Today’s consumers are extremely hard to please. In our instant, technology-driven world, we have high expectations that our demands will be met with a minimum of delay. In fact, a retail survey has reported that if you keep customers waiting more than 10 minutes, 48% of them will assume your business is poorly run and the other 52% will vote with their feet and take their business elsewhere.
The food and beverage industry, in particular, is a victim of our impatience. How often have you walked into a quick service restaurant (QSR) and turned around and headed right back out when you’ve seen a long queue?
Encouragingly though, 87% of us are willing to use technology if it shortens our wait time. Which is why it’s vital for hospitality industry operators to embrace the latest technologies available to keep customers happy, stay ahead of the competition and boost their bottom line.
It’s well recognised that the F&B industry is well placed to capitalise on our tech-savvy population and take advantage of the benefits that technology can bring. They are well equipped to utilise cutting-edge solutions to expand their brand presence and marketing reach.
As QSR magazine put it: “Your customers and employees have already embraced digital in their personal lives. It’s time to make sure you can keep up with them.”
Modern restaurateurs realise they need to embrace technology in their increasingly competitive industry but are often not sure where to begin. This is particularly true of QSRs, who are constantly on a quest to become more efficient in their operations.
AI drives seamless operations
Food and beverage software solutions company TabSquare offers cutting-edge technology that deals with many of the challenges faced by the QSR industry. The Singapore-based startup, which has offices in Australia, Indonesia, and India offers a solution that extends POS and payment systems to provide a more engaging and satisfying dining experience to clients across Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.
Through its artificial intelligence (AI) engine, nicknamed Aiden, TabSquare helps drive restaurants’ profitability by creating seamless operations, saving labour costs, boosting average cover value and speeding up table turns.
Importantly, their solution is compatible with POS platforms. TabSquare works with existing payment systems to give F&B chains, bars, bistros, cafés, and full-service restaurants an edge in their highly competitive market.
Restaurateurs often mistakenly believe that a technology upgrade means ditching their existing POS system and replacing it with a costly new solution. With TabSquare, this is definitely not the case. Foodservice organisation Zingrill Holdings is an example of how a collaborative integration with TabSquare successfully extended its proprietary POS with a minimum of fuss.
Zingrill owns and manages renowned restaurant brands like Seoul Garden and BREEKS Café. After starting in 1983 with Seoul Garden – which was then a fine-dining Korean restaurant – the company and its brands have evolved successfully over time, partly through the mindful use of technology.
Zingrill recognised the benefits early of rolling out TabSquare’s solution in its venues, particularly in helping relieve the burden on often overwhelmed staff and making sure that ordering was a smooth, error-free experience for customers. However, it was important that the solution dovetailed seamlessly with their existing proprietary POS.
No surprise costs
The agreement between Zingrill and TabSquare established up front what the integration costs would be. Importantly, there were no additional costs involved in delivering custom integration. The implementation only required collaboration from the Zingrill team to ensure that TabSquare integrated smoothly with their POS.
There are three scenarios available for any custom integration, such as Zingrill’s. TabSquare contacts the POS vendor and collaborates on the best solution:
- If the vendor doesn’t have an API, they can choose to follow the clear standards provided by TabSquare.
- If they do have an API then TabSquare uses this.
- If the vendor has no API and there is a proprietary POS installation – such as for Zingril – then available XML files are used instead. TabSquare pulls the XML files and uploads them to the POS database.
Development is surprisingly short. In the Zingrill case study, it took only two weeks to get to full test stage. Timing does, of course, depend on what challenges present while the TabSquare team works on the implementation. For example, with Zingrill, additional development work was needed to ensure that customer names were passed to the POS.
The kind of hardware and software used on the POS can also present challenges. With Zingrill, the TabSquare team worked directly with the vendor to resolve compatibility issues and adjust the hardware and software as required.
Given their experience and history in the industry, TabSquare has encountered many common installation challenges and already have protocols in place for quick resolution. This includes ones for dealing with XML files, SOAP, RESTful Web API, JSON via TCP and JSON via web socket.
Increase in average check value
TabSquare pride themselves on working with any client that has proprietary POS to find the best solution and ensure seamless integration. They understand the need for any venues in the F&B industry to realise benefits as quickly as possible.
Zingrill Holdings Business Development Manager, John Lum, says: “TabSquare’s solutions are great for business. We’ve seen increases in our outlets’ check of an average 12%, whilst also being able to reduce labour hours.
“Most importantly though, they have a winning team of driven, passionate and highly competent people, who have met us every step of the way. They have taken a great product and geared it into an awesome solution for us.”