18 Feb 2016

And Then, Let’s Cut The Queue Time....

First a little background. When we first came back to the UK it was obvious pubs had changed dramatically. They now seemed to be a cross between a diner and a playschool. We’re used to it now and many serve pretty good, basic food.

The first time in one of these drums for a meal, we entered, found the eating area, sat down and perused the menu which was very picture orientated and colourful. We selected and waited. And waited as, although waitresses were delivering food all around us, it seemed they weren’t too bothered about taking orders.

I finally got some attention, stated we were ready to order and was a tad saddened as the waitress said, far too politely, “Right. You see what’s printed along the top of every page of the menu in really big bold print? The bit that says please place your order at the bar? You see it now? That’s how you do it, okay?”

This I did and do, having learned how it’s done. Is that straightforward? Not really as the queues at the tills can be quite dramatic and if you’re behind a family ordering or behind some old guy like me, you know you’re in for a wait. Why? Everything takes time to find again in the menu, relate to the senior till operative and for them to punch it into the cash computer. How do you want your steak? what size? Mash? Chips? What kind? Crinkly? Curvy? Cheesy? Wedges? You want an egg with that? Any sauces? Is that the pulled pork you want? {The alternative being what, pushed pork?} A side salad? Dressing or are you happy with wot you’re wearing? Drinks? Ice? Lemon? A straw? I see you’re getting on a bit; you need a bib? And on and on and on. Very few customers, and I include myself here, are ever ready for the very first question upon arriving front and centre at the till, “And your table number is?”

It’s not unusual to finally pocket your change, turn round and see the queue snaking out and round the carpark at busy times. In fact, get your timing wrong and you’re the one bringing up the rear in the carpark.

So here’s your challenge. Why isn’t there an app? Why doesn’t everything on the menu have a number or a barcode? Enter your table number, scan what you want, or enter the menu number, enter how many of each you want and when happy, hit a key to see what you’ve ordered on screen - and the cost.

Happy? Head to the bar where Scotty’s waiting, to beam your order to the till. Pay the man and he hits the key that sends you order to the kitchen where the freezer door attendant, microwave oven technicians, grill and deep fat fryer operatives are gazing at a big screen waiting to fulfil the next order and the only slight delay at the bar is the comparatively short wait for your drinks.

Not everyone has a smartphone you say? Really? So not an app then? Okay, how about a small barcode reader type of thingy on each table?

Make a prototype, prove it and sell it to a big pub-grub chain. Good idea? I have the strange feeling that this is all too obvious not to be in operation, and probably patented, by someone, somewhere already...

Yo!! Ripper!! And others who may be interested, check this out; SoftMaker Office – 30% off.

Quote;  Julia Child.

“The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook.”

             W. Somerset Maugham.

“To eat well in England you should have breakfast three times a day.”


A K Haart said...

I've tried pulled pork and it wasn't too bad. Makes a little bit of pork look bigger which I suppose is why it was invented. Much easier on the teeth too, which matters these days.

Mac said...

A K haart,
As indeed do I. Not too long ago I found a pack of frozen pulled pork. That night I popped it in the micro and upon getting it out found I was just looking at a lump of pork! Upon reading the pack properly, it said, "After cooking, place on a plate, take two forks and pull apart... Not quite what I was expecting.