Here’s a worst-case scenario that no one wants to experience: It’s a busy day, and a rushed waiter makes a mistake by giving a customer the wrong dish. To make matters worse, that customer then suffers an allergic reaction from the dish they accidentally received.
It might sound farfetched, but with waiters being stretched thin and food allergies common, mistakes like this are bound to happen—even if the odds are low.
Luckily, the Allergen WaitRpad® from NCCO can help waiters get the right food to the right customer and avoid costly mistakes. Here are a few of the benefits WaitRpad order pads provide to foodservice operations.
When it comes to avoiding mistakes, WaitRpads provide multiple benefits
Look at the upper portion of a WaitRpad, and you’ll notice several features for reducing mistakes. One feature includes a table diagram depicting round, square, oval and rectangular tables. Around each table, you’ll find several numbers called “pivot points.”
You’ll also notice a “Ⓢ” icon below each table diagram. This “Ⓢ” icon help servers remember which guest is which when the server orients themselves toward the table in the same way that the icon appears on the WaitRpad.
Beyond the pivot points, the allergen preparation alert chart provides another resource waiters can use to minimise mistakes. The allergen chart lists 14 different types of allergens, which act as a visual reminder for waiters to ask about and note a customer’s allergen concerns. Using the shorthand form of the allergen type listed in the chart, a waiter can quickly note allergen concerns for each specific guest.
When used correctly, these features reduce mistakes and improve the speed, efficiency and quality of service. So, how do pivot points, allergen alerts and seating charts work together in practice? Let’s find out.
How pivot points, allergen alerts & seating charts benefit waiters
Imagine a group of four guests entering your establishment. They choose a four-top table that your restaurant numbers as “table eight.”
Before the guests even order, your waiter will write “1, 2, 3” and “4” on their Allergen WaitRpad. They will also record the table number (table eight) and the number of guests in another chart below the pivot points. The server will also record their initials in case the back-of-house staff needs to clarify any order details.
Using the four-top seating chart, the waiter will approach the table and position themselves in a way that mirrors the “Ⓢ” icon on their WaitRpad. From there, the waiter will record each guest’s order going clockwise, starting with the person on their left. This will be guest number “1.”
After taking the orders of guests one through four, the waiter enters each item and allergen note for each customer into the POS. From there, the waiter submits the order in the POS, which prints the food items and corresponding seat numbers out on a ticket in the kitchen.
When the food is ready, the waiter will refer to the WaitRpad used to record the order. Using the seating chart, the waiter knows exactly where to go with each dish—no need to clarify with customers.
And since the ticket printed off in the kitchen also has the seat numbers from the WaitRpad, anyone else running food will know which meal goes to which seat. In the end, using a seating chart leads to less disruptive service, happier guests and fewer instances of allergic reactions.
The key benefits of WaitRpad seating diagrams & allergen charts
At this point, you can probably imagine some of the many benefits that waiters and businesses experience when they use pivot points, allergen charts and seating charts on the WaitRpad. But just in case, we summarized the key benefits below.
- There is no need to interrupt guests’ conversations when serving food. WaitRpad seating charts help waiters avoid what’s known as the “food auction,” where waiters constantly ask guests, “Who had the (insert food item in question)?”
- Guests feel extra special and taken care of when their food comes to them without any need for clarification.
- Waiters reduce the chance of giving the wrong dish to the wrong guest. That means fewer meals need to be remade, saving your restaurant money.
- Waiters are less likely to serve guests allergens that could make them sick. Imagine a gluten-intolerant guest mistakenly being served a burger with a bun that contains wheat. That could spell trouble for the restaurant and the guest.
- Waiters can serve meals more quickly and efficiently, saving time and mental energy—a significant benefit when teams are short-staffed and busy.
- Sorting out who ordered what becomes much easier when it comes time for guests to pay (or split) the bill.
Of course, there are other benefits of having seating and allergen charts built into your WaitRpad. For more information on how the WaitRpad can assist your organisation, please fill out our Contact Us form.