In the Restaurant World, Technology is Key to Keeping Up with Your Customers



Technological innovations are attractive because they make our lives easier, help us connect with each other, and speed up tedious processes. Often, they also add a spark of fun and creativity. This is not only the case in your personal life; it’s also true when it comes to running your restaurant and enhancing your relationships with customers.

A Mobile App Can Elevate You

Regardless of age or socioeconomic class, most people today are inseparable from their smartphones. Mobile apps make it possible for you to capitalize on the hand-held revolution. Whether you are serving up fine cuisine or running a diner, investing in a mobile app that can be downloaded and stored on phones and tablets can open up a world of benefits.

Smartphone features help you to attract and stay in touch with diners in several ways. With push notifications, you can alert people about promotions or specials. You can also keep known customers coming back via an app-based loyalty program. Ordering food for pickup or delivery is a breeze with an app; it’s convenient for patrons and leaves your staff free to complete other tasks. By the same token, diners can reserve their table via your app, cutting down on lines and frustration. Restaurant payment processing is also made more efficient since your guests can settle their bill using the digital wallet on their device.

Each of these capabilities adds value to your brand. When customers are enticed to dine in your establishment, impressed with your atmosphere and the food you serve, and are happy about their experience in ordering and paying for their food, odds are excellent that they will come back. What’s more, they will probably tell their friends and may even give you a glowing review on your social media page. This adds up to a gold mine for you as a restaurant owner.

Use Social Media to Gain Insight

Yelp! And other sites are viewed by millions of people each year because they contain a seemingly infinite array of restaurant reviews. Chances are, you have taken advantage of these resources yourself in your personal life. In addition to these tools, social media provides restaurant owners with an unparalleled platform to get to know their customers and tweak their services and food selections as a direct result.

Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram function as forums through which customers can rant, rave and, by so doing, give you tons of useful information. With the right self-service analytics packages, you can get a handle on the flurry of opinions and impressions your customers are expressing, enabling you to learn invaluable facts such as how many people liked a new menu item or berated your drink selection. You can easily figure out which day of the week generates the most glowing feedback, what menu items are the most talked about, and which may be waning in popularity.

The bottom line is that people respond positively when they feel heard. When you have your ear to the social media ground, you can be more flexible and adapt to changing customer preferences in a constantly morphing competitive landscape. If your establishment seems to always be on a tightrope between thin profits and bankruptcy, gaining access to this information could be a life-saver.

Institute Digital and Online Ordering

Communicating online with a restaurant to place a food order isn’t new, and you may already be employing your website in this way. However, a mobile app can provide even more benefits. In addition to saving staff time, reducing human error during ordering, and allowing for upselling of other products when patrons view attractive pictures of your food offerings, apps do even more. People don’t need to go through the aggravation of opening a web browser and searching for your website; the app is already installed along with any loyalty programs the customer may have joined. You can even build a feature into your app that enables patrons to re-order items they have gotten in the past, making the entire process even speedier.

Enhance the Meal Experience

The saying “there is probably an app for that” certainly applies to the restaurant industry. Today, these easily downloadable smartphone programs are giving restaurant patrons whole new ways to view their eating experiences. People are even able to use apps to track the progress of their meal after they have ordered it. No longer is there any question of whether it has been forgotten or misplaced. The owners of many casual eateries are also using apps to enable customers to pre-order and to pay for their food in advance. With location-based services, some apps can even alert your kitchen when the customer is nearby, allowing for meal preparation to be completed precisely when the person comes through the door. It doesn’t get more efficient than that.

Facilitate Food Delivery

Many restaurant owners love the idea of providing a service that would bring food and beverages right to a customer’s door. However, they may be reluctant to hire additional staff to deliver the food, and may also be unwilling or unable to deal with the various insurance issues that arise with these types of services. In recent years, mobile apps such as Uber Eats and Door Dash have found innovative and attractive ways to meet this customer and business need. Thanks to these third-party services, restaurants can now establish a relationship with vendors who take all of the worries of food delivery away from restaurants. Everyone wins: The restaurant gets business it may have otherwise lost out on, the delivery company and driver earn some cash, and the customer gets exactly what they want without ever leaving the house.

As a restaurant owner, you have a special opportunity to interact with your customers by providing hospitality, comfort, and sustenance. Food is, after all, one of the best ways to get to just about anyone’s heart and to generate feelings of well-being. Technology might seem cold and automated at first glance, but it can provide you with an excellent opportunity to connect on a deeper level with the men, women, and children you serve every day. In a business where excellent service and close, ongoing relationships are key, these modern innovations can give you the competitive edge.