We are constantly working on upgrading our Zoniz platform and we were very eager to test our new restaurant features live. So we have partnered up with District Of Toast (DOT) restaurant in our home city, Cluj-Napoca and released the updated Zoniz app as a pilot project. We have asked DOT customers to install the app and test the features as they were in the restaurant.
The new order flow
DOT’s customers could now open the app and see the entire menu on their phone. They could also order directly from their phone, thus avoiding waiting time and contact with the waiter. The challenge was to find a way to indicate where the customer was. We also wanted the menu to be available to view by anyone in the city, but only the people in the restaurant to be able to place orders. The solution we came up with was a dynamic QR code printed on a sticker that we placed on tables. People had to scan it as a necessary step in the order flow to select their table, but it could also be used for new customers who didn’t have the app installed to redirect them towards the store and download it.
Besides the app that customers use, Zoniz has an additional one for order management and reservations, used by the restaurant’s personnel. Because DOT was already using a different app for their POS systems, we have integrated Zoniz with it to make the transition easier. As the customer sends the order through the app, the items appear on separate tablets in the bar and the kitchen, according to predetermined tags. So now, the restaurant personnel received the orders first and then all they have to do is prepare it and deliver it to the table. The contact between the waiter and the customer is reduced, and so is the waiting time. The restaurant’s personnel also has access to a waiter app that allows them to easily add or remove items from stock, which immediately synchronizes with the menu the customers see.
Since we have first released this feature in a live environment, we have made some updates to it. These include: opening a screen with more details of a menu item, the possibility for the client to add preferences to their order or clearer messages for certain steps. We are continuously working on improving it by collecting data and feedback from the restaurant and its clients.
There were two main reasons why we have created a form for Reservations in our app. The first one, is to simply make the process faster. The guest can simply fill in some basic details and make a reservation without the hassle of calling. The restaurant receives the requests in their waiter app, where they can confirm or decline them, in which case they also have the possibility to specify a reason or make a recommendation. The second reason is the new introduced obligation for customers to make reservations when attending a restaurant, because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The waiters had the task of collecting the name and telephone number of each new customer, but the reservation feature in the app makes the process much more easier and hassle free.
The personnel can also utilize the waiter app to assign tables to reservations, organized them and manually add reservations made by other means so they can see them all in one place.
In order to offer more value to users, together with DOT we have also created additional content in the app. Firstly, each customer that downloaded the app could use a voucher for a free coffee. This instantly offered a real tangible value and was a great incentive for people to take the time to install Zoniz. We have also created a loyalty campaign. For each coffee they bought, customers could scan a QR code provided by the restaurant to fill in a stamp in the app. For every four stamps collected, they would receive a voucher for a free coffee.
We also used the app to help DOT with brand awareness by featuring a fun video that represents them. And finally, because we want Zoniz to be more than an app for restaurants, we have introduced events from the city, which can be conveniently viewed in a calendar.
While we started this project in August 2020, District Of Toast only had the terrace open with 34 seats available. During the first month of testing, over 2000 guests have downloaded the app and opened the menu, 250 made Reservations and 200 vouchers were collected.
DOT’s staff got used to the new system in a couple of days and their work was significantly made easier.
After this month of testing we are ready to start onboarding other restaurants into this project and extend our app’s features.
The new restaurant features are available on Zoniz platform and they can be integrated within other accounts. Municipalities, shopping malls or hotels can create space for restaurants to promote themselves.