In an earlier post, we touched on how social media can be a key player in marketing your concept or precinct but there is more technology out there that is not only marketing the hospitality industry but making it more streamlined, efficient and simple for the customer to purchase which ultimately boosts sales, improves business and gains asset value.
Anna Saywell, one of our expert food consultants has been looking into how technology is elevating the hospitality industry and where your concept, food precinct or retail centre should be picking up these technologies to enhance the customer experience as well as improve overall business.
Taking Photos of Our Food
Research has shown that whilst some of us might feel a bit funny about taking photos of our food, it actually makes for a better food experience. Business owners, operators and precinct managers should capitalise on this desire for customers to ‘shoot and share’ by creating dishes, interior designs and social media tags to get people engaged and spreading the word.
Reservations have been making a comeback and the trend is set to take more of a hold this year (Read the full list of trends for 2017). Online reservation programs such as Open Table are allowing foodies to make their reservations online and with them being so well integrated into Google, Zomato and Facebook, it takes a customer no time at all to land themselves a spot at your business’ table. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to enter, sit, eat, drink and purchase and online reservations are contributing to this ease.
Want to boost sales? Allow your customers to order via an App. It has been shown that customers spend up to 20% more when they can just tap, add and pay. They can browse the menu a little longer, add the extras they might not have considered when ordering under pressure and as these Apps are generally linked to a personal credit card, there is little to no thought about the transaction itself.
Integrated ordering systems such as table touch screens and ordering kiosks give customers the flexibility for customers to order and reorder, connect to their personal loyalty account and pay on stored cards. What it also means is that staff can focus on providing an elevated customer experience with the extra time gained from not having to take table orders. Whilst this wouldn’t work for all concepts and precincts, it definitely works for some.
Delivered to Your Door
Convenience is becoming king as people have less time, less space and access to more offers at their fingertips. Apps such as UberEats and Deliveroo are making it easy for people to have a variety of different foods at any time of the day whether it’s at their work desk for lunch or at home on a Friday night. People are looking to these Apps for easy, quick options that they don’t have to think much about and their giving the businesses using these services their food dollars because it’s providing them with a hands-off, convenient and easy way to get their favourite meals in their living room. The collective group of delivery services in Australia is around 1 year old and is worth $16.4 billion which proves just how quickly people have jumped on board the delivery bandwagon.
So, what can you do to embrace technology and elevate your hospitality offer? It’s not about using all of them but finding the ones that support your offer or precinct and utilizing them to the highest degree that works for both you and the customers. Retail centres could consider integrated ordering kiosks to allow people to order from tables or touch points and collect their food when it’s ready but a reservation App for a retail centre’s café court would not necessarily work. Fast casual offers are in a great position to offer delivery, pre-order Apps and reservations but are less likely to need interactive ordering kiosks due to the nature of the experience. Cafés have a wonderful opportunity to create stand out menu items designed specifically for social media sharing.
Ultimately, the technology that the retail, hospitality and food and beverage industry has available to them should be about creating a seamless and simple customer experience which ultimately leads to increased spending and a higher return visitation rate.