Restaurants are increasingly adopting Mobile Food Ordering solutions like QR Code Ordering and Mobile Apps to grow their business and streamline their ordering workflow. A mobile food ordering solution helps customers discover the restaurant, review the menu and quickly checkout without waiting in a line. It also enables the restaurant to process more orders at lower cost.
This however brings a key challenge - The restaurant kitchen can quickly get overwhelmed with high order volumes and its important to match the growing demand without straining existing resources or adding friction to the customer experience.
This is where an Order Throttling solution becomes imperative. An Order Throttling solution helps curtail orders during peak times and helps the kitchen run smoothly.
An effective Order Throttling solution needs to allow the restaurant pre-configure their capacity during different times of the day or week and automatically set a limit on the number of orders that can be processed based on available capacity.
XPR’s Order Throttling Feature
XPR’s Mobile Food Ordering solution has one of the most advanced Order Throttling feature. It offers fine control over planning the capacity and a seamless customer experience.
The first setup to setup order throttling is to define the kitchen capacity. XPR allows the following two strategies to define their capacity -
Total Preparation Per Interval In this method, the restaurant manager first sets up the preparation time for all items in the menu. Once this is done, they can configure the total preparation time for a particular time interval. For example if the capacity is defined as 60 minutes total preparation time for a 15 minute time slot, the application will cap the total preparation time to 60 minutes for the 15 minute interval - once the limit is reached, it will not accept any new orders for that time period.
Total Item Count Per Interval In this method, the restaurant manager can configure the total number of items they can accept for a particular time interval. For example of the capacity is defined as 120 items for a 30 minute period, the application will cap the total item count of all orders to 120 for the 30 minute interval.
Which strategy to use will depending on the type of business and menu. If a restaurant menu has a large variation in preparation time of its items, its best to control the capacity based on total preparation time. If the restaurant offers mostly pre-made items that need to be only packed for delivery or pickup, there won’t be much variation in the preparation time and its best to use the total item count strategy.
Define Capacity by Time of the Day/Week A restaurant’s capacity is never the same throughout the day/week. They may be better staffed in the evenings than mornings or may employ more staff in the kitchen in weekends compared to weekdays.
XPR allows the restaurant to define different capacity based on the day of the week or time of the day. This allows for a totally fine grained control over the capacity.
A restaurant manager needs to first create a delivery or pickup time slot - they have total flexibility in setting up a time slot. Below are a few examples -
- Weekday Morning - 8.00 AM to 2 PM
- Monday, Wednesday, Friday - 4.00 PM to 7 PM
- Weekends - All Day
- Thanksgiving & Christmas - All Day
Once the time slots are set up, they can define a unique capacity for each time slot. For example, “For our Weekends - All Day slot, we can handle 60 minutes prep time for every 15 minute interval”
While implementing order throttling, its important to provide a seamless customer experience - they need a realistic idea of when their order will be serviced right before submitting an order.
XPR’s mobile app allows the customer to see the available slots before submitting the order. After the customer builds their order, right before the payment screen, they can see if their order will be immediately serviced or if not, what is the next available time slot. This avoids disappointment and delays later.
Reports & Analytics
XPR offers reports that help the restaurant analyze the total orders processed for each time slot. That combined with the Kitchen efficiency data provide great insights into how to best optimize the capacity without affecting the kitchen operations.