The integration of technology into our daily lives has never been greater, and “consumerized” technology is constantly adapting to improve our user experience. In the restaurant industry, this technology is creating a more efficient workplace and more intricate connections to our customers.
Consumerized technology is reaching into the restaurant business in a variety of ways, including:
These 5 reasons restaurants need consumerized technology explain how your restaurant’s operations can be more efficient, your customer engagement will improve, and your sales will increase with these systems.
Cloud-based POS systems can make restaurant operations more efficient in lots of different ways. Inventory levels, staff scheduling, temperature control in storage spaces – all can be managed quickly and directly through your internet-enabled digital device. As Restaurant News notes, these programs can help restaurant managers make better use of their time by removing your need to constantly monitor and regulate a multitude of moving parts.
Adapting your restaurant to consumerized technology makes it easier to get important information to both staff and customers.
Adjusting staff schedules and communicating with employees is much more convenient when smartphones are involved. You can set up and customize email and text message lists to reach your team quickly – especially if your BYOD policy keeps them on their phones at work.
The improved communication methods above can also be used to engage and market to your customers. Patrons who sign up for your email list, download your mobile app, or follow your social media pages can receive notifications about discounts, customer loyalty rewards and more. This will allow you to build customer engagement and loyalty that pays off in increased business.
The data collected by these engagement channels make it possible to learn about your customers preferences and tailor offers directly to them. For example, saving a customer’s order history when she registers through your website will allow you to offer the same order again with one simple click.
Your customer rewards program and social media interaction can be similarly personalized. Automated systems can send happy birthday greetings with a coupon or discount offer; reminders for holiday sales; referral-based programs and more.
RTG blog readers know that restaurateurs and managers no longer need to be chained to a computer at a lonely back office desk to make operations decisions. SaaS restaurant solutions allow you to access your POS from any internet-connected device, including smartphones and tablets. These programs are designed to be intuitive and easy to use with a minimum of training. And if your staff is logged on (thanks to your new BYOD policy), the programs should be easy for them to grasp too.
If you offer reservations through third-party services like OpenTable or Yelp SeatMe, tablet menus for ordering at the table or payment via mobile app, your guests will also enjoy the convenience – and the initial novelty – of using tech during their visit to your restaurant.
Some restaurants and franchises make their system even easier for customers by developing their own mobile application. White Castle IT executive Don Long told QSR Web that his company developed its own app with some coding help from its POS provider.
White Castle found that it was easier to set up products, pricing, coupons, and other components through their own proprietary system. “We have everything integrated,” Long said. “It’s important that we have the ability to interface the information in our systems and get it right.” Getting these systems right in your own business is likely to increase customer retention and improve your restaurant for a long time to come.
Have you introduced consumerized technology at your restaurant? Tell us about it in the comments below.