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Smartphones have revolutionized the way that we communicate with each other and increased productivity, but for some businesses, they are only making things worse. A perfect example of this is the restaurant business – in fact, one restaurant owner decided to take matters into his own hands, and has performed a study which examined their business before and after the mobile revolution.
The eye-opening moment for this New York City restaurant was when they noticed that there was an increasing amount of negative online reviews, most of them targeting them for slow service. The most confusing part of the whole situation was that the restaurant hadn’t experienced any complaints in the past, and there wasn’t anything being done differently to warrant such a decrease in service time. Therefore, they felt they had an obligation to investigate the problem.
At first, the restaurant was convinced that it was their fault. They began by investigating the waiting staff, food quality, and other imperative restaurant functions. When this type of study failed to yield any promising results, they compared surveillance footage from this year to that of 2004, before the mobile device boom. The shocking revelation came when they noticed that their customers had developed new, time-consuming habits over the past ten years – all thanks to everyone’s favorite mobile device, the smartphone.
Like every self-respecting business owner seeking council with the professional community, the restaurant owner anonymously posted the findings on Craigslist in hopes of convincing the smartphone community that they should be more considerate when out in public with their phones (you know, because Craigslist is the best place to post one’s gripes).
The owner posted the findings side-by-side for both 2004 and 2014, and the difference was astonishing. In 2004, guests could expect to be seated promptly, place their order, eat their food, and pay without incident. The total average time per customer in 2004 was one hour and five minutes.
Things were going pretty well… until the mobile device trend started. Customers would bring their smartphones into the restaurant with them, forever changing the dining experience, for the worse. Here are some observations from the restaurant owner’s surveillance footage:
The average restaurant experience in 2014 took one hour and fifty-five minutes, nearly double the amount of time it took in 2004.
The restaurant obviously found this quite disturbing, but as a business owner, one of the top priorities you can have is to adapt to the environment in which your business is operating. However, in this case, it can be difficult to adapt, as a restaurant owner lacks physical space and resources. Furthermore, it can be challenging to accommodate these new trends, as they may require raising prices or expensive renovation expenses.
Other restaurants who aren’t concerned about this trend have found ways to adapt. Some see their dishes on Twitter or Instagram and smile, knowing it’s a method of free advertising, and some might even flock to social media knowing the advantages it can provide for their business. This kind of adjustment is far easier for a startup, as they don’t have established practices to adjust, thanks to the advent of the smartphone.
In this sense, smartphones are certainly decreasing the amount of communication, and even hampering the ability for those around us to do their work. This begs the question, “are my employees using mobile devices to the best of their ability?” Perhaps they aren’t using the devices to get more done in the workday, and instead are using devices to distract themselves from work with social media and texting.
NTConnections offers several enterprise-level methods of tracking how employees use their mobile devices, and we can block time-wasting websites to increase productivity. Even a simple solution like content filtering can significantly increase your profit margin by up to 25 percent. You might even be able to afford a few extra company lunches (but no food selfies, please).
If you’re looking for a way to increase productivity and boost profits, keep NTConnections in mind. Give us a call at (703) 288-9767 to see how content filtering can give your business a little extra kick.