Asking your bartender to plug in your cell phone to charge as you order the next round: is it the new norm? Restauranteur Brian McGill says cell phone charging amenities are becoming a general expectation at bars. Does your restaurant, bar, or lounge have a policy regarding charging your customer’s cell phones?
Industry professionals are divided on the topic: Some feel mobile devices should not be present in restaurants at all while others acknowledge the need in case of emergency but feel it is not the establishment’s responsibility to keep them charged. They bring up valid points regarding sanitation rules and liability issues surrounding expensive devices, but many still acknowledge the need to provide exceptional service for customers.Some bartenders and servers suggested installing outlets underneath bars and at tables – but proprietors balk at the price tag of having an entire restaurant or bar re-wired. A cell phone charging station, however, is a viable solution.
Our cell phone charging stations are sleek and slim, offer multiple charging tips for your customers, and keep electronic devices out of the way of servers and bartenders. We can also skin them with your custom design, ensuring they blend in with your decor and branding. They also feature large HD screens to display your marketing messages, daily specials, or even content sponsored by a third party.
Are you looking to increase your customer satisfaction in an inexpensive, efficient way while increasing your servers’ efficiency? Contact us today to learn about a cell phone charging station in your establishment!
Should customers park their own cars or there must be a valet parking service? Many decades ago, someone might have asked this question and there might be many counter-arguments from those who were in favor and against this.
Well, today, the question that has again brought the restaurant and the bar owners on the same podium. ‘Whether the restaurants or bars should offer cell phone charging stations or not?’
Interestingly, we have strong arguments from those who are in favor and those who are against it.
Those Who are in Favor
The impact of digitization has affected many business domains and restaurants and bars are no different. The social media sharing of food and ambiance by their customers is liked by the restaurants and bars. It’s free promotion. But, what if the customer’s phone isn’t charged enough to click photos for sharing? What if they ask the restaurant or the bar staff to charge their phones while they wait for their orders? Should restaurants allow that? Is it a must-have amenity in a restaurant like many other amenities?
The restaurant and bar owners that in favor understand the marketing side of it and they want people to use their phones to click photos and share their experience with others. The restaurants and bars are there to serve the customers and if charging a phone is an add-on to their services, they are ready to do this for their customers.
They also feel that women visiting bars and restaurants might have to use it for emergency purposes. The reason for the use of the phone for emergency purposes is for everyone visiting the restaurant.
Those Who are Against
Restaurants and bars are places where people come to socialize. Before the digital era, when the complete profile of a person wasn’t available on Facebook and other similar websites, people used to connect with other people at these places. They used to sit around, have a conversation. That was the purpose then.
So, the restaurant owners who are against the use of cell phones in a restaurant want the culture to stay for what it was started. They want people to enjoy the food, the ambiance, the company and live in the moment. Also, people having loud ringtones and who speak loud on the phones hamper the experience of other customers. This puts the restaurant staff in a tricky situation as in this situation, all the other customers are uncomfortable and if they tell the customer not to use the phone, then the other customer might feel offended.
The situation where people ask restaurant staff to charge their cell phones is clearly explained by Tae Yoon in an Article on Vice 5 years ago.
In addition to that, it is not the job of a restaurant owner to take care or take responsibility for phones and other gadgets of the customers. In a fully packed restaurant or a bar, the staff is serving orders back to back as they don’t want to serve the dish cold unless it is a dessert. In the midst of all the order taking, delivering, collecting bills, and what not, there’s very little to no time to see whether the customer’s phone is charged or not. And, sometimes they have to check it several times when the customers ask for it.
The Industry is Divided
The above two arguments are definitely strong and cannot be overlooked. These two strong arguments have divided the industry into two. And, now we see some restaurants comfortably making available the cell phone charging stations at their places for the customers while others are totally against it and not entertaining such requests.
The business of the restaurants that have not installed the cell phone charging stations has been affected as people are preferring the bars and restaurants that have the charging stations. But, they still want to encourage people to believe if they don’t have their cell phone charged in a restaurant the world hasn’t ended for them and they can still enjoy some good food and ambiance live.
The Common Potential Solution
The concerns regarding the extra responsibility of the devices on the restaurant’s end are understandable as the phones these days don’t come cheap. They are as costly as a laptop. So, taking care of multiple devices when you have multiple tasks to perform is extremely tough for the restaurant staff.
But, the concerns of those in favor are also understandable that it helps in marketing, plus it is demand generated by the customer which they have to fulfil to keep their business running.
So, a potential common solution could be installing phone charging stations under the tables. Or installing such bar and dining tables in restaurants that are equipped with phone charging solutions.
This way, we keep the valid points of both sides. The emergency situations for the customers can be handled and the restaurant staff doesn’t have to take care of multiple devices. They can serve hot and delicious food to the customers and improve their eating experience.
With the right kind of cell phone charging stations at the bars and restaurants, the customers are happy, the staff is happy and the restaurant owner is happy.
InCharged cell phone charging station models are designed in a way that they don’t deprive the customers of their cell phones and they don’t put pressure on the restaurant staff members.
This also helps in disruption-free restaurant and bar experience as the customer demands phone charging only once a visit. While the phone is getting charged, they can enjoy the conversation, spend some quality time with their loved ones without worrying about their phones. They won’t be constantly using their phones while eating. This actually aides the restaurant experience, plus they enjoy the extra amenity the restaurant is providing. So, the restaurants won’t lose customers.
However, like the responsible use of rest rooms, there must be guidelines mentioning the responsible use of mobile phones at restaurants and bars. For example; a few places have put up a sign saying ‘We don’t have WiFi, talk to people while you are here, and have memories’.
Signs like this encourage the customers in an interactive, relatable and fun way without hurting their sentiments.
InCharged mobile charging stations are not your boring mobile charging stations. If used well, they can complement the whole ambiance.
InCharged mobile charging stations come with the facility to put up advertisements on it. The restaurant owners might not want to do that. Instead, they can just place their menu items or upcoming items or their latest offers on food items on those particular locations on the charging stations. There are many ways the blank space on these cell phone charging stations can be used.
See the complete range of charging stations provided by InCharged and see which ones can be used at your place. In our list of clients, we do have airports, dental clinic, restaurants and bars, conference organizers, cafes.
Source: Seattle Times