Amsterdam airport leverages order-ahead app to feed travelers on run
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is rolling out a mobile order-ahead application to let travelers in the airport or on planes with Wi-Fi order ahead while going through security, heading for gates or disembarking flights.
The QikServe-developed Waiter in your Pocket app is being rolled out at the main international airport of the Netherlands under a deal with caterer HMSHost International following a successful trial late last year. The rollout speaks to mobile’s role in accelerating customer expectations for convenience in the quick service restaurant industry.
“QikServe is delivering best in class integrated technology to drive consumer engagement in partnership with HMSHost,” said Daniel Rodgers, founder and COO of Quikserve, which is based in Roslin, England. “With the largest food and beverage footprint of any operator in this sector, HMSHost can access a huge smartphone user base and leverage the marketing power that comes with it to drive loyalty and engagement.
“This is hugely exciting for our business and we are looking forward to a successful partnership,” he said.
QikServe’s cloud-based platform initially uses a Web ecommerce model together with a smartphone application to let customers in self-order type restaurants order from the table through an app. The platform stores and processes orders, and routes them to the restaurant’s electronic point of sale system.
Daniel Rodgers at Amsterdam airport.
In partnership with HMSHost, Bethesda, MD, QikServe is extending its initial at-table service to include order-ahead functionality and ultimately a loyalty program. The QikServe app integrates with Oracle Hospitality’s point of sale system, meaning that orders appear on the till as if entered by a waiter.
First, the customer checks in on mobile to view an establishment’s menu which includes detailed descriptions and images of offered food and drinks. Then they order and pay through the app.
The order is then sent directly to the Oracle Hospitality Micros POS system where it is processed exactly as if a waiter had entered it manually.
Allowing on-the-go hungry or thirsty passengers to order ahead while changing flights will be a welcome convenience at airports such as Schiphol, which is ranked on Wikipedia as Europe’s fourth busiest as of 2013.
As smartphones and tablets proliferate, demand is expected to increase for self-ordering options and rewards programs on mobile devices, calling for technology that can meet consumers’ needs quickly and effectively.
More than one-third of consumers are more likely to access technology-related functions in restaurants than they were two years ago, according to recent research from the National Restaurant Association.
With the rise of functionalities such as mobile ordering, mobile payments and redeeming rewards on smartphones, restaurants are able to market more efficiently to consumers, especially millennials who use mobile devices most frequently.
The opportunities for the Waiter in your Pocket app to drive sales and loyalty could be huge, given that HMSHost caters to more than 100 airports and serves millions of customers world-wide.
Diners are increasingly ready to access technology-related functions.
“HMSHost International operate venues in airports and train stations around the world,” Mr. Rodgers said. “We are targeting dine-in venues where customers can order and pay at their table, and are looking at opportunities for order ahead for delivery or collection.”
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York