Target Platform: Tablet
Overview: Waiter Assist, is a digital assistant for a Restaurant Waiter. It helps in taking orders from customers, send the required list of dishes to the kitchen staff faster and helps with the bill in the end.
Description: Please see below.
Approach: See below.
Coding Languages: C# .NET, WPF using .NET Framework 4.5. ASP.NET MVC and ASP.NET WEB API. ASP.NET SIGNALR.
When a customer walks into a restaurant, they are assigned a table, and all orders go from there, usually all waiters use a notebook and pen to take orders, a copy of the order is sent to the kitchen, and then another copy is used to feed the info into a system for billing. This replication of data entry can be avoided if using the Waiter Assist application. That is just one of the benefits. The customer experience is made better by the use of the application, wait times are reduced. Most importantly, all the data can be collected and then later used to analyse and improve the business.
Waiter Assist provides an interface to take in orders from customers in a restaurant. It is based on touch and drag and drop, as the customer orders, waiters drag and drop menu items to build the order. Additional comments can be entered through the pen. Once completed, waiter hits the submit button and the order is sent to the kitchen for preparation. On completion of order, the waiter's application is notified and he/she can then bring the order to the table. Subsequent orders can be taken similarly through out the meal. On completion of meal the bill is calculated and presented to the customer through the application itself. Payment can be taken through other methods and mark as paid is hit. The waiter hands over the tablet to the customer and an optional feedback form can be filled in by the customer in the application. This completes the customer's journey.
One tablet is placed in the kitchen which gets all the alerts from all the waiters. This time the application is running in kitchen assist mode. On completion of an order, the chef hits the completed button on an order and it alerts the waiter whom it belongs to.
Feedback data and other data like time of arrival of customers, time it took to serve the order etc are all recorded centrally which can be used later to improve services in the restaurant.
A standard ASP.NET MVC Site is responsible for the deployment and updates of the WPF Application. An ASP.NET WEB API takes in logs from all WPF clients and stores the data to be used later. ASP.NET SignalR is used to communicate between different instances of the application. This is only relaying data and not performing any other operations.
WPF application is a standard MVVM based application with the restaurant's menu pre-populated. Allowing the waiter to drag and drop items from the menu to an order area. Pen input is taken when additional info is to be added to the order.
Waiter Assist combines the use of multiple tablet devices and helps provide a better experience to the customer. It uses features like WiFi, Pen and Touch features of the Tablet.