More than ever before, competition for the dining dollar of the restaurant-going public has become an Olympic-level event. From McDonald’s to Starbucks and Panera to Chipotle, it’s become more and more clear that developing that perfect sandwich or frothing up the best frappuccino is only the tip of the iceberg. The real secret to grabbing and holding onto your customer base is personalization.
Diners today respond to a dining experience that’s tailored specifically to their wants, needs, and purchasing habits. If you can offer them what they want before they know they want it and make the ordering and purchasing process fast, easy, and intuitive, you’re winning the brand loyalty sweepstakes.
But how do you do that?
There are many great ways to personalize the restaurant experience, using a range of newly available technology as a jumping off point. Here are a few ways in which you can hitch a ride on the personalization bandwagon.
Leverage the Technology
Before you can personalize your customers’ dining experience to match their likes, dislikes, and purchasing habits, you need to find out what those habits, likes, and dislikes are. There’s a range of emerging technological tools to help do just that.
User-friendly ordering apps were just the beginning. Now, solutions like OneDine can gather all of the information you need to target your customers’ needs with pinpoint accuracy and raise their dining experience up out of the boring status quo.
Custom Check-in and Ordering
With just a quick scan on a mobile device, your customers can check in and be presented with a digital menu from which they can order at their convenience. With repeat visits, each customer can get special offers personalized to their likes, dislikes, allergies and other specialized menu preferences. Guests can customize their OneDine profile to reflect their dietary and lifestyle preferences, including their favorite cuisines, dishes, spice levels, and much more.
It’s like eating at home, where Mom already knows how you like everything—but no one will give you grief about becoming a vegan.
If you’re like me, going out to eat means going to a place you know and ordering something you know you like. Why waste a meal – and ruin your day – by eating something you might end up hating? Life is too short.
In the movies there’s always that funny waiter who knows your name and is able to suggest just the right thing that you never noticed before on the menu while giving you meaningful advice about that new relationship. Well, with technology like OneDine, that waiter can work for you (minus the relationship advice).
With data from past visits, each guest can get individualized suggestions based on prior preferences. You’re a pasta fan? Try our new Fettuccine Alfredo! The chicken sandwich is a favorite? Our new Southwest Chicken Slider is right up your alley!
Business owners have always known that if you reward loyal customers, they’re more likely to stay loyal – and they might even bring some other future loyal customers in with them next time. Today’s technology takes loyalty rewards programs to the next level.
Take Starbucks for example. Their loyalty rewards program, wrapped up with a convenient app, lets customers order and pay through their mobile device while receiving personalized special offers based on previous purchases and personal preferences. In 2018, Starbucks increased their active rewards members by 14% to 16.3 million customers.
That’s a whole lot of customers who are buying coffee from Starbucks when they might have otherwise gone elsewhere – or worse, stayed home with their coffee maker. When you’re trying to decide where to get your caffeine fix, that loyalty reward star that earns you a free latte can be all it takes to make up your mind.
Get the Word Out
Put simply, rapidly evolving technology like OneDine can bring more customers through your doors – and keep them coming back for more. Not only does it provide ways to target the likes and dislikes of each customer like never before, but the data gathered as a result helps continually improve the process. The result is a more enjoyable experience for your guests and more business for you.
Emails and text messages curated based on all this data are just one more way to build increased and more consistent business. Targeted messages offering discounts on proven favorites sent at times when a guest has been most likely to order in the past can be very effective in driving repeat business.
Some nights of the week tend to be more hectic than others. If a guest tends to order takeout consistently on Wednesdays, a timely email reminding them about that family-sized sesame chicken meal can be just what it takes to get that phone in their hand.
The possibilities are endless and growing every day. It’s time you took advantage of them.
All you’ve gotta do is take that first step.