Pizza Ranch is a pizza, fried chicken and salad buffet bar with 186 locations across the Midwest. The company’s mission is “to give every guest a legendary experience.” Part of that experience is the ability to “Buffet Your Way” and order custom pizza and non-buffet menu items.
When guests order a custom pizza or non-buffet menu item at Pizza Ranch, it has to be delivered to their table in time for them to enjoy it with their buffet items. Pizza Ranch was using number cards at the tables to direct food runners to where to deliver these orders.
However, vice president of marketing Cody Pierce said there were challenges with that system. First of all, number cards were sometimes stolen and had to be replaced often. More importantly, it could take food runners several minutes of searching to find the table with the right number. As a result, many orders were taking too long from time of order to table delivery. Occasionally, a guest would even finish his or her buffet meal and leave before custom menu items were delivered.
The delay in food delivery was leading to a less than “legendary experience” for too many Pizza Ranch guests.
Pizza Ranch deployed Table Tracker from LRS. Now, when a guest orders a custom pizza or an item from the menu, he or she is handed a Table Tracker. This system directs food runners to the precise location where the guest is seated. Pizza Ranch started by testing Table Tracker in a few of its corporate-owned restaurants and noticed immediate improvements in operational efficiency and speed of service. Management then decided to expand the solution to Pizza Ranch franchises.
With Table Tracker, managers had a way to measure wait time and delivered past the standard delivery time. The combination of awareness and table location technology allowed food runners to consistently meet the goal delivery time and shave up to three minutes off orders. “We did see an increase in guest satisfaction with the Buffet Your Way program,” said Pierce.
Pierce says the staff absolutely loved Table Tracker from the time it was first put in. No longer do they have to walk around searching for little numbers on the tables. “It gets them back quicker to delivering the next pizza that’s coming out of the oven for a Buffet Your Way request,” said Pierce.
There were cases before Table Tracker where the pizza was so late coming out that guests had left, or they might complain or want a discount. Since Table Tracker, Pizza Ranch has had a savings in lost revenue.
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