Updated: Jul 21, 2022
This past weekend, I got “Toast”ed at Equilibrium Brewery, but it's not what you think. Toast POS is a cloud-based software that restaurants use to help manage their business. My experience at Equilibrium made me think it was a good time to talk about how times and technology are changing the restaurant industry, and when embraced and done correctly, can benefit everyone.
As the hospitality industry struggles to come back from the pandemic, the biggest challenge for many business owners is finding sufficient help. As an instructor of hospitality at the Culinary Institute of America, although I understand the need in different cases to replace human interactions with technology, that doesn’t mean I necessarily like the idea. Well, at least not until my recent visit to Equilibrium Brewery where I experienced a seamless drinking and dining experience that integrated friendly service with the ability for me to get what I wanted, when I wanted it.
Yes, since I had this experience at a brewery, I couldn’t help making a play on words, but what made this dining experience so enjoyable was that they have integrated a Toast POS (Point of Sale) system into their dining room service model.
Here is how Toast Mobile Order and Pay allowed Equilibrium to run their dining room with less staff while at the same time including all the traditional touchpoints of hospitality.
As we walked into the brewery, we immediately greeted by a friendly staff member who first asked if we had ever been to Equilibrium before. Since our answer was no, she clearly explained that we could sit anywhere and that once at the table were to scan the QR code and order whatever we want it directly from our phones. Staff members would bring out anything we ordered so we didn’t have to worry about picking it up ourselves.
Now, since COVID, most of us are getting used to NFC and QR codes on our phones as a touchless way to view a menu, but for me, ordering on my own was a first. It was also convenient that since each person at the table uses the same QR code all orders are added to the table tab. We also had the opportunity to modify menu items and ask for special request. Adding more food or drink at our convenience and not having to wait for our server was easy and each came out in a timely manner.
But by far what I appreciated me the most about this experience was that even with technology taking some of the roles usually the responsibility of the waitstaff, hospitality was present. The staff checked on us frequently and seemed to be enjoying themselves, which I am sure is a factor of having a lighter role and more time to interact with customers.
My husband and I are pretty good with technology so we didn’t have any difficulty using the app but there were enough staff floating around so if someone might need help, they were there. All I can say is that compared to many of the dining experiences I have had recently, this was one of the most enjoyable I’ve had when it came to friendliness and efficiency. And yes, it was delicious too! The system also made check as easy as it could get. When you are ready to leave, just use your phone to close out the check and leave. It is a pleasure not having to signal a server to bring the check, look it over and wait for them to come back to process the payment.
Yes, I was a skeptic, but was pleasantly surprised because I experienced only upside using the system. A pos ordering and payment system has many benefits such as allowing restaurant owners to operate with less staff, employees to have more time interacting with customers, and it gives customers freedom to order and pay at their own pace. I see it as the way of the future.
Equilibrium deserves a round of applauds for training the staff to use the technology without sacrificing hospitality. Good service doesn’t happen “automagically”, even with technology.
About Toast POS
Toast POS offers a full suite of products to help restaurants run more efficiently allowing staff members more time to focus on the food and the guest. For more information on Toast POS and how it can be integrated to simplify your business while increasing profits, call Philip DeCandia, Senior Account Executive at (845) 234-0407 or email email@example.com