Foodtech serves the food court to make it easier to take orders

Combining food stands and events, food courts have become the epicenter of a new wave of technology that is revolutionizing order taking and tracking. Decryption.

A very fashionable concept in the United States and Asia at the turn of the 70s and 80s, food courts are the concentration of gastronomy and entertainment in the same space. Concerts, entertainment and cooking workshops line the bustle of this gourmet hall. Undeniable success: in 2022 there are more than fifty food courts in France (source: Xerfi) especially opening a few weeks ago the largest in Europe in Gaîté Montparnasse (over 3500m2).

One of the keys to success? A lively place that allows you to eat and have fun. One of the creators of food courts in France, the Food Society present in Lyon, understands this well: this hall represents a real residence open 7 days a week where exhibitions, tastings or DJ sets are the highlight.

To strengthen the customer experience, many such spaces have embarked on a more digital shift that combines an intuitive ordering experience for customers and better management of order volume.

Lots of orders and simplifications

One of the many advantages of food courts is the possibility for customers to choose in one place the type of food they are looking for (Japanese, Indian, Italian, etc.) without compromising on restaurant choices. A challenge for food courts that have to adapt to this new perspective. Tools like Obypay or Dood allow them to be equipped with an online ordering solution via QR codes and deploy orders from a single table in the appropriate booth. It’s free for friends at the same table, for example, to order what they want: they can view and order different dishes from different food stands at the table and pay for them from one basket, without moving!

Another advantage of marketplace solutions, such as Dood: photos and descriptions of dishes are automatically synced with the restaurateur’s payment software. An advantage for customers and restaurant owners: the former need not make unnecessary trips and cause confusion around the booth and lower experience, and the latter only need to modify their menu in their restaurant’s software library so that it is reflected in real time on the menu customer digital. No need to queue to order drinks at one stand and desserts at another!

For the “where and when to pick up my order” question, digital marketplaces are also the solution: by integrating cashier software, customers are informed in real time via SMS or email when their order is ready. In short, simplified order management that reduces the stress of online payments!

In addition, the market has the advantage of offering turnkey solutions to independent restaurateurs who do not have the time or resources to work on their visibility: on-site layout, menu display, technology management related to online ordering or marketing actions to customers.

Today, classic food courts must adapt to this new trend of online consumption by equipping themselves with technological tools to manage the delivery of these production tickets while centralizing orders on the same platform. With the integration of these technological tools into cash register software, restaurant booths automatically accept new orders and can notify customers via automated notifications when they are ready for collection.

Digital tools to streamline orders

Alone, we go faster; together, we go further. The adage applies well to the new food court format (fee collection, support by venue management during the booth operating period, lower investment costs than the physical space by itself) the role of the business facilitator which is a foodtech tool.

With so many ordering channels (delivery, over the counter, online), restaurateurs can quickly lose control. With a marketplace like Dood, all orders picked up, to be picked up or for delivery are dispatched and centralized in the restaurateur’s checkout software: a significant time saving on sending production tickets to the kitchen.

This focus does not stop at orders: restaurateurs have a 360-degree view of the performance of various sales channels: number of orders per hour, turnover, average ticket, etc.

To optimize the administrative management of restaurant owners, cash register software such as Lightspeed even provides a connected terminal: there is no need to make double entries, avoiding errors and therefore lost revenue is avoided.

Limiting your order slots becomes child’s play

Mobile order taking at the counter has the advantage of streamlining the number of orders during a given time slot. Thus, restaurant owners can choose a time slot or maximum number of orders per hour. In a context of far from unstoppable staff shortages, this feature relieves restaurateurs from unreasonably high order volumes.

If ingredients are not available, restaurateurs can withdraw or temporarily pause unsold dishes from the digital menu, again thanks to the integration of online ordering tools added to the menu displayed in the cash register software.

Catering players such as food courts that integrate mobile ordering and table payment solutions will do well, at a time when more than 70% of customers support QR codes. Consumption trends are also trending toward frequenting hybrid venues, where tasting, entertainment and culture come together. Suffice it to say that food courts have a place available to them in the market.

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