Is Mobile Ordering the Future?
Mobile ordering seems to be the way of the future. Starbucks is currently the global leader in terms of its usage of mobile ordering, and companies like McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts and some pizza chains like Domino’s are following closely in Starbucks’ steps. McDonald’s is currently working on a mobile ordering system, and according to Today.com, it plans to make this feature available at all locations by 2018.
Mobile ordering has several benefits. The most important is not having to wait in line. The idea of ordering via mobile phones is to help save the customer time. This way, the customer can walk in, pick up their order and walk out. Customers would also be able to take their time looking at the menu and ordering exactly what they want, without feeling the pressure of other people in line breathing down their neck.
The second benefit is the thought of not having to talk to anyone after a long day of work. Many commuters simply want to pick up their order and leave, without socializing. This saves time and energy when they need it most!
The idea of mobile ordering is brilliant. But with every idea, there are flaws. Considering Starbucks is the global leader in mobile ordering systems, let’s take a closer look at its situation.
As mentioned, no one wants to stand in line and wait, yet this is becoming one of the leading issues. There has become an overload of mobile orders, MO and baristas cannot keep up with the demand. According to Eater.com the result is a never-ending line, forcing customers to wait anyway.
The second issue is that customers must estimate how long it will take for their beverage to be made, which ultimately leads back to having to wait. If they arrive at the Starbucks too early, their order may not be ready. If they arrive too late, their drink may have been sitting on the counter for too long. Moreover, preparation times can vary pending on in-store foot traffic. If a shop has only one incoming order, it may take only a couple of minutes to prepare. However, if there are twenty people in store and another ten mobile orders, the wait will be much longer.
The solution to the first consequence can be very simple but costly. According to Eater.com, Starbucks CEO and President says that a tablet-based system will be implemented, allowing baristas to track incoming orders.
Furthermore, Starbucks should hire baristas to only deal with mobile orders. This would speed up the process and limit confusion when baristas are trying to separate orders placed in person and via mobile.
The solution to the second problem is also in the works as part of Starbucks’ plan to make its mobile ordering systems better. The solution will notify users when their orders are ready, to reduce wait times.
When done right, mobile ordering can be a valuable revenue booster for any restaurant. Before jumping in head first, just make sure that you learn from others’ mistakes.