Mobile POS is the Newest Fast Food Habit

The newest top dog at Habit Burger Grill is a fleet of connected smart tablets. The staff uses these full-function mobile ordering and payment tools to take orders anywhere, from food truck to dining table. 

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Photo: Habit Burger Grill

Habit Burger Grill, a 40-year-old chain that originated in Santa Barbara, CA, was on the hunt for a more streamlined way to offer high-quality food. It needed to combine tasty food with a great customer service ordering and payment experience that it could replicate anywhere, whether in its restaurants, at a drive-through, or in the compact kitchen in one of its food trucks.

Without the physical space to host bulky POS systems for order processing in every space, Habit IT turned to tablets. “Our restaurants are typically 1,600 to 2,400 square feet, so we needed to move to mobile devices,” says Mike Repetii, Vice President of Information Technology, Habit Burger Grill, in a recent company video. He noted that space in the restaurants—and especially in the food trucks—doesn’t allow Habit Burger’s customer service employees to use a full keyboard, mouse and monitor setup.

So it switched to a fleet of Intel® IA-based devices, including the Dell Latitude 10 and Dell Venue tablets running Windows. The company installed its point of sale (POS) on the tablets, making them into full-function mobile ordering and payment tools. The devices, powered by the energy-efficient Intel® ATOM™ and Intel® Core™ i5 processors and hot-swappable batteries, keep Habit’s mobile workforce connected and ready to take orders from anywhere, from brunch to 10 p.m. closing time.

“Habit Burger partnered with us to revolutionize order processing,” says Intel Americas GM CJ Bruno in an article in CRN. “They sent up customer satisfaction and drove down customer wait time” by moving to an IoT solution.

Trucking Along

For its food trucks, Habit Burger added portable credit card readers to the solution, making the customer experience at the Habit food trucks identical to the in-store experience. The cashiers can work inside or outside the truck, making order taking easy.

The focus of the mobilized crew is on keeping wait times short. The Habit servers bring the cash register directly to the restaurant guests whether they are inside the restaurant, in a long line and outside, or by the drive-through. According to the company, Habit’s mobilized workforce have reduced a customer’s wait time from 15 minutes to 11 minutes.

Habit’s tablets are not only mobile cash registers, they are also multi-function devices, as managers use them for operational tasks, including inventory control, restaurant management and e-learning for employee onboarding.

IoT is Top Dog

Hamburger chains aren’t the only ones cooking up new IoT solutions. Mohamed Eloraby, Director of IT Restaurant Systems at Galardi Group, built a mobile solution using an Intel architecture for Wienerschnitzel. Based in Newport Beach, CA, the restaurant brand is the world’s largest hot dog chain, with 358 locations.

fast food point of sale POS

Photo: IoT@Intel

The goal of the Wienerschnitzel system was to enhance the customer experience and reduce operations costs. Eloraby’ IT team developed a “tablet-based line-buster” that helps operations teams better manage their lunch-and dinnertime crowds. “If the drive-through line gets too long, a team member uses the tablet to take drive-through orders,” says Eloraby. Customers then pull up to the window to pay as usual.

His team decided on the TabletKiosk eo a7400 Ultra-Mobile Tablet PC with the Intel Atom™ processor N2600 and Windows. The tablet met the company’s criteria and was more cost-effective than other solutions it tested. TabletKiosk was also very responsive as a vendor, as it provided loaner units when they ran several pilots and gave the group tips on how to lock down the software from the USB port. “That was important for us in securing the devices and minimizing any inappropriate use of the devices,” explains Eloraby.

Beefing Up the Mobile POS Solution

For solution providers deploying restaurant POS tablets, Eloraby offers this pro tip: “Choose devices that suit users and the way they work. For example, many Wienerschnitzel restaurants are located in California and Texas, so screen glare was an important consideration as we evaluated. We also provided a stationary umbrella that employees can stand under, and we provided tablets with a protective case and strap, so employees don’t have to worry about dropping the unit.”

Learn more about the roving ordering solution, watch the Habit Burger Grill video or read the blog about IoT in use at Wienerschnitzel.