Various elements go into delivering exception service at fast-food chain restaurants and drive-thrus. Aside from speed and food quality, order accuracy is the next critical element in ensuring the success of a restaurant business.
This is even more important when taking orders over the phone or online. It’s a bigger challenge in fast-food chains, as customers are not only expecting speedy service but accurate orders when collecting their items.
According to the New York Times, 70% of fast-food chain sales come from drive-thrus. So how do you improve the order processing in your restaurant to generate higher revenue?
In this article, we’ll provide a list of tips and tricks on how to improve order accuracy in a restaurant, specifically in fast-food chains.
1. Active Listening
Active listening is a skill that is often taken for granted and can be difficult to master at a fast-food chain restaurant. With distractions from environmental noise and the bustling kitchen staff, it can be difficult for front of the house staff and cashiers to actively listen to customer orders.
Train your staff to listen to the entire order before keying it into the system. This allows your staff to completely understand what the customer wants and place the order correctly, increasing fast-food order accuracy.
2. Double Checking
It can sometimes be difficult to accurately place a large order, especially when the customer wants substitutes or asks multiple questions during an order. Make sure your staff asks questions if they are unclear about anything the customer orders. If the order doesn’t sound right or they’re not sure if they heard correctly, train them to ask the customers to clarify.
It’s also important to train your staff to read the order back to the customer and have them confirm it’s accurate. If there are orders placed online or over the phone, train your staff to get in touch with the customer if something is unclear about the order.
3. Attention to Detail
It’s easy to mix up orders during peak periods or if your fast-food restaurant has more than one drive-thru lane. Staff taking orders should also note descriptions of cars they’re placing the orders for. This is especially effective during peak hours and when there are large orders coming through the drive-thru.
This provides notes for the kitchen to know which order to make first, and staff handing orders out to know which car should receive what food order. With a seamless system of identifying cars and corresponding orders, staff will be able to decrease order inaccuracies and provide speedy service, regardless of the number of orders.
4. User-Friendly POS
An effective POS system should be able to provide smooth communication between your cashiers and kitchen staff. A POS system that is outdated or isn’t user-friendly can cause more problems and confusion with orders.
Ensuring your fast-food chain is equipped with a top-of-the-line POS system and Kitchen Delivery System can help streamline the process and maintain good communication between your staff. It can also improve overall efficiency and ultimately reduce order inaccuracies.
5. Hardware That Works
Defective speakers and headphones will not only cause frustration for your staff, but for your customers as well. Difficulty hearing each other and having to scream orders over the speaker is not a great experience for either party. An effective, working drive-thru ordering system is key to ensuring order accuracy and minimizing the risk of miscommunication.
Make sure the hardware in your fast-food chain is consistently maintained and kept up to date. If budget allows, invest in newer hardware that will last longer and provide a better overall experience to your customer. Being able to clearly communicate with each other will help ensure the order is placed and delivered correctly.
6. Use of Mobile Apps and Online Ordering
Technology is constantly changing the way people order and dine out. Mobile apps and online ordering may be the most important technology, as it allows customers to clearly browse the menu and place orders without getting on the phone. Customers placing orders directly through a mobile app is also more accurate than if they were to place it over the speaker or phone.
With orders coming in through a mobile app or online, your kitchen will be able to better prepare food in advance before the customer arrives to collect it. This eliminates the need to wait in line and the rush to prepare the food, which will also lead to the delivery of accurate orders.
7. Consider Self-Service Kiosks
Self-service kiosks are becoming increasingly popular in the restaurant industry, alongside mobile apps and online ordering. Customers are able to place orders by themselves, and then pay at the end of their visit. This doesn’t just eliminate wait times but also ensures the customers are ordering exactly what they want, decreasing the possibility of keying in the wrong order.
These kiosks also allow fast-food chains to focus more on food preparations and other aspects of customer service. Your kitchen staff will be able to read the orders correctly on the screen and prepare them the way the customers want.
8. Train and Reward
While POS systems, mobile app, and online platforms can take accurate orders, these technologies are only useful if your staff knows how to use them. Staffing and training are critical to the success of a fast-food chain. Ensure you provide thorough training for your staff to understand how to use these systems effectively.
Provide rewards and incentives for staff who complete the training and perform well with these technologies. A team that’s dedicated and knowledgeable will understand how important it is to provide speedy service alongside accurate orders to your customers.
Improve Your Restaurant’s Bottom Line with Order Accuracy
There are many ways you can improve order accuracy in your fast-food chain restaurant. It’s helpful to first identify areas that require improvement and work your way toward providing the ultimate customer experience.
It’s important for customers to feel welcome and appreciated when visiting your restaurant. Having staff members that are detail-oriented, thoroughly trained, and use hardware that works can all contribute to an overall great customer experience.
Get in touch with us and find out how our linebuster can help you bust long drive-thru lines and speed up your service.