With a seamless ordering process, venues can fully focus on managing a potentially large number of customers ordering their food and drinks from multiple locations.
Given the recent huge technological shift when it comes to delivery, takeaway and dine-in, hospitality venues are under increasing pressure to meet higher customer expectations alongside demand for greater levels of convenience and choice. By investing in innovative POS technology, a business can effectively respond to these demands whilst taking advantage of unique and flexible solutions that can allow it to flourish in an increasingly challenging operating environment.
David Pearce, Technical Director, Star Micronics EMEA talks about the printing technology available for order and pay apps and web-based ordering systems for hospitality.
How are hospitality venues enabling customer ordering?
Many venues are using a separate app from the POS which is sometimes quicker to get up and running than adding required new features to the existing POS system. Some are using kiosks or BYOD as entry systems and for food ordering.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a web site versus an app for customer ordering?
This will differ for each venue depending on the customer base, budget and required features. We’ve seen customers adapting an existing e-commerce site or setting up a new web site for food ordering which allows them to get online quickly initially. Alternatively, a native app can offer a wider range of features, encourage repeat business and has the advantage of being able to use locally connected printers over USB or Bluetooth. Progressive Web Apps enable a hybrid approach with a single development suitable for any operating system supporting web browsing in HTML5. Web apps now support the use of device hardware for QR scanning for example, but printing customer orders and receipts has sometimes proved challenging in the past. Star has produced several services and protocols allowing POS or kiosk vendors to print directly from a web-based app to a local, network or cloud-based printer.
What type of printing technologies have been required with the growth of online ordering and order at table software?
With the increased use of apps and web-based software, printing an order directly to a kitchen or bar printer saves time and increases order accuracy. Our support team has been helping software developers and web design companies with standard drivers and SDKs for printing from POS systems, Android and iOS tablets as well as technology to enable web-based printing without having to worry about browser settings such as margins and headers across different platforms.
We’ve seen strong demand for cloud technologies which are able to pull orders directly from an online ordering system at defined intervals and print these remotely in a kitchen or bar without requiring an additional tablet or device to key in the order. Auto-printing simplifies operations and staff do not have to worry about anything other than receiving the orders. The technology extends across thermal printers and dot matrix kitchen printers for paper tickets as well as food labels. In fact, Star’s unique CloudPRNT™ label printers allow the user to connect the printer to centrally held allergy labelling software and online databases of product ingredients for printers in multiple locations to directly print label updates as required.
Which additional printer features can make a real difference when using online ordering or order and pay apps?
Technologies which effectively ‘tether’ tablets to the network enable tablets and mobile devices to remain online without having to connect via WiFi, removing the possibility of missing orders.
The fact that some of the printers can also act as a hub with a connected barcode reader to directly inform the server that an order is ready without any manual keying is useful. This means the chef can receive a remote order, prepare it, and simply scan the receipt back to the server to alert the in-restaurant staff, delivery company or purchaser that the order is ready for transit. We’ve also seen an increase in the use of bump bars attached to the printer to accept/reject orders to the cloud service.
For further information visit: www.Star-EMEA.com