For many service based businesses, technology can improve access to customers and the customer experience. For both fast food and quick service restaurants, technology like Uber Eats, Seamless, and others can help a great deal in expanding the earnings for franchise owners. What is more convenient than ordering a meal with a couple clicks on a smartphone. For people averse to small talk, waiting in line, and interactions with the everyday person, this is essential.
The convenience and benefits of technology has its downsides as well. For instance, the satisfaction the customer receives for using the service only is positive if the order is delivered timely and correct. Personal experience shows that Uber Eats can be somewhat hit or miss with accuracy with simple orders to everyday restaurants. In fairness, the issue may be the provider or the delivery person. The customer will never truly know. But, people always hold the entity with the deeper pockets more accountable.
Another aspect is more operational, considering service to both online and in-person orders. In the span of a couple days, I had the opportunity to see two different restaurants, one a national chain and the other a regional one, struggle with the same problem. For both, the service line processed orders for both channels, which created a backlog of in-person customers waiting to be acknowledged let alone served. After every order, the cashier had to politely apologize for the delay, hoping to reduce the likelihood the customer would choose not to come back.
Many business are quick to pursuit new revenue stream before vetting and implementing the needed operational changes to accommodate changes. For order accuracy, the implementation of an order check at pickup by either provider or delivery person could reduce order errors. In service, restaurants may want to consider separating lines during rush periods to improve the in-store experience. Simple changes that could reduce occurrences of negative customer reactions.