Keeping up with technology is a business strategy whose value cannot be overstated.
New technology is a major driver of progress, in general, and if you don’t keep tabs on it and put it to use, when appropriate, you can be sure that your competitors will.
Here are some of the future-proof technologies that can help solve many of the pressing problems facing the restaurant industry every day.
Web presence and social media
Problem solved? Attracting and keeping customers
Possibly the most effective way to promote your business and bring people through the doors is a well-made, informative, useful website.
Consumers today have come to expect a certain level of sophistication when it comes to the web presence of the businesses they patronize. They expect to find your address, phone number, and hours prominently displayed along with your social media profiles. They also want to see a current menu, a photo gallery, online ordering capability, and online reservations. They want to know your story. They want the site to be well organized, and they need it to be easy to use.
In today’s world, they also want to see your COVID-19 procedures and protocols front and center.
Oh, and perhaps most importantly today and into the future: make sure it’s mobile compatible (more on that later). Studies show that over 80% of consumers have searched for a restaurant on their mobile device.
In addition to a traditional web presence, social media is a relatively easy and refreshingly inexpensive way to get your brand out there and to do it in a fun and engaging way. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Yelp (or, ideally, all those and more), the simple fact of the matter is that you’ve gotta be out there.
Social media makes your audience feel like they’re personally connected with you.
Guests can actually talk to you and get a real response from a real person. If they’re currently in your restaurant or have visited it in the past, they can share their experience with others through reviews and even pictures, and that brings in even more business. Guests should be encouraged to share their dining experience with their online followers, and you can do that by giving them hashtags to use and rewarding their shares with specials, coupons, or other incentives.
Your social media should be informative, creative, and you should update your profiles often; you’ve got to be interactive!
E-coupons, gift cards, and loyalty programs
Problem solved? Customer retention
One of the best ways to keep customers coming back, once you’ve brought them in in the first place, is to reward them for doing so.
Use POS or online ordering technology, social media, or even your WiFi access portal to collect information about your customers such as email addresses, birthdays, menu and diet preferences, and buying patterns.
Once you’ve collected this data, you can easily offer targeted coupons, birthday special offers, and even onsite discounts generated as diners peruse electronic menus or just pass by your front door.
Problem solved? Customer convenience
Today’s customers want easy digital access and ordering. A survey from MGH found that 77% of diners will visit a restaurant’s website before they dine in or order out.
More than 80% of consumers have searched for a restaurant on their mobile device, and that number is only going to rise as time goes by. The majority of consumers (53%) are adding more mobile dining apps to limit their contact with on-site staff.
More than half (51%) of those have downloaded at least one new app to purchase food and essentials, with 37% adding more than two.
Put simply, if you haven’t already begun to embrace mobile apps and digital access, you’re at a competitive disadvantage, and that disadvantage is only going to grow the longer you wait.
POS-integrated systems like those available from OneDine offer an array of technological solutions for streamlining the ordering, payment, and overall dining experience for a convenient, customer-centric process that increases guest satisfaction.
With OneDine’s order management technology, when a customer places an order for the first time, they’re given the opportunity to “opt in” and accept the terms and conditions upon giving their phone number.
Once a user accepts the terms and conditions, they’re officially a OneDine member and get access to all loyalty platform offerings. By default, our system documents every customer, which location they’re dining in, and every sales interaction. Guests can also enter all their own information to more precisely tailor their loyalty rewards and offers.
From online ordering at home to ordering, paying, and picking up curbside to ordering and paying at your table by tapping or scanning a sensor, OneDine’s future-proof tech can help you achieve greater guest satisfaction, increased retention, and much more.
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