Restaurants today cook delicious food, provide warm service, and do whatever they can to provide a great customer experience, just like restaurants have always done. But over the past decade, restaurant technology has dramatically changed how restaurant workers and owners get it all done.
Gone are the days of the notepad, the frazzled scribbling of orders, and the frantically searching for chits on the line.
Almost everything in restaurant operations has evolved dramatically in the past 15-20 years, from bookkeeping to ordering to managing vendors to reserving tables.
Here’s how various restaurant technologies have changed the game for restaurant businesses of all sizes.
Anyone who’s ever worked in a restaurant knows that it’s the type of work where there’s always something (or 10 things) to do. When the phone rings, it’s usually just added to the ever-growing mental to-do list of everyone on the floor. Especially during peak times, they can’t just drop the tray of drinks, stop talking to a customer mid-sentence, or run from the pass to the phone to see who’s calling.
That means the phone is ringing, and ringing, and ringing, until either a staff member is finally free to pick up, or the person on the phone gives up.
And when a person calls a restaurant, they’re signaling huge interest in partaking in whatever your business has to offer. But if they hang up because no one can come to the phone, you’ve lost their business and they’ve gone to a competitor. An ever-ringing phone means repeatedly missing revenue.
A restaurant call center software, also known as a virtual phone answering service, can help.
Here’s five ways that a telephone answering service for restaurants can help you capture all the business that comes your way over the phone.
When the phone rings, an AI virtual telephone answering service will answer right away. It can provide human answers to all questions the restaurant programs it to understand, which will take care of most calls that come in without needing a staff member’s attention.
AI answering services are also ready to talk even if the restaurant is closed and a call comes in. That means no more missing out on potential business just because you’re closed when a customer happens to call.
The number-one reason why people call restaurants is because they’re looking to make reservations or confirm availability. Even when a restaurant has an online reservation system, some customers will always call anyway. Luckily, an AI phone call answering service that’s linked to a restaurant reservation platform can book reservations — all without needing a staff member to pick up the phone.
You can even program your restaurant phone answering service to take orders by connecting it to your online ordering platform. This way, customers are automatically directed to order online during off hours or busy times.
When a potential customer calls a restaurant, they’re often trying to confirm if what they saw online is correct. Is the restaurant actually open on Mondays? Which location has the special I saw on Instagram?
You can program your virtual answering service to answer all these questions, and to share helpful information that can even lead to upsells, like ordering the special instead of a typical go-to.
When a call does require the attention of a staff member, your restaurant phone answering service can identify its own limitations and route the call to the right staff member. For example, if a customer calls to ask about event catering availability, the service will route the call to the GM right away, or provide an email where they can request more information.
PLNT burger implemented Slang.ai to save employees valuable time spent answering the phone and handling simple customer questions. In the first month, Slang.ai handled 245 calls and saved the team 20 hours across PLNT Burger’s three trial locations — a not-insignificant labor cost savings when busy, high-volume restaurants often need to assign a staff member to be mostly in charge of the phone.
With Slang.ai, your restaurant can answer every call as if it was you answering it. No more hang-ups, no more endless ringing. Slang.ai ensures the calls are answered in a friendly and helpful manner each and every time, while providing service that gives the caller the exact information they’re looking for.
Want to learn more about how Slang.ai can help your restaurant business save hours a week? Get a demo today.