Technology has come a long way in recent years, and the stark differences can be felt by everyone. Advances in smartphones as well as AI, robotics, and other automation services have skyrocketed from a futuristic science-fiction dream to everyday reality for many people. But what does this mean for restaurants?
The hospitality industry is built on human interaction, face-to-face meetings between people. Restaurants, hotels, and other businesses still rely on those interactions, so some technological solutions may feel out of reach. And while it’s unlikely that robots will take over these jobs completely, harnessing advancements in technology to improve efficiency and profit for hospitality companies is not just a probability – it’s a must! Here are five ways technology is transforming the restaurant industry.
- Reachify is making restaurants more efficient by automating phone calls into self-serve menus.
Rather than waiting on hold or leaving a voicemail message to be returned at some nebulous future date, customers can get assistance immediately from a self-serve menu on a system like Reachify. Automations handle most tasks, text messages with links and other information can be easily sent, and you can always leave an option for people to still ring through to your staff if they have a question not answered by the automated menu.
- Mobile apps are changing the way customers order and pay for their food.
So many people now want food to be delivered, or, barring that, to be ready when they arrive to pick it up. People don’t like to wait, and online ordering helps alleviate that issue. In addition, online ordering and payments create a touchless interaction that became crucial during pandemic restrictions. Of course, people often also want loyalty programs, which are a little harder to integrate using a standard 3rd-party hosted online ordering system. Mobile apps with integrated loyalty programs can gamify and reward food ordering. Just don’t forget that a mobile app and/or online ordering is critical. It’s convenient, it’s simple, it’s easy, and most people already have access to the technology they need to make those orders. Make sure you’re ready for them!
- Online reservation systems are making it easier for customers to find and book tables.
People often have their phones in hand, and most of them are not being used for actual calling. If you have an app or website that allows you to accept reservations, customers will love the convenience of being able to set a date and table without the hassle of calling, waiting, and discussing scheduling. It’s just easier, and one of the best things you can do for your business is remove all the friction between your customers and placing an order.
- Social media is giving restaurants a new way to connect with customers and promote their brand.
Social media is more than just a way to showcase your business online. It’s also a great way to get feedback, promote specials, and interact with customers. Communicating directly with your customers is a great way to improve brand loyalty. It also makes it a lot easier for customers to share information about your restaurant with people they know.
- Technology is helping restaurants run more efficiently, reducing costs and increasing profitability.
Software that helps you track scheduling and inventory and automated machines that can handle smaller tasks to remove burdens from understaffed employees are great for making things more efficient while keeping costs low.