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Easy as One, Queue, Three

2013-2014 - San Jose, CA     Branding  |  Visual Design

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TL;DR

CHALLENGE

Creating a user-friendly mobile application that allowed users view, order and queue in line at restaurants.

 

TECHNOLOGY

 

Adobe Creative Suite, MarvelApp, Sketch, Photography

IMPACT

N/A — Beta tested at several locations with limited data

SOLUTION

A working MVP on the iOS and Android platforms working with Cheesecake Factory Santa Clara.

DELIVERABLES

UI/UX​ design for the platform, interactive powerpoints, marketing and event graphics

EASY AS ONE, QUEUE, THREE

QMi is a mobile application that enables food merchants the ability to accept and process preorders. By enabling patrons to preorder their meal, patrons will have the ability to optimize their time by placing their order, walking in their nearest location, and picking up their food.

 

Food merchants will be able to maximize their service to more patrons per day, particularly during their busiest hours. Rather than beginning servicing when the patron enters the venue, QMi's ability to pre-order will enable the patron's time to actually do what they want: eat.

 

QMi can work in parallel or integrate with a vendor’s existing point-of-sale systems (POS). If QMi is used in parallel to existing POS systems, vendors can view the manager dashboard through a web-based portal or an iOS application. QMi charges a transaction fee for each order that is placed. Vendors have the option to pay the transaction fee or can pass the fee onto their customers.


My primary focus was to create tool to create a user interface that was very easy to comprehend and would not take more than 5 clicks to discover restaurants, browse the menu, customize and order your food.​

ADDRESSABLE MARKET

There are two markets that QMi relies on for continuous growth and sustainability. Being that QMi specializes in queue management, growth in the restaurant industry is important. The primary customers are restaurants. As a result of a constantly growing restaurant industry, QMi finds itself with an even larger market to profit from.

The target customers are restaurants that cater to casual dining or fast-casual dining. Casual dining restaurants offer full table service and typically serve mid-priced entrees. Because casual dining restaurants are mid-priced and tend to serve families, they have a large customer base. Some examples of casual dining restaurants include Olive Garden, Macaroni Grill, and Cheesecake Factory. A casual dining restaurant would use QMi to manage their guests prior to being seated. Another target market includes fast-casual dining restaurants. These restaurants offer entree typically less expensive than a casual dining restaurant but maintains the casual dining environment.

 

Fast-casual dining restaurants have semi-table service where guests will order food at a counter and then be seated. Some examples of fast-casual dining include Chipotle Mexican Grill, Panera Bread, and L&L Hawaiian BBQ. QMi can be incorporated into this style of the restaurant by notifying the guest when their food is ready to be picked up at the counter. Fine dining restaurants and quick-service restaurants are not targeting customers because of the culture of those restaurants trend towards other accommodations. Fine dining restaurants incorporate a reservation system rather than a pager system. QMi is an affordable solution and can be developed to work in conjunction with reservation management services like OpenTable. A quick-service restaurant’s turn-around is so quick that no notification system is currently used which makes the introduction of a service with a cost harder to gain traction.

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

There are three current solutions that restaurants implement to manage guests: pen and paper, pagers and SMS-notification applications. Each of the solutions offers advantages and disadvantages.

Pen and Paper

Pros

  • Cost-effective

  • Suitable for small queue lists

  • No monthly fees

 

Cons

  • Legibility dependent on scribe

  • Consumer reliant on listening for name to be called

  • Hard to manage with medium to large queue lists

  • Excess noise from overhead PA systems

  • Guest are restricted to the restaurant lobby

 

Pagers

There are multiple companies that offer restaurant pager solutions. Companies that provide pagers include Long Range Systems (LRS), HME Wireless, and JTECH. Pagers are the most common queue management solution being used.                                                                                                                                                                  

Pros

  • Maintain a quieter atmosphere by eliminating the need for overhead PA systems

  • Locate guests more quickly decreasing your table turn time

  • Minimize customer wait times

  • Give guests the freedom to visit the bar or go outside

  • Reduce customer crowding at the hostess stand

  • No monthly fees

Cons

  • Expensive Initial Costs

  • ongoing replacement costs (lost, stolen, or broken)

  • Spread of germs to guests and staff

 

The cost of pagers could be substantial depending on the quantity needed for the restaurant. According to FoodSoftware.com, a set of 15 LRS Coaster Pagers and Transmitter is sold at $999 with a $1949 MSRP. In the event that more pagers are required, CentralRestaurant.com sells a set of 5 LRS Coaster Pagers for $252. That is an average cost of $50.40 per pager.