On the list of problems a quick serve restaurant might have, there are quite a few that can fall into the “Not a Bad Thing to Have to Deal With” category. Is your place so popular and crowded during the lunch and dinner rush that the line to the door is discouraging others from coming in? That’s not a bad thing to have to deal with. But it’s still a problem demanding a solution. If you don’t rectify the issue, the result is the same as having a line to the door because you’ve employed nothing but feral chickens: people will stop coming back. True, when people stop coming back to your cafe, the overcrowded queue will sort itself out. But no successful business plan ever revolved around discouraging repeat business. So what do you do? Cash-only lines help, if anyone even carries cash anymore. Taking orders by phone helps, if anyone under the age of 40 even made a phone call anymore. If only there were a way for people to peruse your menu on their own time, carefully choose their order, pay, and then pick it up without hassle.
Enter Mobi2Go, the mobile service that opens up new avenues of revenue for the eatery that thought they couldn’t handle any more customers. If you look at their website, they’ll tell you that their brand of online ordering is the perfect tool to attract Millennials–that hip and on-the-go generation made up of digital natives who feel most comfortable using technology for every little thing life throws at them. And that’s a good a plan, for sure: for a group of people often described as feeling entitled to instant gratification, they’ve also got some really great qualities that make them ideal customers. For one, this generation is waiting longer than previous ones to settle down and get with the whole baby-making program. You as a business owner probably read that and think to yourself, “Ooooh, disposable income,” and you’d be right. But I, as a curmudgeon-in-training read that and think, “Thank you, Millennials, for sparing me from having to deal with your obnoxious babies,” and I think this service to humanity ought to be rewarded. One way to do that is to make it easier for them to order take-out whenever and wherever they may happen to be. It’s the little things that go a long way. They are also said to be more civic- and community-minded than the hopelessly self-centered Generation X (of which I am a member, though I can’t really confirm whether we’re that self-centered as I’m not really interested in other people and their dumb stories). Market research bears this out, as Millennials are more likely to consider the ripple effects of how they spend money, favoring small and local over large and decentralized shopping experiences. Unless we’re talking about online shopping, then all bets are off. Which is why it’s important for modern businesses of any type to have a well-designed and functional e-commerce component. Finally, there’s the Millennial relationship with social media to think about. Leaving aside the sociological inquiries into the long term effects of broadcasting our lives to our circles of friends and families, it’s enough to realize that social media isn’t going anywhere. Its pervasiveness, especially among the under-30 crowd, is a powerful tool that a small business owner would be downright negligent not to employ. And with Mobi2Go’s ability to seamlessly integrate with your Facebook business page, every time someone shares their food order or checks in at your place, you’re getting a free ad in hundreds of Facebook newsfeeds.
But, beyond all this, I’m going to suggest to you that Mobi2Go will do more than fill hungry Millennial mouths with your delicious food. I think there’s another group that will flock to use this service: the Baby Boomer generation. Unlike the senior citizens that were around during the internet’s commercial nascency and couldn’t quite grasp that their email addresses didn’t start with “WWW,” Boomers are fairly tech savvy. They were young enough 20 years ago to willingly adopt new methods of communication, but old enough to bring with them a little more skepticism to the concept of submitting delicate credit card info to the world’s largest network. For a long time, small businesses that couldn’t afford to set up an online shopping experience at their own website had the option of using another service to handle it for them on a different website. But this is too nerve-wracking for a Boomer: if they click on the “Order Now” button from their favorite pizza place’s landing page and that takes them to a completely different site with a completely different look to take their order, the mission is likely aborted. It’s too fishy looking, even if the operation is on the up and up. With Mobi2Go’s ability to integrate directly into a restaurant’s website, the consistent URL–as well as the unchanging look and feel of the site as a whole–is reassuring to users. Besides, you’ve probably invested some amount of money into a branding of your business, why not get as much play out of it as possible?
It’s not just users who benefit from a seamless experience. Business owners, too, have far fewer moving parts to manage with Mobi2Go, when compared to using a third party website. Though they can add online ordering to their websites (desktop and mobile), and plug-in to their Facebook presence, and add Mobi2Go to a customer mobile app if they choose, integration with their POS still gives them a single point of administration. With real-time synchronization between the two cloud services, there’s still only one menu and pricelist to maintain: any changes to the menu on the point of sale get pushed out to Mobi2Go, which in turn makes sure all the different ordering venues are up to date. Orders placed by customers are sent directly to the POS, which–if you’re using something advanced and hospitality focused like Kounta–handles the order flow as it would if the customer were standing in your shop and telling your staff what she wanted. Order a burger and fries from a mobile device, and it prints out in your kitchen. All your sales revenue gets recorded in your POS and syncs to your accounting software if you’ve got that set up. Customer information is recorded, and rewards profiles are updated, if you’ve got that set up. The net result ends up being something more than just picking up the slack your physical store couldn’t handle and keeping things moving: it’s increased revenue and profits. Because you’re not just moving your takeout business from the phone to the computer. You are creating new channels to generate revenue. And whether your customers tend to be Baby Boomers, Gen X-ers, or a Millennials, you’ll be able to serve them all in a way that works for all of you.