Fast-casual chain Chili’s announced today it has partnered with restaurant-tech company Presto to make PrestoPrime tabletop devices available to customers dining in the restaurant. According to a press release, the devices will be installed in most of Chili’s 1,250 locations in the U.S.
PrestoPrime devices let guests order meals and pay for them right from the table. The tablet-sized devices accept multiple forms of payment, from credit and debit cards to mobile payments. Restaurants can also use them to offer feedback surveys to guests, suggest upsell items on orders, and notify managers of unhappy guests in real time, so they can address problems before the customer leaves the restaurant.
In addition to all those things, Chili’s has another goal in mind when it comes to using these devices in the front of house: personalization. According to the press release, a new featured being tested in PrestoPrime with the Chili’s deal is a guest sign-in feature. Customers can log into their My Chili’s Rewards (the chain’s loyalty program), view past orders, re-order favorites, set and adjust dietary preferences.
While the feature is convenient for guests, it more importantly gives Chili’s access to the kind of customer data restaurants can use to tailor more pieces of the restaurant experience to fit the individual customer, whether that’s offering seating appropriate for someone in a wheelchair or avoiding onions because the customer in question hates them. Restaurants can also use the data to offer more relevant upsell items and boost ticket sizes.
Personalization features are all over the restaurant nowadays. McDonald’s deploying AI tech in its drive-thrus to speed up the personalization process. A company called 5thru is working with major QSRs to do much the same, only using technology that scans a customer’s license plate number to get to their restaurant profile. In the dining room, chains like Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, and Denny’s are all exploring tabletop devices as a way to personalize and speed up service.
Just a little over one year ago, Presto raised $30 million to further develop its front-of-house technology, which includes Presto Wearables and Presto A.I. in addition to PrestoPrime. Chili’s hasn’t yet said if either of these features will make their way into its dining rooms, though it would be an appropriate pairing given the chain’s goals around personalization.
Want more info on food personalization? Join us in NYC for The Spoon’s first-ever Customize event, taking place on February 27, 2020.