A new survey by Technomic shows consumers want to see and use new technology during their dining experience. The restaurant industry has been slow to adopt new ordering and dining technology, but chains (including a number of SpeedLine POS users) are now starting to take advantage of technology solutions to provide a better guest experience.
Technomic reports that over half the consumers who responded said it’s important for restaurants to start using new ordering technologies—and that it could be a deciding factor in choosing where to dine. Further, respondents expect to use technology more often in 2013 to order food.
Are you looking at technology to provide more friendly and convenient ways for your guests to order from you?
Here are 5 things to consider:
Tablet/Kiosk Ordering. Sushi-2-Go, a fast casual Japanese restaurant in Florida, contacted SpeedLine about a kiosk-ordering solution for their new concept. The solution was self-service kiosks embedded in the walls of their entrance-way, fully integrated with the POS system and kitchen printers. Customers find it quick and easy, and appreciate the speed and convenience.
Facebook Ordering. More restaurant companies are seeing the benefit of increased visibility and instant gratification for their guests on Facebook. Some start simply with a custom ordering tab that links to an existing online ordering site. Others are using fully integrated Facebook ordering apps to let guests place orders without ever leaving Facebook. Still others have seen the sales-driving benefit of instant ordering from Facebook deals and menu promotions, and tying it all in with the point of sale system (see Social media and your POS: The search for Bigfoot on QSRWeb).
Earlier this month QSR Magazine online published an article 500 Million Reasons to Launch Online Ordering. The premise? There are more than 500 million active users on Facebook. SpeedLine users: you can integrate web, mobile, and Facebook ordering directly with your SpeedLine POS.
Digital Menu Boards. Beyond the cosmetic, there are several reasons digital menu boards are quickly becoming a standard fixture in the restaurant and QSR space.
- Upselling: Eye-catching specials, promotions, and high-margin menu items in full-color can grab your guests’ eyes and boost ticket size.
- Ease of menu changes: Update prices on the fly—even remotely/centrally for multiple locations—without having to print new menu panels.
- Menu scheduling: Have a lunch and dinner menu that differ? Digital menu boards give you the convenience of changing menus and pricing on a schedule.
Live entertainment: Nothing kills a wait time like something interesting on the tube. When lines are long, consider having your own commercial or music video for your guests to enjoy, as well as reduce their perceived wait time.
Games @ the Table. Interactive games for children not only improve the experience for them (and the guests around them!), but can give harried parents a break. Some restaurants provide iPads for their guests, while other kid-friendly concepts provide coloring books, a TV room, or handheld gaming devices.
Go mobile. In a recent Hospitality Technology survey, more than 50% of respondents said they had a mobile site, and more than 30% were using mobile apps for marketing. That’s your competition talking. And they’ve jumped on a bandwagon you don’t want to miss: Recent studies show more than 90% of consumers search the web for restaurants, and 75% of those often choose a dining experience based on those search results.
As consumers rely more and more on their smart-phones for information, it’s a no-brainer to make it easier for them to use your site. As anyone who’s tried to view a desktop website on their mobile phone knows, the experience can be rather difficult.
Diners are growing ever more tech-savvy at home—and today, they are looking for the same conveniences in the restaurants they frequent. With over half of the Technomic study respondents placing importance on technology to improve their dining experience, it’s clear that now is the time to look at your options.
How are you using technology to improve customer service? Is it working for you?
Posted by Tricia Hoy| Author's website