How Airport Order Metrics Screens Alleviate COVID-19 Concerns
Even before the pandemic, airports could make people squeamish. Traveling in a plane, with or without social distancing measures, makes the spread of viruses and bacteria more prevalent. And then consider the airport, a building where travelers from locations across the world converge. All the ingredients are there! With our experiences this far into the COVID-19 pandemic, traveling will be even more fraught with concern. Fortunately, you, as an operator, can help alleviate these concerns through airport order metrics screens. Think of them as one less worry guests will have to pack around with them during an already stressful time.
What Are Airport Order Metrics Screens?
Airport metrics screens are what name implies — monitors that show how long a guest can expect to wait for food at your airport restaurant. For example, when you have a high volume of guests and several orders in your kitchen, your airport metrics screen might show, via average cook time (for example) longer wait time for orders. When you’ve comparatively less traffic, this number will decrease.
Airport Order Metrics Screens Answer Customer Questions
Airport metrics screens help guests, already short on time, make an informed decision with little to no effort. Though layover times vary, many guests will have less than an hour in the airport between flights. Within this time, they’ll need to find the next gate. In some cases, this might be their only opportunity to grab a quick meal.
Airport metrics screens help them decide if your restaurant is a logical choice for them, given their time constraints. By showing the real metrics, customers needn’t ask questions or even break their stride.
Note: Some operators might worry that by showcasing an accurate wait time, i.e., predicated on real-time kitchen data, they might be off-putting to guests, especially if they see a long one. Ultimately, diverting guests this way is far better than overpromising them on a timeline you can’t keep. Airport metrics screens remove the guesswork for your guests and you.
They’re Touchless and Contactless
Many operators have their minds focused on the restaurant surfaces they touch daily, especially those in public spaces. Airports present many opportunities to spread bacteria, and adding restaurants into the mix increases them exponentially.
Unlike a point-of-sale system or an order kiosk, customers don’t need to touch an airport order metrics screen; it conveys information one way. Think of them like the airport monitors that show departure and arrival times. To spin it in a more contemporary style: it’s a complete contactless experience.
Furthermore, by posting wait times outside, customers don’t need to come inside to ask. This transparency helps them limit contact and proximity during a time when that’s a constant concern.
They’re Real-Time and Accurate
A high-quality airport order metrics screen, one that integrates with your kitchen technology, provides valuable data. Moreover, it offers real-time kitchen data. Kitchen integrations make your restaurant smarter or more automated and responsive to an environment that continually changes.
When your kitchen display system (KDS) tracks every milestone in the dining journey, you generate scores of data that you can use to your advantage. With your metrics screen and KDS integrated, you’re always showing guests the most accurate data — it’s coming directly from the source! Many technologies will quote an arbitrary, pre-configured wait time that remains static. Operators run into problems with these systems when they experience a rush. Since the technology won’t account for the swell of activity, it doesn’t update it’s quoted time. Customers keep flowing in, overloading the kitchen, creating unmet promises, and upset guests.
They Protect your Staff
A global pandemic should have you considering more than your guests. Your team needs protection too! Turnover rates in the restaurant industry are already high, and the COVID-19 outbreak is accelerating the phenomenon. We’ve mentioned that the screens help potential customers maintain distance and contact. That distancing goes both ways as it minimizes any possible contact between your staff and inquiring guests. You might think of airport metrics screens as a sort of “strainer” that helps only the “right” traffic (i.e., those interested and those who have time till their next flight) find their way inside.
Though this is one way to minimize the spread of bacteria, remember that safety is a full-scale approach. We cannot cover it all in this article but consult restaurant-specific COVID-19 sources on keeping surfaces clean and preventing the spread of droplets between people in your restaurant.
They Provide Guests a Service — Even if You Don’t Serve Them
We’ve said it already, but it bears repeating: order metrics screens can discourage traffic. If a potential guest sees a long wait time and they know they’ve only got a few minutes to spare, they’ll likely make another choice. This dynamic might discourage operators too. Try to remember that when you’ve got a slammed kitchen, you want to manage that traffic. By presenting the information upfront, you prevent a nasty scenario down the line when you’re running their food out later than you promised.
Moreover, we’re in a time when people consider their environment and the people within it much more carefully. There’s no question that when governments mandate, dine-in traffic will slow and sometimes stop. You provide a service to customers by taking the guesswork out of their experience. You show that you respect their time, and want them to maximize their limited amount at the airport.
Airport Order Metrics Screens: COVID-19 and Beyond
You’ll find numerous quotes about time being our most valuable resource because it’s genuinely non-renewal. When it’s gone, it’s gone. These topics get heady, but we’re prone to agree. It might feel that our world has slowed a bit, but we know that won’t last forever. In a hurried world of instant connection and convenience, airport metrics screens make diner’s lives, especially those traveling, easier.
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About the Author
Mike Wright was our Channel Development Manager at QSR and worked with our reseller partners in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia & Australia. Graduating from Cardiff Metropolitan University with a degree in Recreation & Leisure Management, he had always worked in the hospitality industry before joining QSR. He loves craft beers (especially IPA’s) Liverpool FC, field hockey, and visiting theme parks around the world with his wife and three sons.