Why The Largest Restaurants Are Relying On Restaurant Call Centers
Recently the restaurant business has seen a rapid shift in communications practices. Restaurants are facing rapidly increasing labor costs and seeing an increase in employee turn over. Restaurant executives have been on the hunt for a solution that can help lower labor costs, increase their sales, and improve their guest experience.
Restaurant Call Center’s have been created over the past couple years and are changing the way phone orders are handled. Call Centers have been around and can also be known as BPO’s or Business Process Outsourcing companies. Typically Fortune 500 restaurants utilize BPO’s to outsource their sales or customer service operations. Call Center’s agents are known to be amazing sales and customer service people and that is starting to translate into quick service and fast casual restaurants.
Restaurant Call Center Services is often called off premise restaurant support. Restaurant call centers streamline all and every phone order for restaurants, so that their employees on site can focus on delivering a great guest experience to the guests inside their restaurants. What restaurant executives really like is that their restaurant call center partner can focus on delighting customers that call in and up-sell when possible. Recently services have been created dedicated to restaurants similar to Uber for Call Centers. Essentially just like when you get into an Uber, you only pay to get from point a to point b. With on-demand restaurant call center services you only pay per minute of when your call center team is on the phone.
This is eliminating the need for a full time phone-ordering role inside the restaurant and typically saves the restaurant 30-50% on costs compared to hiring for this role internally. Another benefit restaurants are seeing is a dramatic increase in throughput through partnering with off premise restaurant call centers. The way this is possible is because when you partner with a call center you get a team of trained reps who are ready and able to handle catering or call-in orders at any time. Essentially long hold times are being eliminated because if multiple callers call into a restaurant at the same time there are multiple virtual order takers ready to handle those calls. A recent restaurant executive of a fast growing chain said, “I was looking at our numbers and we are missing over one thousand phone calls during lunch”.
Perhaps the largest benefit that restaurants are seeing from partnering with call centers is their increase in sales. The reason this is because typically in house employees are not financially incentivized by up-selling, it’s simply just something they are told to do. However restaurant call centers pay commission for up-selling to their agents and are aligned to up-sell. Several restaurant call centers have mentioned that very quickly off premise providers have increased their average order size by over 12%. Through this disruption in communications restaurants now have access to some of the greatest sales teams in the world and are reaping the benefits.
Lastly customers of restaurants love this now communications style for a variety of reasons. In the past restaurant employees have been very frustrated trying to satisfy guests inside their restaurant while at same time servicing in coming callers. With the help of these restaurant call center firms, customers who call in get to talk to a virtual order taker in a quiet environment who can focus on satisfying their needs.
The next trend that restaurant call centers have been focused on is disrupting drive thru order taking. A few years ago this was tried but the technology wasn’t there as well as the economics weren’t there execute it. Off Premise Restaurant Call Centers are saying they have cracked the code on this by coming out with a very cost effective pricing model for restaurant chains. Both restaurant executives and call centers are hoping that the results they are seeing with catering and takeout sales translates into the drive thru ordering function.
It has been a fascinating ride seeing all of the communication disruption happening. It will be very interesting to see how this all unfolds in the future.