The restaurant industry is going through a number of changes, and many of them deal with technology.
Some restaurants have not fully jumped on board with all the technologies available to them, but they definitely should. Some are rejecting the revolution due to fear, and that does make sense because AI and robotics could replace human workers, but there is more good coming from merging these two together.
The following are a few examples of the positive changes tech is having on the restaurant industry.
Restaurants can now create branded mobile apps that customers can easily download. These apps give customers and restaurant owners a number of perks; for example, restaurants can push notifications and coupons directly to customers.
Customers don’t have to worry about missing a deal because they did not hear about it since it is now on their phones. Apps could also use geo-tracking to push notifications whenever a customer is near a restaurant to remind him or her that the restaurant is ready to serve.
Loyalty programs can be improved since customers are less likely to forget their phones. These are just some things that could be done with a branded app.
Delivery and Online Shopping Optimization
Another thing that has definitely changed in the restaurant industry due to technology is the explosion of online ordering and delivery services. More restaurants are offering these types of services to customers.
Some offer these services through dedicated apps, but other restaurants just partner with online delivery services that contract independent contractors to deliver food to customers.
People do not go out for various reasons, from weather conditions to simply not wanting to get dressed up. All of those obstacles are taken away with these new technologies that make it easier for restaurants to deliver food, even if customers do not want to come in.
Changes in Registers and Payments
The way restaurants interact with paying customers is changing, too. This might not seem like something that would change all that much. People pay their bills, and that is that, but you would be surprised how much technology is changing things.
For example, good Point of Sale terminals such as Poster POS are opening up restaurants to handle payments beyond cards and cash. These terminals can handle different types of mobile payments as well, and who knows what other types of payments they will be able to handle in the future, such as cryptocurrency.
It should also be pointed out that on busy days, restaurants servers could accept payments using a smartphone that has already been linked to the POS system in the restaurant.
The Power of Social Media and Restaurants
Social media has also been good for restaurants that know how to harness their power for their own benefit. Some restaurants use social media to study customers and their behavior or attitude towards the restaurant.
A restaurant owner could easily analyze social media analytics to figure out if customers feel welcomed or if customers like something that is being done in the restaurant, like hiring more talkative servers.
Restaurant owners could also use social media to find out if there are issues that could be driving customers away, like an unkempt restroom or wait times that customers feel is too long. Using social media to gauge customer feedback is pretty easy, and owners can even respond to issues directly to appease dissatisfied customers.
Social media campaigns could also entice new customers to come, or make existing customers try new things by posting appetizing pictures of the new items on the menu. Granted, restaurant owners are going to need professional social media managers, and they are going to need professional photographers to really showcase each dish.
It is clear that social media and other technologies are changing the way restaurants interact with their customers and the way restaurants run. Sure, there is a level of uncertainty when it comes to how technology is going to continue to change this industry if you consider robotics, but the benefits are clear as well.
Any up and coming restaurant knows that in order to stay competitive, it also needs to make changes to accommodate a new generation of clients who are learning to expect some of these conveniences.