We use technology to improve every aspect of our lives and businesses. Restaurant owners have always been quick to adopt new technologies. Today, almost every restaurant is signed up with either ESPN on DirecTV, or some other service provider, to offer customers free Wi-Fi at their locations. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
Restaurants use technology for three main purposes. To attract customers. To entertain customers. To improve their own efficiency. Use of technology has made it easier for restaurants to operate and grow.
Before we look at ways to boost your restaurant, let’s understand why you need technology in the first place. Here’s how the recent growth in use technology has affected the restaurant business
How Has Technology Changed Restaurant Business?
Technology has always had an influence on restaurants. Since the introduction of music in restaurants, technology has been a part of it. Today, technology is leading the way in changing the industry.
Here are 3 ways technology affects restaurant today:
Reviews have always been important for restaurants. Technology has made it so that restaurants rely more on reviews now than ever before. This has both positive and negative impacts on a restaurant. Today, every customer is a potential reviewer. This means that restaurants are under added pressure to ensure every customer experience is positive.
While restaurant promotions and offers are nothing new, there is a growing demand for them. Almost all online promotion platforms require restaurants to offer discounts or special offers. Most small restaurants are finding it hard to compete.
- Public communication
The internet and social media have made it possible for customers to communicate with restaurants. While this is a good thing, it is also very dangerous. It can be risky because not every customer experience can be a good one. The restaurant can face serious consequences if someone complains on their Facebook page.
- Improving efficiency
Using technology improves restaurant operations in many ways. Order taking and payment processing have been greatly improved. Waiters are able to be more productive and make fewer mistakes if they use tablets for taking orders. According to the National Restaurant Association over 80% of restaurants are using digital POS systems.
Technology has had both positive and negative impacts on the restaurant business. Here are 5 ways in which restaurants can use technology to boost their business.
5 Tech Trends to Boost Your Restaurant
The National Restaurant Association conducted a survey of more than 1000 restaurants. They found that 32% of restaurants think they could be doing more with technology. Restaurants are already using all kinds of technology to improve customer experience. From self-service terminals to personal entertainment screens. And yet they can be doing more.
Here are 5 new tech trends to increase your bottom-line:
#1. Mobile Apps
Mobile apps have created a new revenue stream for restaurants. Apps which provide online reviews and ordering services increase business. Some apps don’t even require you to invest in hiring a delivery crew. They will take care of everything themselves. These apps have made orders more accurate. This also translates to cost efficiency and wastage management for the restaurant.
#2. Social Media
While social media is primarily to serve as a customer service platform, for now, that is changing. Restaurants are now able to use social media as a revenue stream. Restaurants can use third-party apps and allow customers to order from platforms like Facebook. Using this, with social media strategies, have resulted in increased revenue for many restaurants.
#3. Order Taking and POS Terminals
Order taking technology is always being improved to make the customer experience better. Not too long ago, restaurants started introducing order taking tablets. Today, this seems like a dated technology. Restaurants are investing in technology, which makes ordering entertaining for customers. Some restaurants use on-table tablets which can allow customers to order as well as pay for their meals directly. Customers feel entertained because they can order everything they want with ease. It also adds a level of security for the customer since their credit cards would not leave their sights.
#4. Interactive Dining Experience Terminals
This technology is growing in popularity. Some restaurants are already live testing it. What it means is that restaurants are merging the experience of dining with new technologies. There are restaurants experimenting with VR (Virtual Reality) technology to enhance the customer experience.
#5. Restaurant Management Software
It is obvious that restaurants use technology to generate more revenue streams and attract customers. They also use technology to improve management. Reservation apps allow restaurants to improve customer waiting and turn-around times. They use scheduling technologies to manage staff schedules and days off. Accounting software can link up with POS terminals and offer easier analysis for operators.
Growth in technology has led to some great improvements in the restaurant industry. The time when Xfinity showtime, was enough entertainment for restaurant goers, is over. The rise in technology and the willingness of restaurants to adopt them has taken the restaurant business into a new era. Technology is going to be changing the business even further in the upcoming years.