Order Interception: Fewer calls, more everything else.

To help restaurants ease the congestion of phone orders, Hazlnut has come out with a new “Order Interception” service

Phone calls to restaurants are becoming more and more of an issue, even post-pandemic after the large migration to online ordering.

In a recent study, we found that nearly 40% of all orders still come through over the phone. So, although more people are ordering online than ever before, between in-person and phone ordering, the majority of orders still require staff to handle.

Restaurant labor shortage over the past 2 years, phone orders for pickup_ have actually increased.

But therein lies the rub. Faced with a well documented labor shortage, it’s becoming harder to find the staff needed to help meet customer demand. As people are starting to come out of isolation and go back out to restaurants, they may still prefer to spend as little time as possible in public places, so phone orders (for pickup) have actually increased alongside online orders at the expense of in-person dining. But the current state of phone orders is a sad state of affairs…

Current state of phone ordering: By the numbers

We’ve found that only 82% of calls were even answered. That means a whopping 18% of calls were missed. This is most likely due to the fact that most calls occur at lunch or dinner rush, the busiest times for restaurants.

Even more alarming, of the calls answered, 74% of all calls were to place an order. That means of the calls missed, 3 out of 4 were most likely people looking to spend money at the store.

Furthermore, 24% of all calls answered put the customer on hold with the average hold time being 68 seconds!

Percentage of unanswered calls from customers intending to place an order

Phone orders today are a horrible experience. Coupled with the fact that answering phones takes staff away from helping other customers, all customers end up with a worse experience.

What is Order Interception?

To help restaurants ease the congestion of phone orders and improve the overall guest experience, Hazlnut has come out with a new “Order Interception” service.

This service works by issuing you a new phone number that you use to replace your existing number on any channel customers use to call you.

This would include your:

1. Website

2. Google “My Business” page

3. Facebook page and other social media

4. Apple maps

When customers call this new number they’re greeted with a recording welcoming them and offering to text them a link to place their order online before connecting them to the store… and that’s it! It’s as simple as that.

Send your ordering link by text

If you go back to the stat we mentioned earlier, if 74% all calls are to place an order. If you can re-direct even a small amount of these customers to your online ordering or mobile ordering page it can have a huge impact on the amount of calls actually reaching your store.

What are the benefits of re-directing these callers to your ordering site with Order Interception?

More orders

Beyond the obvious (fewer calls), you’ll experience more revenue! You’ll get more orders overall. Remember, missed calls = missed orders.

Higher average ticket sizes

Also, by moving orders online, it’s a lower cost channel with a higher average ticket size. Countless studies have proven that the average order value is higher for online orders. Customers don’t feel rushed ordering online, they have more time to browse, see that delicious dessert or maybe even add an appetizer. Furthermore, with your staff taking fewer calls, that leaves them more time to work with in-store customers or other tasks such as packaging to-go orders, acting as a food runner etc.

With the current staffing shortages and increased call-in orders, Order Interception could be just the service you need to help you and your customers adjust to the “new normal”.

Clover-Integrated Kiosks are here with Hazlnut

For the very first time, Hazlnut is releasing a new product: Hazlnut Clover-Integrated Kiosks. We have been working on them for a while and some eagle-eyed followers on social media caught on. There are tons of benefits to utilizing a kiosk in a restaurant, so we wanted to give Clover customers an integrated option to reap these benefits. We explored those in a blog post found here but, in this post we will focus on Hazlnut Kiosks.

Perks of a Kiosk

Kiosks are helpful now more than ever before as our country faces a labor shortage; kiosks don’t take days off! Hazlnut Kiosks allow customers to place their own orders so staff can reallocate their focus onto other things. When a customer places their own order, there is also an increase in order accuracy. A request for ‘no pickles’ won’t go unheard or be misheard as ‘extra pickles’. Kiosks are gaining in popularity, and customers are starting to prefer them. In fact, customers are coming to expect them. Kiosks present the menu in a clearer way (with high resolution pictures) and ensure that any ‘add-on’ mods get charged appropriately.

Line Management

Kiosks can also be used as a line management tool where you can throttle (speed up or slow down) the influx of customers. Opening multiple kiosks can help clear a line out and get all of the orders in as quickly as possible. This allows the kitchen to get food out to the customers more efficiently and keep the kitchen from getting overwhelmed. It also means that the restaurant can operate with less seating. Since the customers spend more time in the line and are served quicker it means they spend less time at the table.

Hazlnut Kiosk Features

Hazlnut Kiosks are fully branded to the restaurant’s colors logos , just like our apps and online ordering. The kiosks follow the same menu as our other services so there won’t be any extra management needed. Since they are Clover-integrated kiosks all orders will continue to print to the correct stations. Our kiosks also can still utilize the dynamic upselling feature to increase ticket size. Using these upsells can increase ticket sizes by an average of 15% and the kiosk will never forget to offer it.

For more information email sales@hazlnut.com or to schedule a demo and see it in action click here.

Jacksonville Startup Hazlnut Raises $3 Million in Series A Funding to Accelerate Growth

Hazlnut, a SaaS company that provides restaurants with their own branded apps and online ordering platforms, announced today that it has raised $3 million in a Series A funding round. Atlanta Ventures led the investment, along with PS27 Ventures Rhea Fund.

Jon Birdsong, a partner at Atlanta Ventures, said Hazlnut was the right company to invest in because, as soon as they crossed paths, “[Atlanta Ventures] immediately knew they were a team who obsesses over the customer, solves their gravest problems, and provides a preeminent user experience.”

Hazlnut is on a mission to help local, independent, and regional restaurant brands thrive. They do so by providing a software template for web-based, app, and in-store ordering solutions. The cost of hiring web and app developers is a greater investment than most restaurant owners can afford. Hazlnut offers development, onboarding and on-going support at an affordable monthly rate. 

The restaurant industry has proven to be tougher than ever for smaller brands thanks to the increasing competition, the rise of third party delivery providers who take a large chunk of every sale, and the overall complexity of managing multiple technology solutions. With Hazlnut, your local favorites can offer online and mobile ordering solutions, a full scale loyalty program, and Panera-like kiosks for guests who want an interactive menu with high resolution images and robust descriptions. 

“With software, if you can envision it, you can build it. We come in and help lift up small businesses to help them compete with bigger brands like Panera and McDonald’s. It’s rewarding seeing local businesses rise to the competition,” said Dick Sikes, Co-Founder and CEO of Hazlnut.

The company had previously closed a seed round funded by PS27 Ventures in 2018 of  less than $200,000. Jim Stallings, CEO of PS27 Ventures, is excited to see Hazlnut grow exponentially.

With this funding, Hazlnut is not wasting any time to grow aggressively. They are looking to fill key roles such as Head of Software Engineering, Sales Director, and Director of Marketing, as well as growing their sales, service, and engineering teams. 

About Hazlnut

Hazlnut is an all-in-one ordering solution that helps companies develop deeper relationships with their customers through beautifully designed websites and custom branded apps.

If you know a restaurant owner who is in need of an online ordering and loyalty solution, let us know! 

About Atlanta Ventures

Atlanta Ventures empowers entrepreneurs to start, grow, and scale.

Create Companies / We co-found companies via the Studio with driven founders in a collaborative environment

Fund Founders / We partner with companies seeking early stage funding

Equip Entrepreneurs / We provide content, tools, and events to empower the startup community

About PS27 Ventures

PS27 Ventures invests in early-stage companies that are driving dramatic changes in high-growth markets. ​​We invest in early stage startup ideas and businesses, supporting their growth with a broad range of expertise from a team of highly regarded professionals. Bringing selected startups into our accelerator, we work side by side with them to grow their business and help them realize their true potential. 

Our team of experts takes a hands-on approach, helping startups succeed. 

About the Rhea Fund

The PS27 Rhea Fund is a 20 million dollar venture capital fund focused on early-stage technology companies. Rhea Fund is seeking to invest in early-stage solutions in SaaS, HealthTech, FinTech, Sustainability, and E-Commerce companies that can scale rapidly. Rhea Fund also has an interest in founders who are women, veterans, and people of color.  

For more information about the Rhea Fund please email us at info@ps27ventures.com.

Your Newest Employee: Hazlnut Restaurant Kiosks

Restaurant kiosks are the self-ordering solution your business craves. As people go back out to restaurants and return to some level of normalcy, restaurant operations have become stressed to a near breaking point.

16 months have passed since COVID-19 impacted daily lives forever. As people go back out to restaurants and return to some level of normalcy, restaurant operations have become stressed to a near breaking point. Meet Hazlnut, a company that is helping to bring new-age technology to small businesses across the country.

Meeting a Demand for a Market Heavily Impacted by COVID-19

As restaurants struggle to hire serving staff, Hazlnut provides a solution that is helping brands win big through the use of restaurant kiosks. Seamlessly integrated with popular point of sale systems, Hazlnut helps deepen customer relationships by managing lines, increasing front of house efficiency, and providing a custom dining experience that can keep up with demand without the hassle of hiring a new employee. Kiosks allow customers to place their own orders so, managers can reallocate staff to more pressing tasks like food prep. When a customer places their order through a kiosk, there is also an increase in order accuracy.

“With software, if you can envision it, you can build it. We come in and help lift up small businesses to help compete with bigger brands like Panera Bread and McDonald’s. It’s rewarding seeing local businesses rise to the competition,” said Dick Sikes, Co-Founder and CEO of Hazlnut.

The timing is just right for such a product as well.

Restaurant kiosks are gaining in popularity, and customers are starting to prefer them. In fact, certain customers prefer them. Customers like interacting with kiosks as they tend to present the menu in a clearer way (with high resolution pictures) and restaurant owners can ensure that any ‘add-on’ mods are charged for appropriately.

John & Angie, Franchisees at Larry’s Giant Subs (Florida) said, “Already planning to purchase more for our other locations!”

Hazlnut connects restaurants directly to customers through e-commerce, online sales, and point of sale systems such as Clover, which is used in millions of restaurants worldwide. This saves time for employees so that they don’t have to pick up the phone as often and can focus on who they are serving in-stores. Wait time decreases and every order can be filled faster.

Optimize your business with an integrated kiosk, website, and branded app today by Scheduling a Demo with Hazlnut. To follow their story, visit Hazlnut.com.

Supporting Our Local Jacksonville Community at Jacksonville Jazz Festival

Hazlnut Provides a Large-Scale Contactless Experience at the 2021 Jacksonville Jazz Festival

Venture-backed software company, Hazlnut, is bringing a contactless experience to the Jacksonville Jazz Festival for Premium Experience VIP packages from Oct. 1 – Oct. 3, 2021. Premium Experience VIP packages will include a wristband credential with a unique QR code that is connected to their festival account varying from $50 to $200 food and beverage credits for the weekend. 

The team over at Hazlnut is led by co-founders Dick Sikes and Steven Edwards, Jacksonville natives and previous guests of the festival.

“As jazz fans who have attended the Jacksonville Jazz Festival over the years, we’re always open to possibilities to give back to the City of Jacksonville,” said Dick Sikes, CEO at Hazlnut. “At Hazlnut, we are passionate about creating solutions for the food and beverage industry, but we are also passionate about the Jacksonville community. Our team will be on-site during the event to answer questions and enhance the festival experience.”

About Hazlnut

Hazlnut is a Jacksonville-based software company founded by childhood best friends. Hazlnut offers white-labeled, turn-key solutions to small-to-medium-sized restaurants to help them compete against larger chains that play on a national level. They seek to bring the latest technology into the restaurants, constantly working to improve the ordering experience for both the customers and business owners alike.

About the Jacksonville Jazz Festival

The festival is a free, multi-day music festival produced by the City of Jacksonville Division of Sports and Entertainment. The festival welcomes residents and visitors to enjoy live music performances, food, drinks, and activations throughout the weekend in Downtown Jacksonville along the St. Johns River. The Jacksonville Jazz Festival includes two stages of great music, Piano Competition, Sacred Jazz Brunch, Jazz Marketplace, Jazz Clinic, and more. For updates and information, please visit jacksonvillejazzfest.com.

jacksonville jazz festival

Engagement with Valuable Customers: Hazlnut Brings Loyalty to Larry’s Giant Subs

Hazlnut Brings Loyalty to Larry’s Giant Subs

Hazlnut is bringing loyalty rewards in-store at Larry’s Giant Subs. With a point-of-sale system (POS) in place, Hazlnut enables customers to earn points through the Larry’s Giant Subs app.  Customers can walk-in, order, scan to earn rewards, and enjoy points for every dollar spent.

larrys giant subs loyalty

This enables tech-loving customers to engage with Larry’s by participating in loyalty programs. After a few subs, points quickly accrue for a variety of rewards offered by Larry’s. We sat down with Jennifer Poirier, the Director of Operations at Larry’s to show her the new features.

“I love working with Hazlnut, they’ve increased the value we provide to our customers with the app and online ordering,” said Jennifer Poirier.