When digital efforts fail, it’s likely that restaurant operators have forgotten one of the basic tenets of their industry: hospitality.
But do not fret, it happens to everyone. We get caught up in the day-to-day and we often forget to take that important step back and think about it from the side of the customer. What’s really important is to humanize your efforts and remember that you are communicating with people.
Why are we even talking about this?
Yes, here at the Restaurant Technology Guys, we talk about technology, marketing & operational strategy and tactics to bring in more customers. But behind all the technology, data and strategies is a critical factor that makes it all work: people. You cannot trade a data point for a human being, and if you do, you won’t be in this business very long.
Remember, just throwing one more app out there is not enough. Owners and operators should not sacrifice human interaction when it comes to technology. Digital efforts must match the needs of a variety of diners, from Baby Boomers to Centennials. And something different motivates each of today’s four distinct generations: Baby Boomers and Generations X, Y and Z.
This age group is slowly adapting and coming around to technology, so do not assume they are averse to trying new things. However, they want the digital experience to be simple and they like nostalgia-infused menus. Also, give them a phone number for customer service. They, unlike younger generations, like verbal communication.
This double-income household group is desperate to simplify life. They love convenience and digital platforms that save them time, such as delivery and curbside pickup. If they dine out, they are attracted to restaurants that cater to families.
Surprisingly, this coveted demographic approaches tech with uncertainty, because they don’t trust it. They want to be in control. They trust themselves a lot more than anyone else. And, when it comes to spending, they are willing to pay for “once in a lifetime” experiences, even if they can’t afford it.
This age group, also known as Gen Z, grew up during the digital revolution. They click and swipe without thinking. They understand tech and are flooded with opinions about all topics. In terms of the menu, this group loves to snack, so they are a prime target for special afternoon “happy hour” programs. They don’t have a huge attention span, so make sure marketing messages are short and fast.
Whether you are working with a large marketing agency or sitting at your kitchen table with your family, take that imperative step back and follow the customer journey. Ask if you or a family member likes how a website or app functions. Does the new kiosk we are trying to implement really help customers? How do I communicate to new and current customers to eliminate any confusion? Where are the pain points or hang-ups in the customer journey? Asking these questions and keeping people in mind will help you avoid the many pitfalls that restaurants across the globe are falling into.