Rising Restaurant Industry Franchise Star Arooga’s Grille House & Sports Bar Expands Buzztime Relationship with Front and Back-of-the-House Services to Entertain Customers, Drive Loyalty and Improve Efficiency
Carlsbad, CA and Harrisburg, PA, May 6, 2015 – Restaurant and bar entertainment leader NTN Buzztime, Inc. (NYSE MKT:NTN) and rising restaurant franchise star Arooga’s Grille House & Sports Bar will expand their relationship to implement self-service dining functionality via Buzztime BEOND™ tablets in all ten of Arooga’s Central Pennsylvania locations. Now Arooga’s will benefit from operational efficiencies and deliver a wide range of dining services in addition to offering Buzztime entertainment to attract, delight, and engage customers.
Arooga’s first launched Buzztime’s self-service dining at two locations in Shippensburg and Hershey in early May. An additional eight Arooga’s Central-PA-based locations are expected to follow by early summer.
Buzztime’s new service, which enables consumers to view full and dynamic menus including photos, descriptions and prices of all available food items, seamlessly integrates with a host of entertainment offerings, including trivia, cards, arcade and sports games developed to enable brands to entertain and engage their patrons.
“Our passion as a company has always been to create amazing experiences for patrons and new sources of business value for our customers. We have many great partners that we work with to develop those advantages,” stated Buzztime CEO, Ram Krishnan. “We are proud Arooga’s has found great success in part by offering the latest and greatest technology with Buzztime and has expanded our longtime partnership. We look forward to introducing these capabilities to existing and future Buzztime partners.”
Restaurants gain extensive competitive benefits from the Buzztime tablets. The dynamic menu capabilities allow the menu to change over the course of the day, for restaurants that have a different menu for lunch and dinner. It also accommodates customized design so the look and feel of the menu fit the brand image and experience of the restaurant. In the case of Arooga’s, the menu will use the company’s logo, colors, and fonts.
“We’ve said from day one that Arooga’s will excel in every aspect of our business to be the industry’s next superstar,” added Gary Huether, Jr., Arooga’s president who was recently selected to the Power List Readers’ Pick selection via Nation’s Restaurant News. “Our partnership with Buzztime allows our brand to stay on-trend, on a dime with our guests’ needs, and this awesome new feature is just one more way that we are optimizing the guest experience.”
Diners can customize their order, such as requesting a side substitution of beer battered onion rings or a gluten-free bun for their burger. For added convenience, tablets provide the option of ordering more drinks or dessert as well paying their bills without needing the server. Just like before, each guest will be given his or her own tablet to play games, which means they can avoid cumbersome “menu sharing.”
“Buzztime is at its heart a consumer experience company, and our consumer-centric approach to tableside tablets sets us apart from other providers,” added Bob Cooney, Buzztime’s chief product officer. “That’s why we offer a full and dynamic menu and make it easy to reorder food and drinks individually or as a group. And just as you wouldn’t expect a party of six to share one menu, we don’t force guests to share a single tablet to order food and play games. Another unique feature is our group cart functionality. An entire table can order and edit orders through multiple tablets before sending to the kitchen. Patrons who have ordered an alcoholic beverage with a server also have the liberty of reordering drinks through the tablets, so they never need to wait to order the second round of beer.”
Implementing this type of modern, technology-driven solution empowers restaurants to elevate their customer service and experience so as to better serve their diners. A study conducted by Software Advice, a site for restaurant POS system research and comparisons, found that 41% of consumers want to self-order at casual restaurants, 50% want to self-pay at casual restaurants, and 88% are willing or prefer to use self-service systems at the table. At the same time, venues want speed and security. They need ways to improve customer satisfaction and inspire spending that also allow for volume. In addition, venues can benefit from gaining better knowledge of their customers and delivering more targeted promotions. By connecting through locations’ POS systems, Buzztime tablets can begin to turn these wishes into realities with technology designed to deliver shorter guest wait time, higher check averages, increased revenue, faster check processing and improved payment security.
Arooga’s, perhaps best known for its selection as America’s Next Top Restaurant Franchise, is one of the restaurant industry’s fasting-growing concepts, with 9 corporate locations – number 10 coming soon – in Central Pennsylvania and an additional 28 franchise locations under contract. Arooga’s recently made its out-of-state debut with its first franchise location in Uncasville, Connecticut as part of a 15 unit franchise agreement with the Mohegan Tribe. Arooga’s will be seen in Chicago as early as this summer and in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area by 2017.
Buzztime’s entertainment suite is well-known in the hospitality industry, with 60 million+ Buzztime games played each year nationwide on over 35,000 tablets. Over the past few years, the Buzztime suite, delivered via in-venue tablets, has grown to include networked trivia, arcade and card games, as well as music and predictive sports. Buzztime now has over six million player registrations in its network. Buzztime will exhibit its technology at booth #10016 at the 2015 National Restaurant Association Show, held May 16-19 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.