Panera—which has struggled with slow speed at its restaurants—has decided that the best way to quicken service and improve accuracy is for customers to bypass the cashier. As airports and convenience stores slowly train consumers to check in, or out, on their own, Panera’s rolling out a new store design where customers order on their phones or at kiosks. Rather than customers stand around and wait for their order in front of the counter, a server brings their order to them, sans gratuity.
“The dirty little secret in the food industry is one in seven orders is wrong,” Panera Chief Executive Ron Shaich said in an interview. “We’re one in ten, a little better than average. Half of those inaccuracies happen during order input.”