This year, as restaurants have grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic, brands have faced numerous challenges. Early on, most restaurant leaders wondered how they would be able to stay in business while state and local mandates required them to close their dining rooms to the public. While some chains found success with drive thru and curbside pickup service, these channels weren’t as feasible for some brands whose point of differentiation was customization.
Take fast-casual ninja-themed sushi and satay restaurant Sus Hi Eatstation, for example. Each of the brand’s nine Florida-based restaurants operated service lines, which allowed guests to see their orders being made and to customize their meals. Teresa Ly, co-founder and COO, says early on, Sus Hi Eatstation didn’t know how it would adapt its model for the new COVID world.
That’s when the Sus Hi Eatstation team turned to GRUBBRR, a company known for its high-tech self-ordering kiosks, for help. Rather than developing a cumbersome order process that might limit customers’ ability to customize offerings, Sus Hi Eatstation installed GRUBBRR kiosks at each location for a seamless, no-contact ordering experience. Not only did this help keep guests and employees safe by limiting contact, but Teresa Ly says the customizable display helped guests order while offering a satisfying brand experience.
“It made it easier for a customer to come in, order exactly what they want, see the picture of what they’re ordering, and to really be able to appreciate our beautiful food,” she says.
Additionally, kiosks sped up ordering so that guests could quickly customize their meals and pay while their food was being made to help reduce wait times in the front-of-house. Meanwhile, Robert Ly, co-founder and CEO of Sus Hi Eatstation, says GRUBBRR kiosks also helped the brand’s back-of-house run more efficiently.
“The kitchen display system allows us to see when orders come in and how long it takes us to process the order,” he says. “GRUBBRR is not just a kiosk. It comes with a full back-end, great support, and great reporting, which runs through your phone, on your computer, or on your iPad.”
Best of all, GRUBBRR’s integration with store loyalty programs and smart upselling technology helped Sus Hi Eatstation increase ticket sizes by 40–50 percent, as well as helped increase the efficiency of day-to-day operations Robert Ly says.
While this astronomical growth was a boon for Sus Hi Eatstation, the brand is not alone in seeing such large returns on investment from GRUBBRR. In fact, GRUBBRR has increased revenue by an average of 50 percent with all its restaurant partners, says GRUBBRR founder Bhavin Asher.
“GRUBBRR technologies increase revenue generated by driving up the average ticket size through smart upselling technology and efficient automation,” Asher says. “Our products also reduce expenses by streamlining operations and eliminating the need for unskilled labor so more hands can be focused on back-of-house tasks. Our technology also improves the customer experience, so customers will be more likely to keep coming back and keep spending money. Moreover, using ordering technologies allows easy integrations with loyalty and points-rewards systems that will keep customers engaged.
From these increases, Sus Hi Eatstation has not only survived the pandemic; it has also thrived.
“We’re very fortunate and blessed to be able to continue expanding during such a tough time when a lot of places I know are suffering,” Teresa Ly says. “I think a lot of that has to do with the help of GRUBBRR.”
Though the pandemic led Sus Hi Eatstation to change its operations in unpredictable ways, GRUBBRR’s results have proven the effectiveness of the kiosk concept even for a post-COVID world.
“We’re confident that the use of kiosks and other self-ordering technologies will continue to grow,” Asher says. “Even after the vaccine gets released to the general public, we anticipate plenty of residual fears and concerns amongst restaurant-goers that will drive them to continue looking for safe, socially distanced, and contactless ways to engage with restaurants. Moreover, we believe that the COVID-19 pandemic merely expedited the use of automation in the restaurant industry and that customers will continue to desire a more efficient and more convenient restaurant experience.”
To learn more about how smart kiosk technology can help your brand grow, visit the GRUBBRR website.
By Peggy Carouthers