Thank God It’s… the Future?
Following a growing trend among chain restaurants, TGI Friday’s recently announced its plan to incorporate tablet-based ordering systems at select locations across the country. This exciting decision was made after a successful, smaller-scale test drive with tablets in Minnesota and Texas-based TGI Friday’s locations. The company will purchase more than 2,000 Dell Venue 8 Windows tablets to distribute nationwide, with the intention of enhancing customer engagement by reducing wait time and increasing convenience.
During TGI Friday’s initial pilot test of tablets in the restaurant, the casual dining chain saw an increase in both the average per-person order and tips—attributed largely to higher sales of premium alcohol. The company also saw decreases in staff turnover.
Tablet usage in restaurants has exploded in the last year, cropping up in casual sit-down chains like Applebee’s and Chili’s to fast food favorites like McDonald’s and Hardee’s. One major difference, however, is that Friday’s tablets are server-operated only, rather than tabletop. Tripp Sessions, TGI Friday’s vice president and CIO, explained, “This strategy allows guests to continue to interact with our outstanding servers, which we believe is all part of the Friday’s experience.”
Whether tabletop or server-operated, tablets have the added advantage of security in an increasingly vulnerable environment. The device uses Oracle’s MICROS Restaurant Enterprise Solution (RES) 5.4. With tablets, credit and debit cards never have to leave the customer’s sight, providing added safety as well as peace of mind.
With this new tablet system following the restaurant’s famous mistletoe drone campaign from December 2014, there’s no telling what new, futuristic solutions Friday’s will introduce next.
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