As increasing numbers of UK restaurants turn to new technology to streamline operations and maximise customer loyalty, the demands on kitchen automation and table management are growing to match.
QSR Automations® is a market leader in restaurant automation in the USA. Its ConnectSmart solution helps all a restaurant’s staff work together more efficiently by organising workloads, improving productivity, and delivering better, more effective service. Its popularity in the States is based on all these benefits plus the fact that, ultimately, it increases profits.
Call-Systems Technology (CST) is QSR’s strategic partner and distributor in the UK. CST knows the keys to success with British restaurateurs include providing comprehensive software and hardware options with high reliability, extreme flexibility and robust features that are designed to operate in an unforgiving, hectic restaurant environment.
At the heart of the ConnectSmart solution is the ConnectSmart Kitchen (CSK) graphical software, which helps chefs know which items to focus on and how to prepare those items. Using vivid, easy-to-understand graphical displays, CSK automatically assigns tasks in meal make-up to individual chef’s workstations, based on the prep times of each item on a particular order – so that all items for the order complete at the same time. Like thousands of operators in the USA, CSK users in the UK are experiencing faster kitchen preparation and delivery, enhanced food quality and reduced working stress.
CST now provides a variety of technologies, developed by QSR and tailored to the diverse requirements of the UK restaurant market. For example, in the fast-food sector the ePic Kitchen Display Software (ePic KDS) can help even the most complex sites to enhance order accuracy, reduce food waste and meet productivity goals.
The system offers advanced bin management capabilities as well as a variety of order routing and display options, with configurable sorting and load balancing functions – so the kitchen workload can be adjusted, depending on how busy individual members of staff are.
CST is currently working with leading fast-food operators to increase efficiency and speed using the ePic KDS package.
Busy commercial kitchens – whether fast food or casual dining – are no environment for standard computers, so CST provides QSR’s hardware, which is purpose built for restaurant kitchens. With hardware options that provide graphics and multi-media support, as well as a choice of operating systems, each of QSR’s kitchen controllers and keypads are grease resistant and can operate at high ambient temperatures.
The industrialised design of the hardware, coupled with CST’s installation expertise, ensures that display stations and touchscreens can be sited where they are needed most – even in the hottest, most unforgiving kitchens.
The ConnectSmart solution also provides operators with the ability to seamlessly link together the kitchen with the front of house, giving everyone in the restaurant the information they need to work efficiently.
In the reception area, the ConnectSmart Hostess software manages greeting and seating. The system gives customers accurate estimates of table wait times and seats them efficiently, minimising lost business from turn-aways and dealing with the issue of capacity management.
With Hostess, the status of each table updates on screens as every action occurs – displaying intuitive colour coding and icons for events such as ‘table seated’, ‘order rush status’ in the kitchen, and ‘bill received.’ Alerts can also be displayed on the screen, such as a ‘food-not-ordered’ warning.
To run the Hostess software, CST offers specially developed QSR hardware that is robust, attractive, extremely compact and easy to install and maintain.
Additional software modules include ConnectSmart Reservations, which ensures efficient advance booking while eliminating overbooking; ConnectSmart WebReserve, allowing customers to make their own reservations in advance on the web; and ConnectSmart WebAhead, which gives customers the ability to see the current wait time and put their name on the wait list from the web or by using the iPhone App.
To further grow customer satisfaction, restaurants can add ConnectSmart TeamAssist. This ensures consistent food presentation and quality by providing extensive recipe information at any kitchen station, in multiple languages.
It also eliminates the costly printing and shipping of menu cards or recipe books that can end up cluttering the kitchen. ConnectSmart QuoteBoss ensures restaurants can inform take-out customers in advance when their order will be ready to collect – extending service and turnover well beyond the restaurant walls.
With ConnectSmart GuestView, restaurants can tell customers where they are on the wait list while fast-food operators can let customers know when their order is ready to pick up at the counter. GuestView gives customers real-time information on large screens, which operators can also use for marketing and advertisements.
“QSR’s innovative technologies provide real benefits for UK restaurants of all types and sizes,” says CST director Ashley Sheppard. “It’s not just about the powerful features available with each of the software solutions:
ConnectSmart also gives the restaurant access to a rich amount of data. In addition to speed of service and production data, a casual dining operator can get a full view of the customer experience – from how long the customer waited to sit down, to how long it took to deliver each meal course, to how long it took to collect payment for the bill.
“This is critical information that ensures restaurateurs can focus on profitability and really get to know their customers, at the same time.”
For details freephone Call-Systems Technology on 0800 389 5642