The restaurant industry is a competitive market and If you want to stay ahead of the game, you need to utilize the latest technology to save your costs and increase sales. There are lots of technology solutions available for restaurants these days and they are evolving fast. Technology has revolutionized the restaurant industry by making it easier to run a restaurant, provide better/faster service and increase profits. Here are 4 technologies that you should consider for your restaurant.
Online and Mobile Ordering
Online ordering has become so popular in the recent years that it has become a must-have for all quick service restaurants. Domino’s has reported that 60% of their sales are coming from digital channels. Online ordering is a convenient way for your customers to order their food for delivery or pickup. It’s also convenient for your staff since it frees them up from having to take orders over the phone and eliminates the chances of mistakes when taking orders since the customer is the one in charge of putting the order through. Not only you can provide better and faster service to your customers which in turn will lead to more sales, you would be able to up-sell easier through online ordering. Based on the customer’s selection, you could recommend other items such as a side or a beverage. Online ordering can be offered though your restaurants’s web or mobile app or through third party companies such as Uber Eats, Doordash and etc. It is important to ensure that your online ordering is configured for mobile devices since customers are using their mobile devices more and more these days to order food.
Mobile payment technology has also gained a lot of popularity recently. The mobile payment volumes are predicted to reach $503 billion by 2020 according to Business Insider. Therefore, adopting this technology can be very valuable for your restaurant. To accept mobile payment such as Apple Pay at your restaurant you need to work with a payment processor that offers this feature. A mobile payment reader will have to installed at your register and whenever a customer wants to pay using this method, they’ll just hold their phone close to the reader and that’s it! A lot of people are using mobile payment because it’s fast, convenient and secure. You can add your credit and debit cards to your mobile wallet so you don’t have to carry your cards with you and when it comes to paying, you don’t have to scramble around in your wallet to find your card. This method of payment is actually more secure than using your physical card as well. You can also offer mobile payments online and in order to do that, you need to ensure that the company that provides your online ordering solution has integration with different mobile payment providers.
Digital Rewards and Loyalty Programs
Rewards and loyalty programs have become more popular and the reason is that they actually work in increasing sales! A report by Forrester shows that customers who are members of loyalty programs on average spend more than customers who are not part of the program. However, rewards and loyalty programs must be easy to use for customer otherwise, it’s going to have a negative impact on your brand. Punch cards and paper coupon don’t work in this day and age anymore. Your customers are not going to remember to bring them every time and it’s impossible for you to keep track of the rewards that the customers have collected. Digital rewards and loyalty programs have made it so convenient for customers to collect points and provide an opportunity for you to collect valuable information about your customers and their behaviour that can be used for marketing purposes. When you offer digital rewards and loyalty programs, your customers can use their smart phones to store their loyalty cards instead of carrying a physical card and you would be able to measure your liabilities in terms of discounts and freebies that you owe to your customers. Many digital rewards and loyalty programs providers will give you the ability to run reports and analytics on your customers engagement with the program which will tell you whether or not the program is working.
Self-Service In-Store Ordering
Self-service in-store ordering technology comes in different forms to suit the needs of different restaurants. Quick-service restaurants can use self-service kiosks such as the ones that McDonald’s has for customers to order and pay for their food. Full-service restaurants have the option to use self-service table top tablets where the guests can browse through the menu, order food or drinks and pay for their bill without having to see a server. Olive Garden is one of the restaurants that is currently using this technology. These self-service devices speed up the process of ordering and payments, while reducing the need for staff to handle these tasks and at the same time they are fun and interactive for customers. Some table top tablets entertain guests as well by allowing them to play games or watch videos on them. You have to keep in mind however, that not everyone is tech savvy and some might prefer to interact with a real person while dining. Therefore, you should look at these technologies as alternatives rather than a complete replacement of your servers.