Modern Restaurant Technology and How it Improves Customer Experiences
Technology is unstoppable and will dominate the restaurant industry. Many surveys and studies prove that Intuitive software helps managers, servers, and hosts operate more efficiently and enhances the dining experience worldwide. In addition, 79% of consumers agree that restaurant technology improves their experience as guests.
In the consumer-driven hospitality industry, like restaurants, cafés, and bars, staying on top of trends that may impact business and help drive revenue is critical. Restaurants are skeptical of the potential benefits technology can offer, here’s another statistic: 73% of restaurant operators agree that technology provides a competitive edge and improves profitability.
So, how exactly does technology contribute to customer satisfaction and higher profits? Below are some proven technologies that can help enhance.
Point of Sale Software
Though point-of-sale systems (POS) are no longer a new technology, many restaurants still do not use them. With the help of POS, vendors continue to optimize this software to boost operational efficiency and provide greater insight into business performance. In most full-service restaurants, customers never directly interact with the POS; nevertheless, having one can improve the dining experience.
A POS system ensures smooth and well-paced service when used correctly. It also empowers servers to accept credit cards or split checks. Moreover, restaurant managers and owners can also use the insights from an intuitive system to inform their staffing decisions, influence menu creation, and determine the most profitable hours of operation. Furthermore, these are all key aspects which must be incorporated to improve the overall restaurant experience.
On the other hand, many restaurants and cafés also use an iPad POS to improve the customer experience. This handheld system is a breakthrough that can reduce the length of lines, speed up checkouts, and eliminate order errors. Long lines in restaurants during rush hours and misinterpreted orders due to poor handwriting can be avoided. Servers use this tech throughout the restaurant, communicating with the kitchen instantaneously. As a result, customers receive the correct order faster and automatically have a better experience.
This is trending in many quick-service restaurants: studies have shown that over 57% of restaurants are looking to add tablet-based POS software in their next tech upgrade.
Having this tool on your bucket list is really of great help. With a reservation management system, restaurants can capture reservations made online and via phone all in one place. In addition, hosts can review all the guest information for a particular shift using a single interface.
This tool allows hosts to manage table assignments based on all captured reservations to ensure guests are seated promptly. As a result, everyone’s experience improves the hosts, the customers who made reservations, and walk-in guests. With a real-time view of reserved tables, the host can quote more accurate wait times for everyone. Long wait times are a common reason for clients to leave your place, which results in a loss of potential revenue.
Mobile App and Ordering
A mobile restaurant strategy is critical in a world where 92% of your customers search for restaurants via a mobile browser, and 75% choose which restaurant to eat at based on mobile search results. In addition, your walk-in customers will appreciate having the ability to make reservations, place orders, and engage with your establishment from their phones.
One example of a quick-service café that has benefitted from a customer-facing mobile app is Starbucks. This coffee giant invites customers to order and pay for drinks on their smartphones. As of 2016, 21% of Starbucks transactions are made through their mobile app, with around 11 million people currently signed up for the app.
This strategy saves customers time and hassle; it also helps reduces café lines to improve the experience of guests who order their drinks in-store. When creating a mobile strategy, a restaurant should ensure its website and menu are mobile-friendly, so customers can view hours, see menu options, and make reservations on their phones.
Social Media Presence
Social media channels are the most effective for restaurants to boost customer engagement as they are accessible and easy to read, restaurants can optimize their social profiles by including hours of operation and quick links to online menus.
When creating social updates, restaurants might focus on daily specials, events, and discounts to entice visitors. Maintaining updated social profiles also boosts any mobile strategy you have in place because users can easily search and view Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram profiles on their phones.
Social media remains the most popular business platform in all industries to address concerns, especially for restaurant customers. With an active social presence, restaurants can promptly respond to and mitigate complaints.
Lastly, restaurants can engage with their customers by sharing or responding to user-generated content tagged on social media. Guests will feel extra special if their favorite restaurant reposts one of their social media updates and thanks them for visiting.