5 Must-Have Technologies
Mobile technology continues to disrupt the restaurant industry in many ways. People already use mobile apps to place delivery orders, book tables, and pay the bill. Restaurant operators should be aware of the following
5 innovative technologies to boost their traffic and keep ahead of the competition.
Competition in the foodservice industry is growing and it’s important for restaurants to excite their customers with new technologies. Here’s a quick look at the recent innovations that help restaurants deliver better dining experience to their existing customers while encouraging new ones.
1. Food pre-ordering
Food pre-ordering is one of the most trending technologies for restaurants right now. It lets customers to order ahead and avoid waiting at restaurants. Diners can be in and out of a restaurant in less than 15 minutes.
In turn, online food pre-ordering means less hassle for restaurant owners. It eliminates time wasted on telephone calls, which is one less concern for busy employees.
Pre-ordering helps restaurants increase table turnover and deliver better customer experience. Starbucks, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut already have pre-ordering on their mobile apps.
Food pre-orders are usually paid in advance before they make it to the customers. This means growth in sales since a pre-order is a guaranteed table of diners for a restaurant.
Service like Allset goes a step further and helps restaurants sell prepaid meals along with prepaid tables. Allset is a reservation app that lets customers pre-order breakfasts and lunches at participating restaurants so that table and meals are ready when customers arrive. Allset is the first service to offer a hybrid “table booking + food pre-ordering” approach. It helps restaurants sell in advance and increase table turnover.
2. Table booking
Table booking is another technology that shows your understanding of the importance of your customers’ convenience. OpenTable is the leading provider of online reservations that helps restaurants deliver great user experience and manage the flow of their customers.
Many restaurants use reservation systems to keep their tables filled. Restaurants can expectedly sell more tables if customers can make reservations with their smartphones.
Table booking apps also allow restaurants to pay closer attention to customers and remember their preferences. When a customer makes reservation via mobile app, a restaurant will remember who the guest is and have an opportunity to create a lasting relationship. For that matter, table booking apps are becoming more of a personal concierge service for diners.
3. Mobile payment
Mobile payment technology has become an integral part of everyone’s life, and this is just the beginning of its impact. This is why restaurants should re-think the way they settle their bills.
Apps like Cover and Dash make the process of paying easy and pain-free for both restaurant and customer. Restaurant employees can focus more on providing better service and worry less about running checks and handling credit cards during busy hours. It means faster turnarounds for restaurants and better experience for customers.
Why else should we embrace mobile check payment? Because it’s a proven way to attract millennials to restaurant. Millennials are obsessed with their smartphones and they are often the early adopters of new technologies. For these folks, dining already became mobile.
The restaurant delivery space is getting more and more crowded. It’s hard to find a restaurant that does not provide delivery service, especially the one where customers place order over the phone. Let’s consider the business model of partnership between restaurant and food delivery apps, like Caviar and Postmates.
With food delivery services, restaurants have obvious advantages of not having to hire additional employees, handle delivery logistics, and take care of customer service.
Your business can reach a larger audience as food delivery apps will get your food and your restaurant menus straight to your customers.
Busy people and millennials are the driving force behind the delivery trend, and restaurant’s ability to deliver food to their office or home are more valued than ever. Everyone is busier now and more and more people just want to slide their laptops a few inches forward and have their meals on the desk.
This Forbes shows how food delivery services work. Maybe it’s high time to bring your restaurant onboard.
5. Review and recommendations
Services like Yelp and Foursquare put your restaurant on the map customized by user’s preferences. These restaurant-finding apps help people locate your restaurant if they are near you or if your menus match their interests and tastes.
Restaurant operators can set up their business accounts to showcase their restaurants to millions of people that use review and recommendation services to find new great places to try out.
Every review, photo, or tag adds keywords to your restaurant and improves your search performance and exposure. The more contents that are related to your restaurant there are, the more your restaurant shows up in searches. Create a strong public profile, add photos of your restaurant and menus, respond to customer reviews, and just let the word of mouth take care of the marketing.