How a 15-Location Restaurant Generated $900,000 in Takeout Revenue in less than 45 Days
A Case Study in Takeout Order Management, Processing and Guest Service
The client herein is a 15-store restaurant operator with locations throughout the Southern California region, and for confidentiality purposes will remain anonymous as “the restaurant” throughout this study.
The Problem: Underserved Takeout Business Opportunity
In previous years, the restaurant’s takeout business was under served – especially during seasonal periods when the need overwhelmed the restaurant staff and management. The problem essentially broke down as follows:
- The restaurant experienced an abundance of phone calls which could not be handled properly causing too many guests to be placed on long hold times or not get through at all to place takeout orders.
- The restaurant did not have effective online and mobile ordering technology in place and was unable to capture additional off-premise orders.
- During key holiday seasons, the various 15 restaurant locations experienced dramatic order volume spikes with guests wanting to place orders days in advance. The client did not have systems in place to attempt to manage these advanced orders, having them ready when guests wanted to pick them up, securing pre-payments and properly managing inventory and preparations. The client was overwhelmed with the massive undertaking and resulted in numerous issues and lost opportunities for the restaurant.
- The restaurant experienced congested lobby areas with takeout and pickup traffic comingled with dine-in traffic – creating a less than optimal guest experience.
These issues were negatively impacting various areas of the restaurant, and was stifling growth efforts planned for the company. With the phone call issues as well as the lack of effective online and mobile technology, and with the staff struggling with effectively handling their high volume of walk-in traffic, the restaurant operationally struggled with remaining focused on their standard dine-in guests during dining hours while also supporting their seasonal clientele, resulting in a lot of untapped revenue left on the table from their takeout business. Additionally, the guest experience was suffering as a result as well.
The dilemma: how to properly serve call-in, online and mobile takeout orders at the same congenial level throughout all operational hours as the dine-in guests without sacrificing or cannibalizing from the well-established in-store service and order level?
RRT Engaged to Handle Takeout, Maximize Revenues & Enhance the Guest Experience
To solve this problem, the restaurant sought third party help that could shore up the operational inefficiencies and issues the restaurant experienced regularly. A key opportunity was to find the right partner who could work closely with the restaurant to develop much more effective solutions to support their dramatic increase in volume during peak holiday seasons. The conclusion of the search led to partnering with Restaurant Revolution Technologies (RRT) and their “Beyond Takeout” solutions in particular the virtual call center, online and mobile ordering technologies all powered by their patent-pending order management software. The decision to partner with RRT was based on the fact that there would be one vendor to assist with all three areas of takeout ordering potential (phone, online and mobile) – which was part of the unique selling proposition versus the competition which were only equipped to handle 1 or 2 services at most. The implementation was executed during the fall of 2016 leading up to the holiday season – a period of dramatic increase of takeout activity for the restaurant.
In addition to implementing virtual call center, online and mobile ordering services, RRT also instituted a variety of innovations and customizations anticipating a large surge of seasonal business including:
- A customized online and mobile ordering portal for their guests to place orders in advance.
- A customized staff ordering portal for in house ordering allowing the staff a much more effective system in handling the large increase in walk-in traffic.
- Integration with a new payment provider to authorize payments in advance for guest orders at the time the order is placed compared to the typical process of not receiving the payments until the order is actually picked up.
- Implementation of product mix reporting for advance orders that provides the future quantity of menu items ordered through the RRT system to assist clients with planning and inventory management.
- Store Management with access to RRT’s proprietary Order Management technology allowing them to check the status on current and future orders at any time.
- Implementation of a sourced credit card swipe reader that integrates into RRT’s proprietary software
- Additional POS and CRM integration related to date and time controls to accommodate specific minute selections, custom POS item categories, and non-taxable item features.
- Ability to send email confirmations to guests at the time of their advanced order as well as an additional reminder email one day prior to the guests’ scheduled pickup time.
- Implementation of an updated reporting services platform to produce real-time reporting as well as created a customized customer order report, in addition to other standard product-mix reports.
- Integration with Fishbowl and Google Analytics for additional reporting, trending and monitoring.
Results – Over 22,000 Takeout Orders and $900,000 in Takeout Revenue in less than 45 Days
As a result, the restaurant realized a significant increase in their holiday takeout and catering business. From November 15, 2016 through December 31, 2016 over 22,000 orders were placed via online, mobile, phone call and staff ordering portals leading to nearly $900,000 in seasonal takeout revenues, and most of these orders came during very short periods of time before the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Prior to partnering with RRT, this client struggled trying to handle and manage all of this volume. The specific solution increases breakdown as followed:
Orders via Mobile: 1,033 orders
Orders via Online: 9,004 orders
Orders via Phone: 4,347 orders
Orders via Staff Ordering Portal: 7,713 orders
Notes & Quotes
In addition to the above data, the restaurant experienced a major improvement to their guest experience. Phone wait times were dramatically lower, and the ability to order from a staff ordering portal created more organization with dine-in guests and takeout guests in the waiting areas.
The custom features, in particular the staff ordering portal, greatly enhanced the overall services and results. These customizations are planned to be moved into RRT’s standard off-premise offerings to support catering, seasonal and other high volume activity for other RRT clients.
“I would like to thank all of RRT for the help and support you have given our team during this initial launching of the Virtual Call Center portion of this project. RRT’s entire team has been amazing, and we feel very fortunate to be working with their organization.” – An Executive of the restaurant client.