In my opinion, yes.
End of Post.
On a more serious note, just a few days ago, I was sitting in a restaurant at a table with a friend and she took (stopwatch in hand, almost) 4 and a half minutes to make up her mind about what she wanted to order. While she was humming and hawing, the waiter was standing their hanging around at the table trying to make some suggestions.
Let’s do some quick math:
A waiter’s salary stood at 1,500€ net in France in 2012.
That works out to a monthly cost for the employer of 1,500 x 1.91 = 2865 €.
That waiter works 23 days per month on average. His total cost for the restaurant per day stands at 2,865€ / 23 = 125€.
He works 7 hours per day (legal limit) and so he has an hourly wage of 125 / 7 = 18€.
If we’re optimistic, we might come to the conclusion that not everybody acts like the friend I was having lunch with. If we therefore presume that the waiter in question only meets one single client that takes up his time like my friend we have the following:
He loses 4min30 every day standing there waiting for an indecisive client to make a decision.
That waiter works 23 days in a given month.
He will therefore lose 4min30 x 23 = 103.5 min in total, which means:
1h 43m per month waiting for indecisive people to choose what they want from the menu.
That makes a total cost for the restaurant of 31.5€/month.
Take that figure and multiply it by the number of waiters in the restaurant. Then multiply it by the number of daily occurrences of indecision of clients. Add on the saved time not collecting the payment. Add on the gas being saved taking the luncheon vouchers and the checks to the bank.
Why not offer clients the possibility of downloading the mobile application of the restaurant. This will enable in particular:
– Visualizing the menu as well as the dishes.
– Ordering directly from the application.
– Making payment via the application.
– Also pre-ordering the menu, booking a table and for the system to inform the restaurateur of the arrival of the client within a 500-meter (1,650 feet) parameter thanks to a system of geolocalization (that’s my friend’s idea).
Beyond all substantial gains on a financial level, the advantages for the restaurateur are many:
– It will give a modern image to the brand name.
– It will enable the restaurant to communicate with its clients and to send them the latest menu, tell them what’s new and to detail promotional offers; thus creating customer loyalty.
– It will make booking turn-over more fluid.
– It will enable the use of the social network interface of users to notify their own contacts regarding their location at the restaurant.
The main limit that I could point out of such an application might well be the lack of contact between the waiter and the client. Another friend who is a restaurateur reassured me: the dishes don’t get to the table on their own two legs, and asking the client if they “are having a nice meal” still means everything to the client. 🙂