Do you frequent a local coffee shop? Sandwich shop? Fast-food restaurant?
Do you order the same thing a particular way?
Have you ever been with someone out to lunch or dinner and they don’t even have to be asked what they would like, the server/restaurant knows exactly what the person wants and has it at the ready for their arrival?
This is often the treatment that famous people receive or perhaps your 75 year old grandfather who has ordered a stack of pancakes, black coffee, and 1 boiled egg at “Joe’s Cafe” every Sunday for the past 60 years.
What if that could be changed? What if you could be treated as a VIP? Or honestly, just a loyal customer?
Here is the idea – you know those key chain cards? The ones from Stop & Shop, Shaws, CVS, etc – what if those had more than just a barcode but instead were more like the miniature credit cards that came around briefly?
And here is the data that you could load up on there – Name, Date of Last Visit, Favorite Item, Item Ordered Most Frequently, the possibilities are endless so I’ll stop there.
So at the drive-thru, or in the restaurant (if they implement kiosks like the “Buy Your Ticket Here” stands in movie theaters) you just swipe your card, select your favorite item (which you can update online through the company specific portal) and then step drive up to the window to pay. Customer service goes even further because now the person working the window can do numerous “little” things to make you feel appreciated starting with calling you by name instead of by order number.
In the restaurant instead of waiting in line, you walk up to the kiosk – swipe your card, select your order, pay, and wait to pick it up.
This will do numerous things for these establishments. Here are a few off the top of my head:
– Increased customer recognition (Hi Joe! Welcome back, I see you are going with the Large Hazelnut today. Enjoy!)
– Increase customer satisfaction with order specifics (details can’t be lost in translation if it is already put into the computer essential by the customer – so no more “Wait you did say you wanted pickles with that correct?”)
– Sales data – Imagine being able to tell what your 18 – 24 year old segment of men/women are ordering and how often – hello marketing potential that is PERSONALIZED.
– VIP Status – if you have this service and your friend doesn’t, imagine their envy when they see you process your order in a matter of a minute then being welcomed by the server/clerk by first name. (See Hi My Name Is… for my thoughts on how much that could make a difference in society.)
And one final thought (this could be risky but beneficial) for the fast-food crowd, imagine if the nutritional stats were also shown online for you to see and realize that you are drinking a liquid meal at Starbucks. You may lose customers or your customers may demand you change your menu to be healthier. Either way, it leads to a healthier America. It would be a wake-up call that this country needs right now when it comes to nutrition and daily meal choices all thanks to a little key-chain and a computer.
That’s my idea for the day – who says it couldn’t happen?