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La Cage boosts customer satisfaction via mobile order-taking technology

With Motorola Solutions’ ET1 tablet, servers at the casual-dining restaurant company in the province of Quebec can submit orders tableside and remain nearby to add items to the bill or continue chatting with patrons.  With the number of customers served daily rising, the program shows how mobile can increase efficiency for a food and beverage company while enhancing the experience for customers.

“The implementation of the Motorola WLAN solution and ET1 tablets in our restaurants helped us increase the overall customer satisfaction, cut the waiting time for orders and increased staff efficiency,” said Mathieu Laliberté, director, Information & Technologies for La Cage in Boucherville, Quebec.

“The waitress has the ET1 tablet on her all the time. She walks through the tables she serves and when a client needs something, she takes the tablet out and proceeds with the order.

“The waitress doesn’t have to go back to a fixed POS and lose time ordering from there,” he said. “She’s more available to clients and by having the menu and add-ons on the tablet she can suggest more items to customers to help us up-sell.”

Mobile payments
Faced with higher labor costs, La Cage, which has 53 restaurants, reached out to Montreal-based POS Terminal 2000 Inc. to explore wireless strategies. The decision was reached to establish a mobile payments system enabled by Motorola’s ET1 tablet with a wireless local area network (WLAN).

The WLAN solution combined with the ET1 tablet resulted in an improved communications system between servers and back-of-the-house operations, allowing orders to be received instantly and food and drinks to be delivered faster.

The mobile ordering system also increased efficiency by providing an up-to-date menu and enabling servers to better engage with customers. Sales have increased as a result of serving more customers per day, improving table-turns and increasing the average bill by selling more food and drinks per table.

“We have noticed an improvement,” Mr. Laliberte said. “Servers are more available to customers during the meal so they can propose more items. They also can bring the bill more quickly. This solution has increased customer satisfaction.”

The system also has made the restaurant’s operation more efficient since it is now able to serve more customers with fewer servers on the floor. “This solution has helped us get faster table turns and also has increased the average check from customers by 10 percent,” Mr. Laliberte said.”

Mobile is a natural fit for food and beverage brands because the nature of the category lends itself to loyal, repeat customers and a frequent purchase pattern. Customers often eat on the go, and consequently rely on their mobile device to browse menus, read reviews, search for promotions and locate establishments.

Restaurant chains generally are experimenting heavily with mobile due to many customers using search, reviews and ordering from restaurants via smartphones.

The on-the-go nature of the business also has driven fast-casual chains to become available to customers via mobile. The tactics being embraced by this category include apps, responsive sites, virtual reality, QR codes and messaging to name a few.

Work in progress
The approach is evolving as restaurant brands learn more about their mobile customers and how to interact with them to create a fluid mobile conversation.

In the past, restaurants had to rely on coupons, direct mail and billboards to bring in more customers, to increase frequency of visits and to drive larger checks. In the mobile age, brands can leverage mobile marketing to bring about even better results.

“The Motorola ET1 tablet and WLAN solution is a great way to show that the restaurant is using modern technology,” Mr. Laliberte said. “We always get questions and good comments about the tablet.

“We can serve more customers resulting in faster table turns and a 10% average increase in customer checks,” he said.

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter with Mobile Commerce Daily, New York.