News @ AsiaOne

Indian eatery goes high-tech to provide better service

Customers navigate the e-menu to find prices and descriptions, accompanied by high-resolution pictures, of each dish. -TNP
Nur Asyiqin Mohamad Salleh

Fri, Mar 02, 2012
The New Paper

Productivity: Several productivity initiatives were announced in the Budget unveiled by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Feb 17.

Pressure: In Parliament yesterday, some MPs voiced concerns that the initiatives may not work at ground level.

Possibility: Some firms show productivity improves the way they operate

You're in a hurry for curry but the waiters are stuck with other customers.

Enter the e-menu system.

On Feb 9, the Race Course Road branch of Gayatri Restaurant introduced an e-menu system that utilises a 10-inch Samsung tablet instead of a paper menu.

Customers navigate the e-menu to find prices and descriptions, accompanied by high-resolution pictures, of each dish.

Restaurant owner Shanmugam Ganesan said the new system has resulted in a 20 per cent increase in customers. They seem curious about the paperless menu system, he said.

The restaurant worked with Butterfly Global, a local company, to implement this wireless service.

Mr Selva Chandran, who is in charge of catering and marketing for the restaurant, said Spring Singapore bore about half of the cost under its Capability Development Programme (CDP).

Spring Singapore is an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry responsible for helping local enterprises grow.

The programme aims to help companies innovate and improve themselves to raise productivity levels and service quality.

The Government introduced a Productivity and Innovation Credit scheme in 2010.

This year, the Government announced it would be increasing the payout to 60 per cent for expenses of up to $100,000, instead of 30 per cent.

More efficient

Mr Selva said implementing the system has made service more efficient.

Instead of service staff taking down a customer's order and then keying it into a workstation, a customer can browse the interactive menu and choose the dishes he wants to place in the pending order basket himself. He can then alert the service staff, who will confirm his order.

Mr S. Mani, who has been with the restaurant for five years, welcomed the new system.

Waiters can now spend more time focusing on the quality of their service.

Mr Selva said the system doesn't mean waiters are out of fashion.

He added, pointing to Mr Mani: "Customers don't come in just to see a little computer.

"They come in because of him and his good service. And technology helps him provide even better service."

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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