The restaurant industry is known for early adoption of new technology and a willingness to experiment. After all, creativity and innovation are at the heart of every new recipe. Today there are new tech tools to increase efficiency, help you build loyalty, and simply provide more convenience to customers. No matter how you slice it, it’s all about improving service to help build your restaurant business.
Technology is developing at rapid speeds, allowing us to make progress in the way restaurants operate and improve the quality of service. Restaurant technology is essential for streamlining service and can enhance or even improve the capability of your business operations. This in turn makes your guests happy and turns them into repeat customers.
Offer consistent training for staff
In the restaurant business, there’s pressure to turn tables quickly. Unfortunately, the industry turns over employees fast as well. With more than half of fast-casual servers entering the business for the first time, training is not optional. Offering consistent training on-site can be challenging to schedule, especially during busy times. Waitrainer+ takes the stress out of training by offering a consistent training experience for your server and bartender staff that can be done online. Having well-trained staff saves time and money, and increases your profitability as well. This is the reason consistent training for staff is essential. Every member of your restaurant, from managers and chefs to kitchen staff, should receive solid and continuous training to stay up to par in this highly competitive market.
Waitrainer+ will create a dedicated training plan for your restaurant. It has an extensive library of training content that can be tailored to your restaurant. The training content includes videos, how-tos, food handling, and other essential tools for training your staff. All you have to do is select what kind of restaurant you have and Waitrainer+ will provide all the necessary training tools.
What’s great about this technology is that your staff can train anytime and anywhere. When deployed, all you have to do is send the specific training module to your employee's phone or computer.
Let your customers text the manager
As restaurant owners, you see a negative review online and wonder: "Why haven't I got the chance to defend my restaurant?" The problem is, while your guests want to make a comment or give a reaction about your restaurant, they don't want to make a scene when they want to speak with the manager.
If you’re still relying on email and online forms to solicit feedback from your customers, you’re missing out on input from most of them. Talk to the Manager provides a way for customers to reach out with anonymous comments and feedback by text. Your managers can reply without revealing their mobile number, ensuring both prompt attention to customer feedback and personal privacy for both your customers and managers. Don’t let a small issue go unresolved.
- The service will provide a phone number to display in your restaurant to which the customer can text their comments to the number anonymously.
- Managers will then receive the comments via text or email.
- The provided number will mask the manager's cell number, therefore providing privacy to the manager or the owner.
Build a better loyalty program
Did you know that loyalty programs can increase guest visits by up to 35%? It helps retain customers by rewarding them every time they come back to your restaurant. In fact, a study on customer loyalty shows that a good loyalty program can achieve:
- An increase in restaurant revenue by up to 10%.
- An increase in customer spending by up to 20%
- An increase in your customer's frequency of purchase by 20% compared to non-members.
The days of bent-up or faded (or lost) loyalty cards kept in wallets are going, going, gone. Mobile apps are the future for loyalty programs, much like mobile payments have become a preferred way to pay for many guests. Your guests will almost always have their phones on them, so it’s time to put them to good use with a loyalty program. Pirq has been among the leading providers for app-based loyalty programs, and the pricing is affordable for restaurants of any size. You simply ask your customers to download the app to send rewards and offers via the app.
- Get valuable customer data: When a customer signs up for your loyalty program, the customer's data gets recorded to the database. This allows you to track customer visits and purchases; therefore allowing you to make accurate marketing efforts and offer customized rewards appropriate for that customer. Pirq allows you to easily view customer demographics and data from the online dashboard.
- Sell more: Based on the collected data, you can take advantage of what you know of your customer base through cross-selling or up-selling. You can suggest a menu that works great with what the customer ordered and offer discounts based on related purchases.
- Segment your customers: Through loyalty programs, you'll be able to reward customers that eat more at your restaurant and patronize your services. This is the most efficient way to retain customers who you earn the most profit from.
Implement an online ordering system
Many online ordering systems for restaurants are really point-of-sale systems with online ordering support. The benefit of integration is data capture and a consistent experience whether the order was made in person or online. More advanced systems, like Upserve, are full-service restaurant management systems.
Upserve is specifically designed for restaurants, and the rich features focus on what restaurants commonly need. Features of Upserve include customer database, loyalty program, menu analytics, reputation evaluation, server performance, voided transactions, and more. Upserve has an online ordering system that is designed to work with a business’s point-of-sale (POS) system, mobile app, and payment services.
Cake is another POS system with an integrated online ordering system developed for the restaurant industry. Cake allows users to track sales in real time at different locations, and track employee hours and overtime. There is also a reporting module that the managers and restaurant owners can take advantage of to easily generate sales reports by the hour, day, or week. You can also track peak hours and see the number of customers coming and going to your restaurant.
Let your customers order another round by tablet
You already know how frustrated your guests can get when they have to wait for the server to come round before they can order another drink or choose a dessert. The wait time can cost you in lost sales, as many patrons silently change their minds about ordering anything else. Some of the biggest casual dining chains out there have given guests another way to order and boost the average sale a bit higher.
Letting customers order using tablets is more than just having that technology in your restaurant. Contrary to what most people believe, tablets doesn't take away from the personal service of operations - in fact it makes it even better.
- The interactivity of the tablet is beneficial in showcasing new menus in your restaurant. It’s a lot easier as well since whenever you add or change something in the menu, you don't need to print a new menu showing the change because they are dynamicPlus, you can immediately set deals and offers that you can upsell to your customers,and even set them to be on a schedule.
- Orders go directly to the kitchen. This improves customer service, therefore increasing customer satisfaction. Plus, it means the chef can start the preparations right away rather than waiting for the waiter to bring the orders to the kitchen. This system makes sure that the customers get exactly what they order, thus reducing human error in orders.
- Customers can easily search for menus through the tablet's search feature and order faster. When any food or beverage is unavailable, you can instantly deactivate it from the menu,eliminating customer disappointment.
- Waiters aren't eliminated by your getting a tablet in your restaurant, in fact it improves the service they provide because they can work more tables faster. Additionally, most patrons still provide full tips, so it’s also good for their paychecks.