The ordering bar of a cafe with an American flag displayed on the wall

3 key technologies every restaurant needs

Posted on Jun 1, 2016 · 4 min read

Whether it’s using iPad’s at every table, or sending an emoji to place an order, there’s no doubt that technology has officially taken over the restaurant business. The demand for easier, tailored experiences for today’s connected consumer has created an entirely new in-restaurant or online dining experience.

As diners drive these new trends, and new technologies are adopted, both mom and pop restaurants as well as large restaurant chains should invest in a few specific areas to keep up with the ever-changing demands of their diners.

Here are the four must-have technologies every restaurant should leverage to drive customer engagement and diner loyalty:

Online ordering:

In a 2015 Pew Research study, data showed that 68% of US adults own a smartphone, while 73% own a laptop or PC, so it’s no surprise that online ordering is now becoming a must for most restaurants. This on-demand technology gives consumers the power to order whenever they want, wherever they want, without having to pick up the phone or stop what they’re doing.

Organizations like Papa John’s are just one great example of this technology’s popularity today. The company has stated as late as March of this year that more than 50% of all sales come from mobile / online ordering with customer satisfaction hovering between 70 and 80%.

Online voucher and coupon recovery:

Customer loyalty has become a major focus of restaurants across the country, especially as ads and various marketing tactics flood the world’s mediums. The tried and true method of offering vouchers, coupons, and discounts to patrons continues to be a great way to drive loyalty, only now, it does so when those vouchers are offered online. Additionally, those discounts tend to go even farther when offered to a specific market, such as military, teachers, and students.

According to a SheerID survey, 71% of respondents are more loyal to companies that offer military-specific discounts and would use a military discount more often if it could be redeemed online. And with the availability of verification technology, these discounts can be secured and gated, ensuring that only those qualified can actually redeem those discounts. As such, online verification for these specific groups creates less friction between customers and servers/employees upon use.

Social media and online reviews:

Perhaps in no other industry are reviews and social media more important than in the restaurant business. In a recent Invesp infographic looking at the impact of online reviews on today’s businesses, data showed that a whopping 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and 86% hesitate to purchase from somewhere that has negative reviews. While these stats focus on review sites like Yelp, the impact of social media to amplify these messages shouldn’t be discounted.

In order to encourage customer engagement, loyalty, and ensure patrons have a positive view of the business, it’s vital that restaurants today have a social media person in place to respond to complaints both via social media and online review sites. Showing understanding, righting any wrongs, and responding to the needs of the customer in real time, all via these public forums, will show patrons that the restaurant managers care about their well-being and want to provide positive experiences to them as patrons.

No matter how daunting it may seem, embracing the technology of today to meet customer demands will go miles towards creating a customer experience patrons will value and appreciate. This not only will drive customers in the door, but bring them back time and time
again.

Want to learn more about how verification technology can help drive loyalty? Contact our sales team at sales@sheerid.com.

Madeline Boehmer by Madeline Boehmer