The point of all these cool smartphones is to make life easier, improve productivity, and communication, but how sure are you that these devices are making things better? One restaurant did a study where they looked at their business both before and after the smartphone revolution. Their findings may make you lose your appetite for mobile technology.
A restaurant in New York City was prompted to make such a study when they noticed an increasing amount of negative online reviews in regards to slow service. These bad reviews confused the restaurant owners because they've been around for many years and didn't experience complaints like this in the past, and they weren't doing anything different to slow down service.
Like any responsible business owner, they objectively investigated the problem. In fact, going into the study, the restaurant, assuming that they were at fault, first looked at the performance of their wait staff, the quality of the food, you know, typical restauranty things like that. Their methodology was to compare surveillance footage from this year to surveillance footage from 2004 when their establishment was getting better reviews. It turned out that, over the course of ten years, patrons had developed new and time-consuming habits thanks to the introduction of the smartphone.
Upon discovering that smartphones were to blame, the restaurant owner took to Craigslist and anonymously posted their findings in the hopes of persuading technology users to "be more considerate." In the post, the owner compared side-by-side their findings from 2004 and 2014. The footage from 2004 revealed a very typical and even flawless restaurant experience where patrons were seated, ordered their meal, ate it, and paid without much issue. The average time from start to finish for customers in 2004 was one hour and five minutes. Not bad.
Then customers started bringing their smartphones to dinner and the entire restaurant experience changed. Here's what the restaurant owner observed and posted from the footage:
Add all that up and you're looking at a total time of one hour and fifty five minutes; almost double that of 2004.
As business owners, we're supposed to adapt to the times and change the way we do things in order to account for trends, but in an example like this, adjusting a business model to meet the profit expectations of ten years ago is difficult due to limited space and resources. A restaurant owner in this situation can feel trapped if accommodating these new trends requires something extreme like, expanding the floor plan to increase the number of customers served, raising prices, or hiring a smartphone concierge.
Some restaurants have adapted to smartphones. They see their dishes Tweeted and Instagrammed as a good thing. For these social media-savvy restaurants, posting pics of their food means free advertising, but an adjustment like this is easier for a startup restaurant to accommodate than it is for an established restaurant using a pre-smartphone business model.
Now, apply this lesson to your own business and go back to our original question, "How sure are you that these devices are making things better?" Are your smartphone-toting employees using their devices to find ways to get work done more efficiently, or have smartphones become a distraction in the workplace with staff members checking their phone for social media notifications every few minutes?
Marin Technologies offers your business solutions to track how your employees use their mobile devices, and we can even block specific time-wasting websites to increase productivity. In fact, studies show that taking advantage of content filtering can increase employee productivity by an average of 25 percent! With that kind of savings, you can afford to take your entire staff out to lunch--be sure that everybody takes pictures of their meal!
Call Marin Technologies at (208) 329-6792 to see how content filtering can enhance the flavor of your business!