We live in an era of unprecedented connectivity. The increased internet usage of today’s consumers provides abundant customer data that smart business owners can leverage to drive revenue. The restaurant industry is no exception, and restaurant technologies are moving quickly from “nice-to-have” to “must-have” status in order to stay competitive or even survive.
Here’s how restaurant technology can help you create a better customer experience, foster closer customer relationships, and increase repeat business.
1. Mobile and Online Ordering
Consumer smartphone use is at an all-time high, creating new opportunities for the restaurant industry to reach out to customers through additional digital ordering channels. Carry-out and delivery sales can be a substantial portion of your revenue stream, and smartphones provide fast and easy ways for customers to make such purchases. Online ordering from your website or your branded mobile app should integrate seamlessly with your point of sale (POS) and will give your customers the convenience and flexibility they expect. In fact, online ordering solutions generate more revenue, with online checks averaging 15% higher than in-store.
If they choose to set up an account, information from past and favorite orders will be available to make re-orders a snap. Customers can also use their smartphones to connect with your loyalty program, checking balances and earning and redeeming rewards regardless of which ordering channel they’re using.
2. Loyalty Programs
A Harvard study revealed that increasing repeat visits by just 5% can increase profits anywhere between 25% and 125%. Repeat customers can spend up to 67% more, and it costs less to keep existing customers than to recruit new ones. Loyalty programs are a proven way to build stronger relationships and keep people coming back. Customers like feeling connected to their favorite businesses and knowing their patronage is valued. Data gathered from loyalty program accounts, including purchase histories, can be used to create targeted marketing campaigns and promotions to encourage return visits. A 2018 marketing research report from SevenRooms revealed that 79% of consumers said they are only likely to act on an offer if it’s personalized based on previous transactions, so use this restaurant technology to reward your customers’ loyalty to the food they love, and watch your sales grow.
3. Tablet POS
Whether they’re used as self-order kiosks for line-busting or used tableside by wait staff or patrons, tablet POS solutions are another form of restaurant technology that creates a better customer experience. Tablets streamline operations by sending orders directly to the kitchen, which has major advantages over a paper ticket system. It increases order accuracy by eliminating errors caused by illegible or misplaced tickets, and it decreases customer wait times as the server doesn’t have to run the tickets back and forth. Tableside payments also speed up the process, leading to increased table turnovers, and make customers feel more secure because their credit or debit card never leaves their sight. All of these factors contribute to happy customers, who are more likely to become repeat customers.
The best tablet POS solutions share a common code base with your POS software. This ensures that 100% of functionality is retained between the fixed and mobile stations. The cross-functionality between fixed and mobile stations will make training staff on the tablets simple and fast.
Technology’s Role in the Restaurant Industry
The relationships you foster with your customers are the foundation upon which your entire business rests. When you understand your customers and what they need, you will be able to deliver the experiences they want. Restaurant technology plays an increasingly important role in helping you achieve this. With it, you will be armed with data to help you make business decisions that align with customer demands, and equipped with the tools you need to meet them. Mobile and online ordering, loyalty programs, and tablets are all critical tools that the smart business owner should leverage to elevate the customer experience as the industry evolves.
When you’re ready to start reaping the benefits of implementing these restaurant technologies, you’ll want solutions that will integrate seamlessly with your POS. HungerRush is a fully integrated, complete system. It's designed with customers in mind, backed by our thorough knowledge of the restaurant industry and our 24/7, U.S-based customer service. See how our solutions can increase your revenue,