by Alice Dragoon

How Whataburger Restaurants is Improving the Fast-Food Experience With Technology

Oct 01, 20052 mins
Enterprise Applications

Five complaints a day may not seem like a lot. But for JWB Ventures, which operates 13 Whataburger restaurants in Florida, getting that many complaints about wrong orders was cause for concern, says Vice President Bud Shaw, who oversees technology andoperations for the franchises. In an effort to improve order accuracy, Shaw installed customer display screens from Radiant Systems on the front counter.

Customers view their order onscreen as the cashier enters it, and are asked to verbally verify its accuracy. Now Shaw sees maybe one or two complaints about wrong orders a week. And with the average order at $7, one-third of which is food costs, the savings from reducing wasted food add up quickly.

The interactive display screens have the added benefit of providing speedier service for regulars. Customers can swipe their credit cards and view their last four orders onscreen; selecting one reorders that meal. The whole process takes as little as 15 seconds, says Shaw, compared to two to five minutes when a cashier enters the order and takes the payment.

Shaw says that customers who visit several times a week like not having to repeat that they want their burger with jalape¿ a double-toasted bun and no onions. People who come in for lunch like to show their business colleagues how their regular order pops up onscreen, he says. “And if we’ve made their order right, they’re happy when they leave.”