Invented by Kevin Kelly, Joseph Craig Kelly, JOLLY SEVEN SERIES 70 OF ALLIED SECURITY TRUST I
The Market for Drive-Thru/Point-of-Sale Automated Transaction Technology and Apparatus
Drive-thru/point-of-sale automated transaction technology and apparatus help restaurants provide a more customer-friendly experience to boost sales and boost customer satisfaction. These systems may also boost employee engagement and productivity levels.
Point-of-sale (POS) systems are software and hardware systems designed to assist businesses manage inventory, orders, payments, customer relationships, and staff. These solutions can be hosted either on-premise or in the cloud.
Identifying a Customer
Customer identification may be done through a vehicle license plate or another unique identifier scanned at the point-of-sale/drive-thru or via mobile application. This number or barcode can be used to track order history, reconcile their license plate number against profile preferences in a mobile application, place an order at a kiosk, identify users at pick-up points or automatic dispensers, or offer payment options such as prepay.
Additionally, scanning can capture a customer’s name as well as their preferences and past orders. This data can then be saved into a database for future reference, providing customers with an improved experience at drive-thrus or points of sale.
Customers have the added advantage of saving their credit card or other form of payment on file for future transactions, enabling a faster, more accurate service experience and additional upsell opportunities at point-of-sale.
However, the current point-of-sale and drive-thru process can be time consuming and taxing on employees. This involves listening intently to customer orders, recording them accurately, confirming them for pickup, processing payments and delivering them – a laborious but necessary step that takes up too much valuable restaurant owner’s time.
Accordingly, the present invention seeks to address some of these issues by automating order processing at drive-thrus or points-of-sale. This may increase efficiency in the process by reducing errors, increasing speed and improving customer experience at these points-of-sale or drive-thrus.
Additionally, customer identifying data may be stored on a back-room control device for future reference and/or sharing with other restaurants within the same chain or food franchise locations. This data includes recent orders, pending orders, suggested items, reward programs, gift card balances and other profile/customer information.
Additionally, the identifying data may be saved for later uses such as an employee query or queue. This helps the operator enhance their employee’s capacity to process customer orders faster, decreasing overall business expenses in the process.
Ordering a Meal
Drive-thru/point-of-sale automated transaction technology and apparatus offers a broad selection of options, from basic point-of-sale systems to comprehensive solutions used in multiple restaurant locations. Prices and features may differ between POS systems, but their common objective is to make running a restaurant simpler and more profitable for restaurant owners.
Ordering food from a fast food restaurant is an integral part of the business and can be time-consuming for both customers and staff members. Being able to quickly and accurately place an order, receive pre-selected items, and pay for what was ordered is key for customer satisfaction.
Customers want assurance that their orders are correct, and this can be ensured through Drive-thru/point-of-sale technology with customer-facing display options. Furthermore, this technology helps reduce costly mistakes due to language barriers, speech impediments or defective drive-thru speakers and equipment.
An example of a method involves scanning a user’s license plate to identify them and presenting an interactive interface with various options for ordering and paying for food items. After selecting what items they would like, paying is made easy through PayPal or credit card and recipients receive notifications regarding receipts and pick-up statuses.
Another possible method involves dispensing food products from a dispenser based on group orders placed by two or more users of the apparatus. The group order may include portions of various foods in separate bins within the dispenser itself.
An exemplary method includes placing selected food items in a first bin of the dispenser apparatus and providing an order status to the first user of that apparatus. Upon providing a barcode image to a scanner associated with the dispenser apparatus, this user may then interact with and receive their food products.
The method also allows customers to pay for food by scanning a QR code on their smartphone or other mobile device. This eliminates the need for staff members to take payment from customers in person, which reduces labor costs and enhances efficiency.
Paying for the Meal
The market for Drive-thru/point-of-sale automated transaction technology and apparatus is expanding. This demand has been spurred on by advances in computing, networking, and software technologies that enable a single (or minimal) step ordering process to be implemented at the point-of-sale or drive-thru with limited human interaction required.
Placing an order for goods and having them delivered to a customer involves several steps that may be performed manually by an employee. These include receiving the order from the customer, listening carefully to it, recording it, confirming it, preparing the items ordered, processing payment and providing them to the customer. This laborious process takes time and is costly for fast food retailers due to all the human work involved.
An efficient transaction includes the following steps: recognizing a customer with an automatic license plate scan; providing them with an interactive interface containing user favorites, suggested items and prior orders; and finally having them use this interface to place their order.
Some embodiments include a dynamic, unique identifier or barcode for each order that contains information such as user profile ID, order quantity/size, combo meals/sides/extras prices per unit price point shared orders and split payments. This identifier allows for automatic ordering, instant payment processing and other functions.
These identifiers also enable the system to recognize returning customers and customize their options based on previously saved selections/preferences, recent order information, reward program membership details, etc. This provides for a practical yet cost-effective solution to numerous business issues associated with traditional fast food drive-thru transactions.
In some embodiments, customers may be asked to save their license plate information to their user profile before entering the drive-thru kiosk. Upon return to the kiosk, the system queries them for the plate number and provides an individualized menu. With this identifier, customers can automatically order their default “go-to” meal upon arrival at the drive-thru kiosk or process an existing order instead.
Picking Up the Meal
Drive-thru/point-of-sale automated transaction technology and apparatus enable customers to order, pay, and pick up their meals from restaurants that offer this service. Systems range from basic drive-thru kiosks to integrated POS solutions that connect the drive-thru line and kitchen to the back office; providing data-informed decisions which can increase efficiency, boost customer satisfaction levels, and ultimately enhance long-term business success.
In a typical drive-thru/point-of-sale order, the customer places an item into an ordered barcode and selects when and where to pick up. Upon arriving at their designated pickup location, they scan their unique barcode or identifier and the food item is placed into a dispenser bin for pickup from kitchen staff or another automated mechanism such as drone delivery, motorized track delivery driver or third party vendor.
On receipt of an order, the POS system may automatically order and process meals based on saved selections/preferences or recently submitted orders. It could also track users to their desired pick-up point or automatic dispenser for order pickup identification and instant payment processing if needed.
The POS system may also be programmed to automatically place and process a default “go-to” order associated with a customer identified by their vehicle identifier or other unique identifier. This order can include preselected items, suggested items, order favorites, gift card balances, reward programs and payment details.
Restaurants can save time and money through more efficient pick-ups and deliveries. Furthermore, they can monitor orders and inventory to guarantee they have enough stock on hand to satisfy customer demand.
AI can also be utilized to speed up drive-thru operations. When AI takes care of customer transactions and takes payments, human employees can focus on other tasks, reducing labor costs in the process.
When selecting a point-of-sale solution for your restaurant, the size, type of menus you serve and how customers are engaged should all be taken into consideration. A fast casual chain may need an efficient system that helps them quickly process orders and manage customer profiles; on the other hand, fast food restaurants may prefer mobile POSs that connect to mobile devices. These mPOSs allow businesses to accept payments on-the-go and can be used by anyone with internet access.
The JOLLY SEVEN SERIES 70 OF ALLIED SECURITY TRUST I invention works as followsThe present invention consists of methods and apparatus that allow for automated provision of goods by scanning systems. The present invention provides a method to automatically communicate which goods are being ordered, their location, payment method, kitchen fulfillment, item tracking, automatic delivery via a dispenser apparatus. Preferential embodiments of the invention allow for the automatic ordering and picking-up food items from a fast-food restaurant.
Background for Drive-thru/point-of-sale automated transaction technology and apparatus
Many situations that involve the provision goods in today’s market, such as fast food meals, depend on the customer’s ability to place an order quickly and get the right food items.
Human interaction between customer and employee can lead to time-consuming mistakes. These errors could be due to user error, misinterpretation due to language barriers, speech impairments or the hard-of-hearing, or inaudible conversations due to defective drive-thru speaker. This can result in fewer customers returning due to lower satisfaction ratings, poor customer service, incorrectly processing orders, long wait times, interruptions when implementing new technologies, etc.
In addition, a point-of-sale/drive-thru transaction is limited in its ability to receive orders and deliver goods by the human factors involved, i.e. The employee may be able to only work as fast as they can. The time it takes to process an order can be affected by how fast the employee can take the order from the customer, listen to the order and record it. This is not only costly for both the customer and the employee, but it is also taxing for the fast-food retailer.
Today’s barcodes and other unique identifiers are static. They don’t generate or change specific to a customer order. Today, identifiers that are scanned at fast food restaurants only link to customer profiles and the method of payment (scanned by employees at the checkout) after an order has been placed. Customers must still communicate their order in the store or at a drive-thru. They can also pre-order online from the restaurant’s mobile app and place an order ahead of time. You cannot also place orders in one electronic transaction, consolidate, or share them. Electronic or automatic payments cannot be split between customers.
Accordingly, this invention provides an automated apparatus and method for performing an efficient transaction that involves the placing of an order for goods and the assembly of ordered items, as well as confirming payment and delivery of the items to customers.
The present invention, Point-of-Sale/Drive-Thru Automated Transaction Technologies (ATT) is predicated on an ordering, transacting, filing, and pick-up process at commercial fast food retailers. With the modernization of automated-technologies, ATT looks to bring a single (or minimal) step ordering process to the point-of-sale or drive-thru with limited human interaction.
The limitations of the human work process that operates unilaterally in nature, such as the limit on the number of drive-thru or point-of-sale transactions, are eliminated herein. ATT addresses these issues and offers methods and apparatus to provide faster and more accurate customer service and save fast food retailers time and money.
In certain embodiments, an AT system can be integrated with order processing equipment or existing applications, thereby leveraging and taking advantage of existing proprietary technologies and applications that fast-food retailers might have spent significant resources developing.
Embodiments at ATT provide new techniques and use of technology to provide automatic fast-food orders (or any other merchandise order), transactions and item pick up from remote, onsite points-of-sale or drive-thru locations via a mobile device, or other apparatus.
Fast food customers often order food at random. Customers have a ‘go-to’ list of meals they want to eat. Customers often have no predetermined food preferences, so to speak. However, they may not choose a specific fast-food location. Most people don’t know where they want to eat fast food. People often choose fast food restaurants because they are convenient. There are many factors that influence the convenience of ordering food. These include customer control, minimum wait time, order accuracy and restaurant/staff responsiveness. Customers order food on the move, whether they are traveling, with multiple customers, or when it is most convenient. When a driver has multiple orders to make at a drive-thru, it can become a hassle. These inefficiencies will be eliminated by ATT.
Embodiments might consider multiple orders complex. Generally, the more orders placed and more complex an order are, the more likely any order is to make mistakes due to user error or miscommunication.
The present invention solves the problem of splitting payments among multiple purchasers. It solves the problems of many of today’s fast food technology or applications. Customers must choose a restaurant and preorder a meal. Then, customers have to come in to pick up the order. This invention implements scan-to-order capabilities. One or more customers can combine multiple meals into one order and pay for all items at participating locations. ATT largely eliminates many of the inefficiencies and shortcomings of current systems. ATT can be adapted to existing franchise systems. A loyalty program or sign in may or may not need to be required. Customers may place orders, pay and then pick up their items through the mobile app or without any human interaction.
One aspect is a system for delivering a prepared food item. The system includes: a computer server with a processor in logical communications with a digital storage storing executable codes; and a transmitter with logical communication to a digital communication network. The executable code works with the processor to allow the server to receive an encoded barcode and a unique transaction number with encoded information, including a user ID, from a scanner at a food preparation facility. A server may also be able to display a user’s order description and payment status on a mobile device. A remote operation of a dispenser may be possible based on receipt of an encoded barcode. The dispenser is composed of a number of bins that can store food items. When the user presents the mobile device with this barcode, the dispenser will dispense one or more of these items.
One aspect is a method of delivery of food products. The method includes receiving a description of the order and a payment status displayed with a barcode on a mobile device or other means, such as printed images on receipts. A remote operation of a dispenser may be possible based on receipt of an encoded barcode. The dispenser is equipped with a number of bins that can store food items. When the barcode is presented to the user, the device will allow the dispenser to dispense one or more food items. The temperature of each food item in the dispenser can be set at ambient temperature, below ambient temperature, or higher than ambient temperature. Configuring executable code is also included to include a first touchscreen activated functionality. This activates a group ordering protocol. Method also includes receiving an activation response from a user. The method includes the receipt of a list of multiple users that may be involved in creating a food product order. Communication with the plurality users is also part of the method. This communication allows for two or more users to place orders. This method can also include receiving orders from more than one user. This method includes notifying the first user about the status of an order. The method includes placing food products into a first bin of dispenser. This allows food products to be included in the food order of any two or more users. The method also involves communicating a barcode to the first user. This barcode gives the information necessary for the user to interact the dispenser and receive the group order of food products. The dispenser will only dispense the food products to first users if the barcode image is submitted to a scanner attached to a dispenser.
One aspect is a method for dispensing food items that are ready to be consumed by customers, which includes the step of receiving the programmable code for execution on the customer’s smart device. The method of dispensing food items includes the identification of the customer being entered into the smart device. In order to dispensing food items, the method also involves entering multiple restaurants into the customer’s smart device. A method for dispensing food items includes creating a geographical position of the customer’s smart device using global positioning coordinates. A customer’s preferred restaurant can be displayed on their smart device screen. This includes any of the multiple restaurants. A travel time to the chosen restaurant is also displayed as part of the method of dispensing food items. A travel path to the chosen restaurant is also part of the method for dispensing food items. The method of dispensing food includes creating an order, including food items and preparation, on the customer’s smart device. The method of dispensing food items includes sending the order, including food items and preparation, to the preferred restaurant. The method of dispensing food items includes the display on the customer’s smart device of a direction of travel that is based on the geographical position of the customer and the selected preferred restaurant. Payment information is also sent to the customer for payment. This information can be based on food items or food preparation. A unique identifier is required to identify the food item ordered and its preparation. An automated dispenser can also be used to dispense food items by transmitting the unique identifier associated the order for food items or food preparation. Method of dispensing food items includes the transmission of unique identifiers and payment information. This allows the automated dispenser to order food items that are ready for consumption according to customer’s instructions.
Implements may include one or more the following features. Method for dispensing food items that are prepared for consumption by a customer. This method also includes the step of updating the geographical position periodically and sending the updated geo position to the chosen preferred restaurant. Method for dispensing food items that are ready to be consumed by a customer. This method also includes the steps of updating the geographical position periodically and updating the direction according to the updated geographic location. A method of dispensing food items that are prepared for customer consumption also includes the step of creating an indication of fulfillment of the order for food or food preparation. A method of dispensing food items that are ready for consumption by a customer also includes the steps of receiving a list from a plurality users who may be involved in creating a food product order. Communication with multiple users may be part of the method. This communication allows for two or more users to place orders. This method could also include receiving orders from multiple users. This method could also include receiving orders from two or more users.
The process of dispensing food items that are ready for consumption by a customer could also include receiving payment information from all of the users who have placed orders and sending the information to the chosen restaurant. A threshold of travel time may be added to the method of dispensing food items ready for consumption. This may include entering a travel route. This may include putting in a permissible deviation. This method could also include the generation of a list with food vendors that have automated dispensers along the route and within the travel time threshold.
The scanning of a license plate number using an image capture device may be used to dispense food items that are ready for consumption. Based on the scan of the license plate number, the method can also be used to identify the order of food and the food preparation. A method of dispensing food items ready for consumption by customers also includes the scanning of a customer’s face with an image capture device in order to create a facial picture. This method could also include facial recognition of the facial image. Facial recognition can also be used to identify the order of food and the food preparation. A near-field communication protocol may be used to transmit the unique identifier of the customer’s smart device to an automated dispenser. An automated food dispenser that prepares food for human consumption includes: A container containing multiple different bins, each suitable for storing food; at least one cup-holder within each bin; a digital input devices for receiving an order from a customer; a receiver to receive digital information via a distributed network; an executable code storage device; a processor for communicating with a storage device that stores executable code. The processor will receive a user input, which includes the unique identifier, and then transmit a command to move the bins.
Implements may include one or several of the following features. Each ordered food item is prepared according to the order. The designated dispenser bin is assigned and the food items are placed in an insulated area. Automated food dispenser that stores food items according to ordered food preparation. It is linked to the unique order ID and available for automated order pick-up based on user input.
The present disclosure generally covers apparatus and methods that allow customers to select food items, place an order using scanning systems at a point-of-sale or drive-thru, then pay for it via traditional or scanning systems. The integrated system can track the location of the customer so that food items are ready for pick up at the pick-up points as soon as they arrive at the pick-up points. The integrated system can automatically identify the customer using scanning systems and match the order with the customer before delivering the food items. The system can also confirm the payment method and make payment for the food items to be delivered. You have the option to pay on order or by pick-up.
The following sections will provide detailed descriptions of examples of disclosure and methods. Both preferred and alternate examples are described, but they are only examples. It is possible that modifications and variations may be obvious to those who are skilled in the art. The examples are not intended to limit the scope of the underlying disclosure as described in the claims.Click here to view the patent on Google Patents.