• 18 Jan 2018
  • By sunil-veena
  • Share On [addtoany]

Digitize your Restaurant Business with Smart Technology Solutions

Whether you run a fine-dining or a fast-food, casual or a quick service restaurant, a cafe or a pub, think how you can benefit from technology? There are two reasons for it: One, it improves productivity and service. Two, it helps in attracting and retaining customers.

Smartphones, 4G internet connectivity, and hi-tech gadgets have revolutionized the way people search, connect and buy. Not only this, your customers publicly review and rate their experience about places they visit. With smart technology solutions, you can create a positive and differentiated customer experience.

Integrating technology can help turn tables faster and, keep your customers happy.
Here, are some smart ways in which you can digitize your restaurant business.

(a) Advanced Technology solutions within a restaurant premise:
Use of hi-tech tablets/POS systems for order-placing and taking feedback, cashless transactions using swipe card machines, digital menus, signing credit card bills on the touchscreen, and now iPads are being used as cash registers are few latest technologies.

For instance, Prime Burgers is a fast-food chain in the UK that increased sales by 50% just by replacing static menus with digital ones. Dynamic digital signagesare a perfect vehicle to convey whatever information you want and modify it as per your needs.

Interactive technology is also prevalent is some developed countries where machines are taking over the role of waiters, but interactivity can still be established online by extending loyalty benefits to customers and getting them hungry for more.

Restaurants that are looking to reduce theft, improve employee productivity and offer unmatched guest experience could opt for hybrid tablet POS terminals. This tablet act as a dual-function POS system, where adults can order food and drinks, while children have access to games.

Mobile POS tablets give customers surety from knowing they will get exactly what they have ordered. Additionally, it saves the time of waiters from table to kitchen during peak hours. Posiflex MT4008 helps to bridge the mobile/tablet gap.

(b) The Hospitality industry is embracing the world of digital marketing:
Advertising, re-marketing, reviews and ratings, social media promotions, news, and articles give an opportunity to reach new and existing customers.

  • Local search ads on Google help people locate your restaurant
  • Sponsored social media posts are a great way to advertise your business.
  • Tempting food photos on Instagram and Facebook help to spread-the-word
  • Leverage user-generated-content (UGC) by social media visual displays. When consumers leave positive reviews, join your community, give excellent ratings, use this content through interesting creative forms on social media.
  • Engage with your audience by running online contests, making videos, hashtag campaigns on social media to promote your business.
  • Two-thirds of business usually comes from repeat customers, therefore it is important to gauge customer experience and use this data to make personalization possible. Data mining from social media sites, review sites like trip advisor or Zomato, and other online sources is an important technology tool to gather useful information.
  • As per the BCG’s 2017 survey, digital reviews have a real impact on sales. A superb customer review could do wonders,but a single critic could adversely impact the restaurant business. Every effort should be made to harness positive reviews and, tactically manage any negative reviews online using Audience listening and Online Reputation Management (ORM) strategy.
  • Blogging about food has become the new trend. It is a great way to engage with other bloggers writing on food, to promote your restaurant specialty.

Diving into direct marketing is a great way to extend customer loyalty by inviting your customers to events, special promotions and, emailing them discount coupons. View here, International Restaurant Success Industry Report 2017.

(c) Mobile applications and third-party apps:
Quick and easy food-ordering and tracking delivery apps is a hot trend featuring in the latest technology for restaurant success. Mobile ordering boosts sales.

Convenience plays a greater role in consumer expectations today. Zomato, Swiggy and Foodpanda are restaurant aggregator apps that provide the most transparent, easier and joyful experience to customers. Using App-on-lease service you can build your own mobile app at low-cost to take orders, share promotions and book-a-table in advance so that customers don’t have to wait when they arrive. Starbuck has its own mobile app which accounts for about 5% to 20% of sales. All this is only building pressure for those who haven’t implemented mobile ordering yet.

According to the Deloitte report “The restaurant of the future: Creating the next-generation customer experience”, 70% of consumers want restaurant apps to engage with them on a personal level.

Thinking out-of-the-box! Innovative technology solutions worldwide

  • A software solution that can count the number of cups of coffee made in real time. Also, informs the user when the machine is required to be repaired or cleaned.
  • Touchscreen Ice-cream machine produces 96 variations in 40 seconds.
  • A LED alert system to notify of any job done or warn about an issue in the kitchen.
  • Webcam monitoring for surveillance and detect any non-compliance with health regulations and food quality standards.
  • iPad order kiosks prevent walk-aways and can actually result in more orders.
  • Facebook-based ordering is something very new and upcoming.
  • Self-checkout option using an iPad over the table itself.
  • Gesture-enabled games in McDonald’s for kids while they wait for their happy meal.

The Bottom-line:

Digital is disrupting every segment of the hospitality industry by means of in-location technology like POS systems, webcams, digital signages or online and mobile apps. The emergence of new technology will further re-define the way how consumers engage with brands. Restaurants need to invest more in technology to unlock the many opportunities that give them an edge and provide customers a wow experience.