CETW12: Restaurant CEO gives inside look at iPad ordering solution

Nov. 8, 2012 | by Cherryh Butler

Customers dining at the newest Blazing Onion Burger Company opening next week in the state of Washington will be the first to test the restaurant's new iPad ordering kiosks. Chain CEO and owner David Jones shared his rollout plan during a panel discussion about self-service on day one of Customer Engagement Technology World in New York City.

Although the other locations of the five-store chain are equipped with standard ordering kiosks in their lobbies, the iPads will only be at the new location. Each table will have one mobile device that customers can use to order and then set aside when they are done with it. They can keep open their checks, adding cocktails and dessert whenever they want. Or, they may place their orders and pay immediately, Jones said.

Blazing Onion Burger Co. is dropping about $95,000 for the platform. That includes $40,000 for the POS system, $40,000 for the iPad system and another $15,000 for miscellaneous hardware and Internet service. It might sound expensive, but Jones, also a Subway franchisee, is counting on it paying for itself in less than 9 months. He believes giving consumers the freedom to order and pay whenever they want will add about $1 to every check.

"It's about not making them wait for that extra drink or dessert," he said. "They might decide it's not worth waiting for and you lose that sale, but now they can just add it to their order immediately instead of waiting for a server."

The system also is equipped with a server page button that the guest can press when he needs something like a drink refill or ketchup, Jones said.

"It's about giving them the best possible service," he said. "Yeah, it's called self-service but that's really far from what we are doing. We are giving them options so they can have whatever they want on their own time."

Read more about restaurant kiosks.

Cover photo: Blazing Onion

Topics: Customer Experience , Hardware , Interactive / Touchscreen , Restaurants

Companies: Customer Engagement World

Cherryh Butler / Cherryh Butler has been a reporter for nearly 10 years, writing on a variety of topics ranging from the restaurant industry to business and health and fitness news. Before joining FastCasual.com as editor, she oversaw KioskMarketplace.com and PizzaMarketplace.com and contributed to RetailCustomerExperience.com. She's also written for several daily newspapers, magazines and websites, including The Kansas City Star and American Fitness magazine.
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