We live in a pretty futuristic world. We can use gadgets to buy anything, from anybody, any time, anywhere.
Thanks to e-commerce giants like Amazon and eBay, and supermarket delivery services like Ocado, we can now purchase almost everything we need without ever interacting with another human being.
So is the same going to happen in the hospitality industry? Will advances in mobile technology mean that soon there will be no waiters, no sommeliers, nobody to show you to your table and no-one to bring the bill?
Here at getWaiter!, we don’t think so.
Yes, we’re proud to have an app that uses the convenience of smartphones and tablets to drastically improve customer service in restaurants, bars, hotels and cafes. But we also strongly believe that technology can – and should – only go so far. That’s why getWaiter! hasn’t been designed to replace waiting staff. Instead, it helps them to do a great job by connecting them with their customers in a really simple but effective way.
So even though boffins can do very clever things with gadgets so customers can potentially book a table, order all the food, and pay the bill without dealing with a human, at getWaiter!, we think we will always need waiting staff. Here’s why:
Customers want a warm welcome
First impressions count, and your staff play a vital role. Diners want to know that you are genuinely happy that they have chosen your place, and they best way to do that is to tell them. With an enthusiastic welcome, a smile, and if they’re a regular, maybe even a handshake or hug if your that kind of flamboyant restaurateur.
Get rid of your staff, and all you’re left with is a sign saying ‘please choose a table and order your food’. Not quite the same, is it?
People aren’t predictable
Restaurants have to have menus, but they need to be flexible. There will always be customers who want something slightly different to what’s on offer, perhaps because they are allergic to the cheese in the sauce, or simply because they’d rather have poached, not fried eggs.
That’s why with getWaiter!, customers don’t order from a digital menu in the app. Staff still personally take their orders, because that way, customers can ask for exactly what they want. And when you give people what they want, they’ll probably come back for more.
Diners love personal recommendations
Customers are reassured when their waiter really knows what they are talking about. What exactly is in the seafood salad? How big is the lasagne? How spicy is the chilli? However detailed your digital menu, you’ll never cover off everything.
And it’s not just extra information customers need. They like to ask opinions too, whether it’s about which wine goes best with the lamb, what’s good here for pescetarians, or simply “which pudding do you like best?” If there’s no-one to ask, choosing from a complex menu can feel too much like guesswork, and can add stress to what is supposed to be a relaxing experience.
getWaiter! loves hospitality staff
Those are just three reasons why we designed getWaiter! in the way we did. We know how important waiting staff are, and we know how tough their role can sometimes be, so we wanted an app that made life better for them and their customers.
If you want to see how our free app can harness the power of technology while enhancing the personal touch that’s essential for great customer service, go to www.getwaiter.com/merchant