Possible pitch for a restaurant to use smartphones

ty_

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Hear me out, I just want a few moments of your time and a small opinion.

I work at a restaurant. It's great there and the owner is always trying new things to get the customers attention.
Now I'm still young, I am just a busboy and frequently observe customers at every table.

I notice that a lot of people have smart phones. Majority though, are from the notorious Android family or iPhone family.

My idea is to incorporate them more into their normal dining experience.
So this was my plan, QR Codes on all the tables, like most tables have little reminders of specials and such but what if there was a QR Code linked to the restaurants menu?

Would it have any potential?
People could:

  • Save it for later
  • Read it better [our restaurant is dimly lit]
  • Share the webpage
  • Save us take-out menus
  • Have time to read it before you arrive.
I'm just curious to see what other peoples thoughts are, and whether it's worth trying to convince him.

[BIG PLAN: An app with local restaurant's menus!]
(I wish)
 

Backnblack

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Sounds like a good idea to me.
 

KingxDroid

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You could have a menu with the QR Code next to each item and they can use their smartphone to order. If so, you could try to find someone to make an app that links the waiter's orders to the kitchen where each order is displayed on a screen.
 

Wuzz Ranger

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That sounds like a really awesome idea. I would do all the things you mentioned. It's helpful and what better way than a restaurant to get better connected to it's guests.

It would be even better if I could place a to-go order on my phone simply from an app dedicated to your restaurant...and then simply come pick it up, not sure if it's a good idea though. As soon as you start placing orders on your phone...some restaurants lose that person to person feeling.
 

AngryHatter

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You could have a menu with the QR Code next to each item and they can use their smartphone to order. If so, you could try to find someone to make an app that links the waiter's orders to the kitchen where each order is displayed on a screen.

Then they lose the tip.
I did the work? No thanks.
Eating in a nice restaurant is about the experience not rushing through it. I want to hear recommendations et cetera.

Reservations and ratings are about the best - maybe something that would let me know the waiting time for a table before I call or arrive?
Ordering takeout?
 

nakhleh926

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You could have a menu with the QR Code next to each item and they can use their smartphone to order. If so, you could try to find someone to make an app that links the waiter's orders to the kitchen where each order is displayed on a screen.

I really like this idea.

But to be honest you'd be making it better for the customers but harder for yourself, since as a busboy most of your job is in fact taking the orders and delivering it to the table properly, isn't it? Aside from what you do in the back of course. Sounds like an easy way for restaurants to not need as many employees, as well as tips like the user before me had mentioned.


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Laur3nNewm4n

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When I go to a sit-down place to eat, I as well prefer the human interaction, instead of ordering via my phone. I would, however, use a restaurant app to make a reservation. Maybe instead of making your own app, you could get involved with websites like Groupon, Living Social, Foursquare, Twitter, SCVNGR, etc. and offer deals to patrons who interact with your business on those sites.
 

aaf709

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When I go to a sit-down place to eat, I as well prefer the human interaction, instead of ordering via my phone. I would, however, use a restaurant app to make a reservation. Maybe instead of making your own app, you could get involved with websites like Groupon, Living Social, Foursquare, Twitter, SCVNGR, etc. and offer deals to patrons who interact with your business on those sites.

Very true, although there was a restaurant in San Diego that did have a phone at your table and you called your order from there. There's a site in San Diego called TipCity is just for restaurants and will send specials to your phone (it's also available in the Market as an app).
 
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kodiak799

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Well, he could cut back on wait staff since it would just involve people bringing food to the table. But probably not since not everyone will use that service (and the smartphone market itself is still small, relatively speaking).

I think the problem comes in, potentially, where people screw up their own orders (and it's guaranteed to happen, probably more than we can imagine). That would be the deal breaker for me, as an owner.

However, as marketing gimmicks go, not bad. You'd get some free press about it in blogs since it would be a fairly novel idea. But how effective would such free press be at reaching your potential customers?

The money in this could actually be in developing the software, perfecting it and then patenting it. Then you can sell it to other restaurants but the real power would be carry out where people can scan the QR of their computer screen from the web menu. But I order and pay for pizza online all the time, so not sure how big a market there really is.
 

KZIWarrior

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There are already apps out there for the menus and reservations (OpenTable is one of the most prevalent) all you need to do is convince the owner to participate in it. Many of the small restaurants and almost all of the larger/chain restaurants here in Nashville use it (at the very least they support the reservations and link to their websites, but many have their menus available via the app). The idea about being able to 'share' the info with friends ect. is nice but there's plenty of apps/sites out there for that already (facebook, twitter ect.) as for the menu the quickest/easiest/cheapest thing is to have their own website. The QRC on the menu's would be convenient to get people to the site though.
 
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ty_

ty_

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You could have a menu with the QR Code next to each item and they can use their smartphone to order. If so, you could try to find someone to make an app that links the waiter's orders to the kitchen where each order is displayed on a screen.

Very clever.
but with so many kinds of variations to just one meal there wouldn't be enough QR Codes!

My my, lots of positive feedback and different approaches.

I never wanted people to ORDER through QR Codes cause then whole person-to-person interaction would be lost.
But I would be very interested if I heard a restaurant did have that capability!
 

nakhleh926

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the only downsides I can see to this would be like I said with some people possibly losing their jobs, not likely but possibly, due to not needing them anymore, and one I just thought of would be hackers, especially if you do the QR code thing, could somehow make everyone get the wrong orders if you're sending it straight to the kitchen, leaving unhappy customers, and if they decided to eat it anyway, potentially dead customers from allergies lol.

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dezymond

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Sounds like a good/fun idea, but I personally wouldn't go for it.

I don't go out to eat much and when I do I want to enjoy the experience. Yes I do tend to take out my phone (as do my friends), but the service wouldn't feel very "personal" (for lack of a better word right now =P). I'm not telling people how to do their job, but I believe it's a waiter/waitress job to enhance the dining experience with excellent customer service; attention to detail, checking up, small talk, etc.

If I were to use my phone to order it would feel like takeout and not actually going out out and have a nice sit down dinner. The waiter would just bring my food, possibly with just a "enjoy your meal" comment and leave. It's less personal for me.

Just my two cents.
 

mikecolorama

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how about QR codes that list items that are not on the regular menu, kind of like special's available only by scanning the codes
 

billyidle

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If the food isn't enough to attract customers, gimmicks won't (and never have). Having said that, if your boss is up to trying new tricks, go for it (or just work on the food:) ).
 
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