Monday, SpeedLine project lead Mike Watson published a great article on the blog about menu design and improving order efficiency. In this popular article series last summer, Mike outlined ways to make sure your menu is speeding up service, and not holding your employees back. In this, part 2, Mike covers four more tips for optimizing your menu to improve speed of service.
So you’ve reworked your menu panels to make them more intuitive and easier to use. Now let’s look at four more considerations that can slow down order takers—and what to do about them:
Fixing mistakes and handling changes. So the order’s in, but you forgot to add mushrooms. Or you entered Qty 2 when they only wanted one. How easy is it for staff to edit an order—both in real time and five minutes later when the customer calls back with a change?
Which employees are set up with the right permissions to handle edits? Do you trust your employees enough to let them make item edits? That’s a whole other blog post. Suffice it to say, make sure that employees know where the Edit button is, and how to use it correctly.
Use Coupon IDs. It’s a whole lot easier to easier to type in a number than it is to scan a panel full of coupon groups to find an elusive coupons. Another option is to print bar codes on your coupons and use a bar code scanner. Either option helps speed up coupon entry and reduces entry error. So not only will you handle more orders in less time, but you’ll have better information for evaluating the performance of your coupons and marketing campaigns.
Create a specialized panel. Do you have a very popular lunch menu? Some stores benefit from creating an optimized lunch panel with just their lunch menu items and beverages, for example. This way, staff can take the whole order on one convenient screen instead of having to skip to multiple panels.
In fact, this idea spurred a feature request I am going to submit to the SpeedLine development team for consideration: panel activation by time of day or Daypart. Basically, you could have panels appear when they are needed and disappear when they are not (i.e., a lunch panel that would only be visible between 11am -2pm). If we were to add this capability, would you use it?
Quick Tender. Notice that everyone comes in with cash? Create a quick tender button on your panel and close their ticket without having to go to Full Review! Some stores add a Quick Tender button to a specialized panel—for lightning fast order entry and cashout of slice or lunch sales. Caption the button “Pay Now” to make it dead easy for new staff.
This is not the end-all-be-all reference for menu optimization, but it’s a starting point. For those of you who have had SpeedLine for years, what have you done to make your menu easy to use? What suggestions would you give to the rookie owner just starting out with SpeedLine?