Operators say the new mobile platform is increasing check averages and speeding table turns as businesses continue to operate at 50% capacity restrictions.
“Restaurant guests still have concerns when it comes to in-seat dining, even if they are enjoying a meal outdoors,” said Lucky Thalas, SilverWare executive vice president. “To help build customer confidence and drive revenues for restaurant operations in today’s post-COVID environment, SilverWare developed a contactless platform that eliminates diners’ touch-point concerns. Our new In-Seat Contactless Platform is driven through the guest’s mobile device to minimize service staff interaction. By giving diners complete control over the ordering, re-ordering, tipping, and payment processes, wait times to place orders are lessening and satisfaction is increasing, leading to higher check averages, faster table turns, and more positive online reviews. With most restaurants still operating at 50 percent capacity, this is critical to their financial stability and the future of hospitality.”
SilverWare developed its In-Seat Contactless Platform from the perspective of a seated guest. Menu items and prices are seamlessly synced from the restaurant’s point-of-sale system to the diner’s mobile device, enabling them to view the full menu, select a course, name seats for diners, tag allergies, and even request expert service in real time. This is not an online ordering system converted for in-restaurant use, but rather a purpose-built platform for in-restaurant dining that frees up staff to focus on upselling and increasing guest spend … improving speed of service … boosting operational efficiencies … and curating an exceptional dining experience.
“Since June, several of our restaurant customers began using this platform as early adopters to assist with proofing the technology,” Thalas said. “The reviews are in, and operators say the solution is exceeding their expectations.”
Diners are Digging in at The Drake Hotel
“Our team at The Drake looked at how the In-Seat Contactless Platform worked, how its functionality met the needs of our staff and customers, and how easily it could be adapted to the various dining outlets we have at the hotel to suit our specific brand guidelines,” said Mighty. “We were immediately impressed. It’s a sleek application that looks great on a mobile device and feels smooth to anyone using it. When we tell diners that a contactless ordering option is available, most are eager to try it, especially those who are comfortable with mobile ordering.”
Here’s how it is working at The Drake Hotel: Diners use their mobile phones to scan a QR code displayed at the dining table to upload a digital replica of the restaurant menu, complete with detailed item descriptions and images. Those wanting to pay individually can upload and view the menu independently on their personal devices. When individual orders are placed, a server
will present each person with an order code (via digital print out or tablet computer) adding a layer of security. Throughout the meal, additional menu items can be ordered. At the conclusion of the meal, a server brings a sanitized payment terminal to the table enabling the host or individuals to insert a form of payment.
“As a property brimming with personality and buzzing with energy, we don’t want to fully eliminate server contact, while still prioritizing guest and staff safety,” Mighty said. “For that reason, we aren’t making the mobile payment functionality available ― yet. We want human interaction at the end of the meal to thank our customers for their business, and ensure that everything was to their satisfaction.”
“Overall, the app is really fantastic,” he said. “The experience is seamless. More importantly, the technology has eliminated menu printing. This is huge, especially since our restaurants change menus regularly. With the In-Seat Contactless Platform, management can easily go into the system, add or delete an item, change prices, and it’s done. It’s that easy. In addition to lowering costs, it’s also reducing our carbon footprint, making us a more sustainable company. Going forward, we anticipate that this application will help us increase our speed of service. This is important for busy nights when we still have limited staff on schedule. The more streamlined the service, the happier our guests will be. Overall, it’s a really good touch-free tool and we have already begun discussing how we plan to roll it out to the outer restaurants in our portfolio.”
Servers are Loving it at La Palma
“A lot of servers want to have full control over their tables, so when we told our team that we were doing a mobile technology trial for SilverWare, they were apprehensive,” said La Palma General Manager Alexis Kronwald-deBruyn. “Immediately, their anxiety was put to rest, as the app doesn’t fully replace server engagement, it simply enhances it by allowing diners to add menu items without waiting for their server to initiate the conversation. At La Palma, servers are an important part of the dining experience, and we don’t want that to ever go away. This new platform from SilverWare is designed to enhance the speed service while upping check averages.
“Even Pre-COVID-19, we had limited dining times to accommodate multiple seatings,” she said. “Today, with capacity limits looming, we especially can’t afford to let people linger. We must provide an exceptional contactless experience with server interaction on request and then flip the table for the next group. This new technology from SilverWare does just that; the more control diners have over what and how they order, the more money they spend. When diners are willing to place orders without server interaction, it allows us to lighten up on staffing which is super important when running at reduced capacity. Better yet, no one is impatient. No waits for a drink or a refill. It’s dining on demand and it’s exceeding our expectations.”
Kronwald-deBruyn said that while a younger demographic is drawn to the mobile dining experience, older patrons still prefer physical menus and personal service, and La Palma is pleased to accommodate their requests. Also like The Drake Hotel, La Palma hasn’t implemented the mobile payment functionality yet, but they plan to launch it soon as COVID restrictions subside.
“We believe the mobile payment process is going to be the most helpful feature of all so that diners can pay and go on their own terms,” she said. “We can’t thank the SilverWare team enough for inviting us to be part of their technology trial. It’s been incredibly helpful and it’s better preparing us for tomorrow.”
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