Food is serious business. Now, on The Main Course, host Barbara Castiglia will invite insiders on the front lines of food to share their expertise, strategies, and forecasts for navigating the ever-changing restaurant industry.

 

Off-premise dining was a small segment of table service restaurant. Then it became a lifeline during the pandemic. The Main Course is diving into the rise in takeout and curbside and how data plays a role. Host Barbara Castiglia discussed the topic with Brian Wayne, VP of Customer Success at QSR Automations.

QSR Automations offers an integrated software platform that delivers data-driven automation and serves the entire guest journey. In his role, Wayne leads all areas of customer interaction post-sell, including onboarding, implementation, support, and account management.

Working with restaurants for over two decades, the company has a good view of the industry and its challenges. The pandemic, however, disrupted it significantly. “The biggest pivot was to curbside. After lockdown, it was the rush to launch and forced people to focus on off-premise in the kitchen,” Wayne said.

He described that priorities in the kitchen changed with this shift. “Pre-pandemic, it was quality and speed. Those are still important, but more important is accuracy, communication, and data.”

The data restaurants collect supports the off-premise guest experience, with real-time tracking and accurate quoting of how long the order will take to reduce wait time.

Another “new” problem with off-premise is the rising demand. He talked about Mother’s Day of 2020, when restaurants were just reopening. “By our data, orders were four to five times greater than the year before,” Wayne added.

With dine-in, there’s a built-in limit. Off-premise is almost limitless, but data can help. This trend will continue to be important, as Wayne believes takeout will continue to be a big chunk of business. Wayne noted that data points for restaurants to watch include seat of service, reaction time, coordination time, window time, and more. With powerful metrics, restaurants have opportunities to refine, become more efficient, and delight diners.

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