It is reported that 2017 is a live-or-die year for catering industry, in which many restaurants have been struggling among fierce competitions. According to the Report on China’s Catering Industry in 2017, the monthly bankruptcy rate of restaurants in first-level cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, reached as high as 10%, and the annual aggregate bankruptcy rate surpassed 100%.

However Yunhaiyao, a widely-known dining restaurant for Yunnan cuisine, has produced the following impressive figures:

Customer churn rate down by 20%;
Customer paying time shortened by 30 folds;
Return-customer rate doubled;
Serving efficiency of waiters/waitresses up by 30%;

The secret lies in a hand-held cloud-based device called “WANG MI”. It is one of the newest products of Wiseasy, the founder of Internet POS device, after its release of “WPOS” and “WPOS-TAB”, and a new generation of integrated hand-held cloud-based devices.

Demographic Dividend Comes to an End and Catering Industry Encounters Stiff Competition

As viewed by Zhu Haiqin, co-founder of Yunhaiyao, the profits of a restaurant come from two sources: one is cost; the other is service.
According to statistics, the operation cost in catering industry has ramped up by about 127% for the past 5 years. As Ms. Zhu said, “China’s demographic dividend has come to an end – the cost of hiring a waiter/waitress jumped from RMB 800 seven years ago to the current RMB 4,000.” Apart from that, restaurants have competed among one another fiercely in all aspects, such as interior decoration, creative dishes, marketing, and prices…driving up the cost significantly. In the meanwhile, the rentals have never stopped growing.
Let’s turn to services. In fact, dining in any restaurant shares the same loop: table reservation – queuing – ordering dishes – paying the bill – secondary marketing. Unfortunately, nearly every one of us has experienced poor service of this or that kind, such as a long queue, or a lazy and slow waitress.
“The entire dining activity in a restaurant generally costs 50 minutes, but 10 minutes has been wasted on queuing, ordering dishes, paying the bill, or waiting for a waitress to check the bill back and forth – a complete waste of time for the restaurant as well.” Yunhaiyao has a total of one hundred restaurants nationwide, mostly in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin and Nanjing. All of them are facing the same problem – high cost in time and poor customer experience in services. That is why Ms. Zhu is thinking about integrating “Wang MI” products rapidly into her restaurants all over the country.
Removal of cashier brings about win-win practice for both restaurants and customers

“WPOS-MINI” combines multiple functions into one, including card swiping, paying a bill, IP walkie-talkie, and coupon/voucher verification. Using this product, Yunhaiyao provides completely different services to customers within the same dining loop.

Table Reservation
After receiving a reservation call, the receptionist no longer has to write down the information or type it into the PC, but reserve the table directly by connecting the restaurant’s ERP system via a “WPOS-MINI” device.

We often saw customers waiting in line around the doorway of a restaurant. Many of them lost their patience and chose to dine at another place. After the introduction of WPOS-MINI, a queuing software will be connected to the software so that the queuing number of a customer can be directly printed out via Bluetooth, making it easier for the restaurant staff to get the job done; on the other hand, customers can be able to instantly check their positions in the queue on their smartphones, and more properly manage their waiting time, thus driving the customer churn rate down by 20%.

Ordering Dishes
Previously, a waitress could serve 5 dining tables at the same time, and had to carry with her a bunch of devices, including an ordering device, a cash register machine, a walkie-talkie, and all sorts of coupons/vouchers, etc. With WPOS-MINI, the waitress needs just one device to complete the whole serving process in a much easier manner. In the meanwhile, we can see higher productivity in the restaurant’s waiters/waitresses. According to statistics, with a WPOS- MINI in hand, a waitress can serve 8 dining tables all at the same time.

Paying the Bill
When it comes to settling a bill, a waitress had to run back and forth between the dining table and the cash register, to check the bill, print the receipt…Using WPOS-MINI, however, which supports a variety of payment forms, the payment process can be shortened from 3-5 minutes to 10 seconds. Meanwhile, less workload on cash register helps reduce the number of cashiers from two to only one, unlocking at least 7 to 8 square meters from the cashier’s desk.

Embedded with a coupon/voucher management system, WPOS-MINI can be able to double the restaurant’s return-customer rate.

Commercial smart device is the key to the future catering ecosystem

Obviously, using the hand-held cloud-based device WPOS-MINI can save time for Yunhaiyao’ customers, enhance their satisfaction; improve the operating efficiency, reduce labor costs; bring real benefits to diners, increase returned customers, and in the end bolster incomes for the restaurant.

According to Ms. Zhu, a smart device can serve as a data collector to record consumers’ behaviors. Therefore, from the ordering data collected by WANG MI, Yunhaiyao can prepare more personalized dishes to match diners’ personal needs and make them feel more satisfied. Besides, deploying the smart device can help each restaurant reduce at least 3 persons, meaning the net profit can rise by 3%-4%.

As said by Zhu Haiqin, commercial smart devices will be helpful to standardize the catering industry, and make it more intelligent and efficient. In a catering ecosystem like this, we will expect a restaurant juggernaut coming soon in China!