The restaurant industry is always thriving. It seems like wherever you go, you are never far from a dining establishment. In some places, these restaurants are open 24 hours a day.
Take, for example, black bean noodle restaurants in South Korea, many of them are open 24 hours and even offer delivery services everywhere. Aside from that, convenience stores almost always feature a small dining area as part of their service offerings since people, whatever the time of day, simply need to eat.
The impeccable customer service that restaurants offer today is part of the impact of smart technology. As digital technology continues to improve, thriving restaurants strive to cater to the evolving needs of their customers, as well as streamline their internal operations.
But how exactly is smart digital technology impacting the industry?
1. Heightened visibility
Studies show that local SEO is one of the reasons why a lot of new restaurants are avoiding the common jinxes of being the fresh faces of the industry. Through their official online presence, which offers information on location and contact details, smaller and newer dining destinations easily come into the view of hungry diners who use their smartphones to find the nearest places to eat.
It is important to note as well that search and discovery services such as TripAdvisor and Zomato pick up information from each restaurant’s official website and share information to their users. These apps, then, further increase local SEO performance and the likelihood of digital contact leading to in-restaurant sales.
2. Strategic Inventory
Inventory management software is one of the propellers behind trendy restaurant offerings.
In a special feature on Japanese restaurants, business owners revealed that being able to see their inventory easily through an app or software pushes them to be creative so they can avoid wastage. It helps them pinpoint items in their pantry that need to be used right away.
With the help of such software, restaurants are driven to come up with innovative presentations, twists to familiar dishes, and a selection of limited offerings. These are solid marketing strategies that lead to a better understanding of customers’ range of preferences for higher sales and also smart purchasing in the future.
3. Targeted Customer Service
Restaurants can have better customer information management by using a POS (point of sale) system. The system records the different products which customers frequently purchase, and this guides restaurants on product development and marketing strategies such as customer loyalty programs.
Customer data plays a crucial role in sustaining the progress of restaurants and making sure that they can go head to head with their ferocious competitors. With a POS system, gathering valuable data is a breeze, so ensuring customer loyalty and attracting new customers becomes so much easier as well.
4. Social Media Popularity
Daily shares of restaurant photos and special announcements are effective ways of keeping people interested in the business. Beautiful images of food (which are often taken using smartphones), quotes, and digital posters shared on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest are useful in maintaining restaurant relevance and enticing followers.
Think about it, who would not automatically feel a strong desire to order a lemon poppy seed bundt cake after seeing a gorgeous Instagram picture of it? Clearly, social media is one of the best helpers in generating buzz for restaurants and netting in more sales.
5. Better Convenience
Online ordering, paired with prompt delivery services, is the pinnacle of convenience.
Restaurants can take advantage of this setup and grow their market. They no longer have to rely on walk-in customers for sales; they can target a whole new market by adopting this system.
For instance, in a community where there is a large population of senior citizens, restaurants that allow people to order online and can deliver orders can become the automatic go-to places for meals of people who have mobility issues.
6. Employee Retainment and Satisfaction
Work management apps make it easy to schedule employees for their weekly shifts. These programs make sure that all the workers are informed of their schedules right away and, should there be any adjustments necessary, they can be implemented right away to avoid confusion and miscommunication.
These digital systems also monitor productivity or output so the business can make quick and accurate computations for paydays.
Smart restaurant operations
Indeed, smart technology is changing the way the restaurant industry operates for the better. More exciting developments can be expected as more programs are developed specifically to assist day-to-day restaurant operations and achieve expansion initiatives.
Ahmad Alzaini is the co-founder and CEO of Foodics, a fast-growing food tech startup. A businessman by nature, Alzaini is an app aficionado, developing businesses in Saudi Arabia within several industries. Today, Foodics has extended to new markets across the MENA region, processing over 1 billion transactions, and offering the latest technology in POS and restaurant management.