Discover our Click & Collect Solutions
Beyond Technology: The Necessity of BOPIS in Today’s Retail Environment10 December 2020
To survive in today’s challenging retail environment, businesses need to get creative. BOPIS, or buy online pick up in-store, offers are no longer a differentiator in the retail space; they are a necessity.
How are retailers making their BOPIS services stand out as more and more in the industry turn to this option to stay ahead? Craig Bloomfield, Global Development Director of Pickup Solutions for Acrelec, provided his insights.
At this stage of the game, Bloomfield said it’s more about how a retailer offers click and collect, not should a retailer offer click & collect.
“It’s become a huge part of everyday consumer lifestyles. People crave the convenience that collecting from a store brings,” Bloomfield said. “It’s now about how easy you make it for customers and how simple it is for them to use.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic causing many retailers to shift how they operate, click and collect is one way the industry continues to offer value to consumers when many cannot go shopping inside the store.
“The retailers that, day in and day out, provide us with our food and our essentials have really had to up their game,” Bloomfield said. “What we’ve seen is the growth in online demand has manifested itself in huge proportions. The adoption has gone through the roof.”
Even after the pandemic subsides, a new quantity of digital customers will exist.
“People who perhaps didn’t know about online ordering and collecting in store, didn’t see the convenience or hadn’t had the chance to utilize it; we’ve created a lot of new customers,” Bloomfield said.
A huge concern for retailers is not rolling out a proper BOPIS service.
“A poor experience is equally important, if not more so than a good experience,” Bloomfield said. “Customers have so much choice of who they shop with, how they shop and where they shop, that, if retailers are not living up to this high standard of expectations that consumers set nowadays, consumers can vote with their feet and go somewhere else.”
Beyond Technology: Relationship Building the Nordic & Baltic Way9 December 2020
No matter the location or region a business is located, a partnership is the cornerstone of success. Markku Nopanen, Managing Director for Acrelec Nordics & Baltics, understands the importance of forging long-lasting relationships.
Nopanen provided his unique perspective on partnership in bringing technology solutions to the Nordics and Baltics.
One essential mission for Nopanen is to ensure the same level of products and service clients come to expect from Acrelec carry forward into the solutions provided to the Scandinavian and Baltic regions.
“In this area, it is really important for our customers and us that we build a good relationship with each other, so we trust each other and help each other to succeed,” Nopanen said.
Nopanen said the secret to building these trusted relationships is Acrelec’s strong belief in customer service.
“A different service provider may only do what is in the contract, but, when Acrelec engineers go on-site, we always make sure there is not something that’s going to get broken within the next three days that they’ll have to call us again,” Nopanen said. “The service level is such that the customer can rely that their operation will remain up and running for a long time when they have us as a service partner.”
And relationships are not a one-way street. Nopanen said that building strong relationships provide benefits for Acrelec too.
“Customers can give us good insights that we can use for research and development for new products,” Nopanen said.
Introducing the QTIMER 2.0 with EnGage8 December 2020
Acrelec is committed to constantly innovating the drive-thru experience and its operation, and we’re proud to introduce QTimer 2.0 with EnGage. This solution is ready to bring your operation unmatched, organization-wide benefits and to elevate the way you serve customers.
The Benefits of QTimer 2.0 with EnGage
QTimer 2.0 brings new efficiencies to drive-thru operations, reducing drive-thru averages by 30 seconds through the display of real-time drive-thru information. With QTimer 2.0’s Dashboard, staff members are empowered to deliver a better customer experience via real-time identification of bottlenecks, which can then be addressed with additional resources to promote efficiency and streamlined operations.
The Dashboard is also ready to be customized to your operation’s specific needs, including your company’s branding, specific KPIs, lane configurations, various sensor inputs and more.
Gamification Elevates Performance with EnGage
QTimer 2.0 also features EnGage, a gamification platform making it simpler than ever for managers to challenge their crews. The interface allows managers to turn operational goals and metrics into fun challenges for their crews, encouraging more positive interactions and healthy competition.
Gamification is a proven way to boost employee motivation, provide a sense of control and satisfaction, and inject fun into every aspect of a team member’s work – boosting productivity. Combined with real-time feedback, objective performance indicators and more, you can leverage gamification to elevate every aspect of your drive-thru operation.
Through operations-based challenges, competitors can earn badges, points for achievements and more. Gamification makes 90% of employees more successful, and the hyper-specific challenges QTimer allows for ensure your most critical slowdowns are addressed. Best of all, it’s all controlled via the QTimer 2.0 mobile app.
Managers are able to set custom challenges with specific goals, track the success of each restaurant through goal setting, and monitor crew performance at a high level. EnGage encourages faster service speed as user’s work to reach their goals through this game-like platform. It also encourages faster and more detail-oriented work as users try to earn badges.
See How You Stack Up with QTimer 2.0
In addition to these crew-centric challenges, QTimer 2.0 allows managers to see where their restaurant ranks via benchmarks that allow for comparison against both previous performances from the restaurant and against others in the competition over set amounts of time.
QTimer 2.0 is ready to elevate your operation and bring unprecedented efficiencies. To learn more, visit www.acrelec.com/qtimer.
Beyond Technology: Next-Gen Timer Making Drive-Thrus More Efficient4 December 2020
For many, drive-thrus are an essential way to get a meal outside of their home due to the pandemic. Making drive-thrus more efficient is on the mind of many in the QSR industry, and Acrelec is no exception.
Andrew Nosal, Innovation Product Manager at Acrelec, brought Beyond Technology’s host, Tyler Kern, up to speed with Acrelec’s QTimer 2.0, poised to shorten drive-thru line times and increase revenues for QSRs.
“QTimer 2.0 is Acrelec’s next-generation drive-thru timer,” Nosal said. “We use proven sensor technology in the drive-thru to track vehicles as they go through the journey in the drive-thru. Then, we display that information in real-time for the crews in the restaurant for them to make informed decisions. That way, they can improve their speed of service and work toward other operational goals.”
Reducing service time isn’t just about increasing customer satisfaction by delivering on the quick-service promise; it increases revenue.
“There was a study done by one of our largest QSR partners,” Nosal said. “They found that, for every 10-second reduction in service time, it equals about a little over 3% increase in vehicle count, and that gets us over 4% increase in profits.”
But can a 30-second wait reduction truly make a difference for customers?
“It’s a perception of the brand. It’s a perception of the experience,” Nosal said. “That reduction in time, whether they realize it or not, ultimately improves the customer experience in the drive-thru. So, it’s a very big deal.”
The Greatest QSR Brands trust Acrelec QTimer® to monitor Drive Thru performance18 November 2020
For over a decade, Acrelec QTimer® solutions have been measuring crew performance and tracking service times in the Drive-Thru. Today, we are proud to support 5 out of the 10 fastest QSR Drive-Thrus with our QTimer® solution. Every day, our systems track an average of 4.5 million vehicles.
QTimer® helps operators take control of their drive-thru by boosting productivity, increasing sales, and most of all, improving the customer journey. QTimer® focuses solely on your brand-specific monitored metrics to keep important data top of mind. For every 10 second reduction in average service time, you can expect to see a 3.3% increase in vehicle count, equating to a 4.4% increase in sales.
QTimer® shaves 30 seconds off of the average Drive-Thru order time by monitoring the Drive Lane UI to quickly identify bottlenecks and allocate resources where they are needed in order to serve more efficiently.
Per a recent Drive-Thru study, 84% of customers indicated that Speed of Service was most important to them when ordering in the Drive Thru. When time is of the essence, can you afford to wait?
Learn more about QTimer®: acrelec.com/qtimer
For the full drive thru study, visit: QSR Magazine
Beyond Technology: The Role of Table Service for Restaurants During Reopening1 October 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a crisis for restaurants, but, as they begin to reopen, there are some interesting lessons being learned.
In places like the United Kingdom, restaurants are only being allowed to open with table service to prevent crowding at a bar or counter for orders as may have occurred in the past.
That’s produced some surprising knock-on effects, said Chloé Bisiaux, Head of Drive-Thru Products and Product Manager for Table Service for Acrelec.
“Customer satisfaction increased, because they’re just sitting down at the table and relaxing rather than queuing. It also helps increase revenue, because your team and operators preparing the food are more focused, and it helps optimize the time they’re preparing the orders,” Bisiaux said. “It also helps decrease the number of errors on the orders, because not having the customers in front of you getting frustrated makes you work faster and in a better environment.”
Table service methods can be achieved by something as old school as putting a number on a table or as high-tech as a Bluetooth system showing where each customer is located and how long it’s been since they put in an order. Acrelec has solutions no matter which direction restaurant owners are looking to go.
“We are coming up with a brand-new solution, Table Service V. 2, which is a brand-new version of that technology,” she said. “We’re estimating 20 seconds as the gain in time and about 5% as the overall revenue increase.”
Learn more about Table Service: acrelec.com/table-service
Drive ID Revolutionizes Personalization in the Drive Thru11 August 2020
The customer expects and deserves a seamless experience every time they interact with a business, especially when it comes to dining. QSR brands make a commitment to their customers to get them in and out and satisfied quickly, and personalization helps predict their order while suggesting additional products to build average check. But how can you personalize without knowing who is entering the drive thru? Introducing Drive ID from Acrelec.
Drive ID redefines personalization in the drive thru by bridging the gap between your customers and your brand with the power of Bluetooth technology. The moment your guest approaches the drive thru, they’re met with a welcome message and a prompt to begin browsing the menu, creating a flowing, seamless experience catered to each individual.
Keep reading to explore how Drive ID can increase mobile adoption within your customer base, grow the amount of guests who return, and inform customers about new products.
Personalization At Play
Drive ID enables loyalty in the drive thru without slowing down operations. This technology supports an unlimited number of interactions such as offer redemption, payment, and more. Drive ID is the fastest and most accurate customer identification method which allows for greater personalization to drive revenue.
Implementing Drive ID allows for personalization in the drive thru, without use of individual customer data, balances customer convenience with trust. It has the potential to increase speed of service while driving brand loyalty at the same time.
Saving Time & Money
The product consists of only one box with one connection (POE cable), rendering it compact and cost effective. There is no down time for installation and minimal crew training required.
Compact, powerful and incredibly accurate, all while hidden within the speaker post, Drive ID controls it all. From recalling orders, redeeming offers, earning rewards, and processing payment, in as little as one second.
Seamless loyalty integration and constant contact with crew ensure every visit is accurate and impactful. Drive ID streamlines the ordering process and speeds up service time in the drive thru, gaining up to 20 seconds per car.
Drive ID feels natural and puts the customer in control. Drive ID creates meaningful interactions and accelerates your drive through by offering a technology solution that simplifies the customer journey and loyalty, without slowing down operations.
Acrelec offers consulting services from our long-time industry experts and provides data driven performance analysis to help you make an educated decision.
Discovering the Possibilities of Table Service and How It Elevates the Dining Experience5 August 2020
Table service is an innovative and powerful way to optimize the kiosk environment and create a profitable ecosystem for foodservice and quick-service restaurant (QSR) operations.
But what exactly is table service, and what are some best practices for putting it to work for your operation? Let’s take a look.
What Is Table Service?
Chances are, you’ve already seen table service in action.
Essentially, table service refers to providing diners with the ability to order from a kiosk or with a crew member at the counter, then sit down and be served directly at their table. This streamlines the overall experience and provides elevated convenience for customers.
These self-ordering kiosks can be leveraged in other areas of QSR operations to provide flexibility in placing to-go orders and more. Together, kiosks and table service solutions bring a wide range of benefits to the overall foodservice operation.
The Benefits of Adding Table Service to QSR Operations
When restaurants choose to leverage table service, the benefits are immediate and noticeable. They include:
- Customer Satisfaction
Table service eliminates the need for standing in line at pickup areas and shortens perceived wait times. Further, it’s more family and group-friendly, cutting back on the need to wander around restaurants with loaded trays.
- Speed of Operation
Table service engineers a better working environment for crews by eliminating the stress associated with crowds at pickup areas and other interruptions, improving overall well-being. Particularly when kiosks are installed, counter crowding is reduced, enhancing both the customer and staff experience.
- Boosted Revenue
With queueing a thing of the past, operations can leverage higher guest counts, providing both higher revenue and a more relaxed experience. Customers are also likely to be more loyal, further boosting the bottom line, and productivity increases will follow the sense of well-being among crew members.
- Ease of Installation
Industry-leading table service and kiosk solutions require minimal installation that’s quick and efficient, taking only a few hours to be put in place. Crew training is minimal, helping restaurants get up and running with table service faster, and maintenance is simplified to promote ease of use and uptime.
The benefits are clear. Compared to operations with no technology, table service solutions averaged 20 seconds gained on service time. They also provide a six-month return on investment and exhibit a bump in overall revenue of more than 5%.
Table Service’s Role in the Future of Foodservice
Acrelec’s Table Service V1 has been deployed in over 40 countries, and it’s time for that success to become even more scalable.
Acrelec’s innovative Table Service V2 will offer premium service through wireless Bluetooth Low Energy capabilities, providing an even more seamless experience. Diners will receive a flag when an order is placed that scans for BLE signals from nearby beacons, which are placed under strategically chosen tables.
Geolocation service shows the positions of all active flags, allowing crew members to serve guests a frictionless experience.
Table Service V2 is available for indoor or outdoor use, can accommodate intricate restaurant layouts, and allows for customization of the flags given to customers, providing unmatched flexibility to back its robust technological capabilities.
Available in three different options, there’s a TSS solution that’s ideal for your unique operation – and they’re all built to last with easy installation, robust construction and IPX4-rated materials, and battery life of four to five years.
To learn more about how Acrelec is innovating ways to help you elevate the dining experience – and your overall operation – click here.
Click & Collect: a quick guide16 April 2020
Safety is our highest priority26 March 2020