Drive-thru orders can now be taken by remote workers. (Envato Elements pic)
PARIS: There’s no stopping progress, at least not innovation. At a time when labour shortages are making organising restaurant work particularly challenging, an American start-up – supported by the Mountain View Y Combinator hub, which facilitates the launch of new businesses by providing financial support – has come up with a solution that proves that remote working can sometimes be applied to jobs you’d never expect.
Take the staff member who takes your order when you go to a drive-thru. You might think that’s a profession that could only be done on site, but a company called Bite Ninja has developed an app to allow them to log orders without ever leaving their home.
The module takes the form of a video – like a Zoom call – that is displayed on the order-point screen, seen by drivers who pull up to buy food or drinks. And since these employees can perform their duties remotely, it in turn means that anyone can effectively work for fast-food drive-throughs operating in this way.
According to the US media outlet Today, even a grandmother has signed up to make ends meet and save gas by working from home.
A major restaurant chain, whose name has not yet been made public, has decided to use this new technology, reports Today, which could herald the app’s roll-out across the entire US. Fifty other chains are also reportedly in talks with Bite Ninja.
On the customer side, it doesn’t affect the user experience, since orders are sent by computer to the outlet’s kitchen, so burgers can be picked up via the usual drive-through lane.
As for the employees, they are paid between US$10 and US$20 an hour. Some 4,100 people have now signed up to work from home via this application.