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”.

2020’s Hottest Restaurant Technology

Here at Hazlnut, we believe restaurant technology is the future. We took a look at all of the advancements made in 2020 and will integrate the best of them into our products to provide cutting edge apps and online ordering. We are here to shine a spotlight on some of those advancements and see how they can help businesses grow.

Kiosks

One advancement that has been gaining popularity and we are starting to see everywhere is self-service kiosks. They are incredibly popular due to how easy they are to use. With kiosks, customers can place their entire order by themselves, which means the restaurant can focus their staff in other areas. Kiosks also can improve order accuracy since the customer adds the modifiers themselves. Since multiple people can order at once with multiple kiosks wait times will be reduced.

Chat Box

Speaking of chat boxes, the digital communication in the restaurant industry is on the rise. Facebook has integrated chat on pages with average response time displayed to the customer. There are going to be questions from customers at home who have turned to online ordering. Deploying a chat option on a restaurants website and social media is a way to cut down the time your employees are on the phone. Questions like hours, location, and contact info will be automatically answered with a chat bot. With Hazlnut you can program it to give them the link to your online ordering page and have it tell the customer about your app.

Tabletop Ordering

Many foodservice advancements are based on limiting contact between customers and the restaurant staff. Servers won’t have to go to tables to take orders when restaurants utilize tabletop ordering. This is an option for when a full sized kiosk won’t work, like at a restaurant with table service. Every restaurant has different needs, so there are different tabletop options. Tabletop kiosks will be ready at the table when the customer is seated to take their order. Another option is to have the customer use the hardware almost everyone has in their pocket, cell phones. Using a branded mobile app like the ones we develop here at Hazlnut, a customer can order food to the table right from their own phone. Details on how that can be set up can be found here.

Robot Chefs

One technology advancement that we find really cool and just want to talk about is robot chefs. One of our sales reps has a background in baking and first was introduced to the concept by the Unifiller cake decorating machines. They are impressive machines that are designed for commercial output of baked goods that have a made from scratch touch. More recently, Samsung has made a pair of arms that hang from the ceiling and act as a sous chef. These are currently for home use but with the way the restaurant technology is advancing it will be no time at all before all kitchens have robotic sous chefs to increase kitchen productivity.

At Hazlnut we look at what works and what doesn’t and adjust accordingly to provide the best products. Analyzing trends from past years is a way we focus efforts into what to develop. Looking ahead is important too, so stand by for what restaurant technology we are looking forward to in 2021.  

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

Meet the Team! Carl – Account Executive

Next up in our series of interviews with the Hazlnut team, we sat down with Carl, an Account Executive for Hazlnut:

Thank you for taking the time to sit down with me today, Carl.

Thanks for having me!

What did you do before Hazlnut?

Most recently, I was a Food & Beverage Manager at the Sawgrass Country Club. Before that, I worked as a Sales Associate at Greenshades Software. Most of my experience prior to Hazlnut had been in selling HR & Payroll software, or management roles in private clubs/the food & beverage industry. 

It sounds like you were already trained for the role before you even got here!  How do you feel your previous positions prepared you for your role at Hazlnut?

Both Greenshades Software and Sawgrass Country Club developed my ability to constantly adapt and solve customer pain points. After Greenshades Software, I came out of it already prepared to sell software without the traditional face-to-face interactions. It was all handled over the phone, through email, and with online meetings.

I joined the team at Sawgrass Country Club just prior to the pandemic in 2020. Being able to help spearhead a To-Go only service showed me the importance of having technology that works for restaurants when dining-in isn’t an option. I came into my role at Hazlnut with that perspective, and I think it helps me empathize with restaurant owners and managers who may be looking for a similar solution for their business. 

How did you hear about Hazlnut? 

My recent experience in the Food & Beverage industry, plus my previous role selling software led me to look for a job that could marry those two together. I started searching online for software companies in the Jacksonville area specializing in the restaurant industry and I found Hazlnut through a job post. I did some research on the company and recognized Larry’s Giant Subs as a client of theirs and became more interested. From there, I scheduled an interview with Dick and Steven. Soon after that I joined the team!

We’re happy to have you on the team! What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I like to workout and watch sports. I mainly like to watch football, basketball, and MMA. If I had to narrow down my hobbies, I’d say they are: Traveling, creating music playlists, and playing basketball. 

If you could pick your favorite athlete, who would it be and why?

I would say my favorite athlete is Steph Curry; he’s an amazing basketball player. I’m particularly fascinated at his ability to shoot the ball from anywhere, and the way he can make these shots that look like something out of a video game… Curry is very dedicated to his craft and he gets better every year. It’s not only his athletic ability, but also his character on and off the court that makes him my favorite. He does a good job of not letting his emotions get the best of him, and he has an easy-going personality. 

But on the court, he is very competitive. I like that!

So do I! I have one more question before we go: What’s your favorite thing about working at Hazlnut?

It’s exciting being in an environment that isn’t rigid or stuck in old ways. Hazlnut is consistently looking forward and onward. As a whole, this company is always finding new ways to improve over time. 

Thanks again for your time! 

Click here to schedule a demo. Remember to ask to meet with Carl!