“How do we do [incorporate tech] in full service, but still enhance it with the human side? We’re not going to get to a point where you see no one on the floor and everyone works from their phones, heads down, and food being dropped off. There will be concepts that do that. But for Eureka, it will be a balance of both,” Nedelman says. “The key for us is making sure our team members don't hide behind the technology, that they use it to enhance [the experience].”
This new contactless dining approach goes a long way in protecting guests and staff during the pandemic, but it also helps the brand stay solvent. Just a few weeks into the pilot, Nedelman said those stores became more profitable. The plan is to outfit the rest of the system with OneDine by November.
Nevertheless, Nedelman is quick to point out that the tech advances are still in the early stages and are tweaked on a near-daily basis. Under normal circumstances, rolling out something of this magnitude would take 18 months; because of COVID-19, it was launched in less than six.
“In theory, it will be a perfectly choreographed dance routine on the floor,” Nedelman says. “But right now we're rebuilding 24 restaurants from scratch with a whole new platform. … So it's definitely a learning curve.”
A breakdown of how Eureka will use the tech:
- Self check-in, table alert, and self-seating to expedite the entry process.
- Guests will be able to browse the menu, order, and pay from their personal mobile devices.
- Guests can contact Eureka team members with the push of a button.
- Managers will wear smartwatches that provide alerts in real-time from check-in to check-out, allowing expedited service and guest response, and providing the ability to monitor the restaurant flow for a seamless guest experience.