“Did you check the photos? They are really cool”
“Did you make the table reservation for dinner tonight?”
“Please check the website if they serve brewed beer?”
Sounds familiar, right? Technology has transformed our dine out experience entirely. Where to eat, what to order, and how to make payment – Technology plays a significant role in every step.
According to the 2015 Restaurant Industry Forecast by The National Restaurant Association, consumers are likely to be influenced by technology more and more for restaurant selection. And, restaurant owners are quick to adapt to changing customer demands. Whether they have to grow their customer loyalty or perform menu engineering, technology can be a huge help.
However, building and maintaining consistent customer engagement is a challenging task. It requires more than just the quality food and a good ambience. You need the power of technology to boost your efforts.
Digital Menu Boards
The digital form of your restaurant menu is worth a thousand bytes. It can do much more than the traditional paper-based menu and gives a clearer picture of what the food really looks like. You can draw in more guests at your restaurant, with better control over what your customers see first on the menu. And not just that! With digital menu boards, you can promote your signature dishes even during off hours and attract the wandering owls.
Furthermore, digital menu boards allow restaurants to personalize the online food ordering experience of customers. They can quickly view seasonal specialities, chef’s specials, frequent orders, and the must-try dishes depending upon their tastes and preferences. The digital menu assistance helps them get personalized choices based on what they have ordered in the past or what other guests prefer the most.
Not just customers but even restaurant owners can benefit from digital menu boards, as they can change their offering as many times as they want to meet individual expectations. And, the digital menu makeover won’t cost them a fortune!
Kitchen Display System
Putting together an order in the restaurant kitchen is a cumbersome task. Technology makes it simpler by helping know orders and customer preferences better. With a kitchen display system, customizing food orders is easier. Take for instance Pizza Express (An Italian Restaurant), which allows its customers to get customizable toppings on their pizza slices. Customers are allowed to pick what they want on their slice of Pizza, and the same info is communicated to the chefs through the Kitchen Display System.
As soon as a customer enters the order, it starts reflecting on the display in the kitchen, ensuring faster order tracking at your restaurant. Consequently, no order detail falls through the cracks, even when the heat is on in the kitchen. Kitchen Display Systems can significantly impact the order processing time and help you serve orders and flip tables faster.
Another innovation that is helping restaurant owners offer something special to their guests every time is the CRM solution. With a CRM system, a restaurant’s staff can track birthdays, anniversaries and other important milestones in the life of their customers. Accordingly, it will be easy for the staff to provide personalized offers to its valuable customers and enhance the possibility of them choosing you over your competition.
CRM solutions can also help in keeping your customers updated on any new dish that is introduced in your restaurant or the events lined up during the weekends. This way, your customers are likely to remember you when they are planning a dine-out.
Sitting patiently while the food craving peaks! It’s truly not a delightful experience for customers. However, the in-restaurant messaging technology can make the waiting game less painful. If digital signs can appear on the mobile app, tablet or digital signage display, customers can track how many minutes to go before their food is served on the table. And in the meanwhile, they can order drinks or something to munch on.
At present, online delivery apps like Swiggy is using this technology to help customers know if the food is being lovingly prepared by a chef or is it out for delivery. Also, the wait time is mentioned at the time of order to give customers a realistic turnaround time. Similarly, the in-restaurant wait time can be made less boring and maybe even fun through messaging apps. Customers will not just be bystanders, as there will be something to feed their curiosity.
Chatbots & Conversational Interfaces
Digital assistants are opening up exciting possibilities for restaurant owners and customers alike. Through chatbots and online food ordering apps, restaurants are responding to customer inquiries and requests for customized food orders quickly and efficiently. Take, for instance, the AI application of Domino’s Pizza, named as Dom. This AI application allows customers to order pizza and other menu items, such as pasta, dips, and desserts by just sending a message. Customers can connect with Dom directly through Facebook Messenger and order their favourite pizzas online in just a few minutes.
And then, there are AI-driven robots like Flippy and Pepper, which are helping restaurants enhance the preparation quality and delivery speed. Restaurant robots are quickly being adopted by restaurants to process orders and provide the best alternative to customers.
Every other restaurant is adopting new strategies to drive in more visitors and ensure an incredible experience for them. So, why are you letting an opportunity pass you by? Adopt these restaurant technology trends, and be all set to engage more with customers.