BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse is changing the whole restaurant game. The brewpub chain has launched a new app with a range of new utilities – including the ability to place a dine-in order before you even walk through the door.
That’s not all, either – consumers will also be able to mobile pay and even put their names on any wait list without having to look up a phone number and call manually. These are pretty huge innovations, and according to BJ’s CEO Greg Trojan, it’s all about delivering a stress-free experience in a compact amount of time.
We're not trying to duplicate an express lunch where you're on super-speed time, and the great thing about those two functionalities within our app [Dine-In Order Ahead and Mobile Pay] is that they do speed up the experience greatly, but you almost don't notice it,” Trojan told FSR Magazine. “You sit down, have a relaxed conversation, and think: that was a 35-minute experience, not a 55-minute experience, and that's great.”
This technology promises benefits for both consumers and the restaurant itself. On the consumer side, having orders filed and ready to go will significantly shorten wait times – a feature that makes it perfect for anyone on a tight schedule, like a family with a flight to catch or a group of coworkers grabbing a bite for lunch. On the restaurant end, speeding up the dining experience means a higher rate of turnover, which in turn means more consumers in seats per day – that, of course, means increased potential revenue without having to expand your restaurant’s physical space.
Are there any negative changes this could bring about? Mobile pay may embolden consumers to skip out on tipping their servers, but hopefully good ethics will prevail. Skeptics may also criticize the move for taking away the leisurely nature of dining out, turning casual dining into more of a QSR experience. But for those who feel that way – the app is optional.