobile and web) and much of its success can be attributed to the >100 hours a week the company’s CEO and President spent observing, documenting and pin-pointing issues, prior to rolling out the technology.

Panera’s main technology changes were coupled with behind-the-scenes adjustments based on the research carried out by the C-level duo. The company is currently closing in on 33% of its sales coming from digital orders – so it’s safe to say the time and effort was worth it.

  1. Know your customer

Compile a customer profile showcasing who your target customer is and what they look for in terms of payment channels, loyalty and flexibility. Your answers will inform what and how many different order and pay channels you utilise; what’s likely to work, what’s likely to flop, and what channel has the potential to really take hold.

  1. Calculate your baseline

In order to report on the performance of your Hospitality customer self-service strategy you need to understand your trends as they stand right now. How many orders do you put through a day? What are your most popular meals and food and drink combinations? What’s your Average Ticket Value (ATV)?

By calculating your baseline you will be able to determine the cost savings and increased revenue incurred on implementing your new digital strategy, justify the spending to your CFO/CEO and determine key learnings to take forward.

  1. Get your staff excited

Technology is only as good as the team behind it. You can have all the latest tech implemented and aligned to your business needs but if your staff aren’t singing its praises your customers won’t either. This is especially important in the first few months after the systems are installed as guests will be unfamiliar with the technology and will be relying on staff to guide them through the process. If your team aren’t enthusiastic and completely sold on the new approach you won’t get the most out of your investment.

  1. Find a versatile provider

Use a developer that will adapt their solution as you learn. It’s important to be able to scale your channels up and down as you find your best fit. Avoid having one company develop your kiosk software and another work on your mobile app, with another implementing your pay at table tablets. Ideally you want to take an omni-channel approach to digital order and pay with all channels integrating into one easy-to-use dashboard.


  • Before you rollout order and pay technology, know the problems you want solutions for and understand how they interconnect.
  • Have your target customer profile and payment preferences pinned down
  • Calculate your baseline data – what’s your average ticket value?
  • Staff buy-in is not important, it’s essential.
  • Find a tech developer who will adjust as you learn and allow you to scale up and down as required

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