Normandin | Place your order before you arrive at the restaurant

Order and pay at home. Then eat in a restaurant. This is an option now offered in 43 restaurants in Normandy, which, in the context of labor shortages, allow their customers to be served quickly. Other brands are also toying with the idea of ​​offering this type of service.

Posted at 2:34 p.m.

Nathalie Morissette

Nathalie Morissette
the press

“I think we have a profit everywhere,” Normandin’s vice president of sales and marketing, Jean Julien, says over the phone. The restaurant chain has been working on the development of this new service for more than eight months. Called “Table Express,” this online pre-order formula—placed in a room after a reservation—eliminates steps for customers in a hurry to eat before a show or those whose babies are quick to cry. Hunger once sat down at the table. We are confident that customers who choose this option will receive their plates “within minutes”.

In addition to being fast and easy for our customers, Table Express lightens the workload of our service teams and optimizes kitchen preparation, making it more interesting in the face of known restaurant workforce challenges. – said in the press release of the company on Monday.

Photo by Patrice LaRoche, Sun

Jean Julien, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Normandin

Although some steps have been eliminated, Mr. Julien insists that the service is just as personalized. “People do table service. We just go faster. We moved forward. The expectation is gone. »

Customers who have, for example, the whole evening ahead of them, are not required to make a choice in advance and can spontaneously show up at the restaurant as usual.

New initiatives in the way of tabletop customer service are expected to proliferate over the next few years. “The shortage of labor forces operators to think about different elements of their business model, to try to work with good capacity but with fewer hands,” said Martin Vezina, vice-president of public affairs and government of the Association of the Restoration of Quebec (ARQ).

And many are trying to find ways to make it happen. Restos Plaisirs, the group that notably runs Cochon dingue, Café du monde and Madame elect, is currently conducting tests in one of its establishments with a variant similar to that proposed by Normandin, confirms CEO Pierre Moreau. “These new technologies, which are essentially being developed to find solutions to labor shortages, are forcing us to rethink our customer service,” he wrote in a message sent to the press. He is currently out of the country.

St. Hubert is also studying different scenarios to maximize service. “There are some new tools that we see entering the market and we are also looking at them,” says José Vaillancourt, St-Hubert Group’s director of communications. The pandemic forces people to think differently and we have to adapt to new demands. The rotisserie chain even conducted tests with robots.

In Quebec, some restaurants are currently experimenting with Ordercube. About the size of a Rubik’s cube, the tabletop device allows customers to tell the waiter they’re ready to order or pay the bill by simply tapping on it.

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