A group of friends is planning to eat dinner together. One suggests they do local take out and hang out on the couch socializing all night. Another friend is pitching her favorite restaurant to the group. A third friend is doing some research through his phone, comparing reviews from Google with photos on Instagram. He goes through a few more platforms and suggests they book a table at a restaurant downtown where they can put in their order from the cab on the way over.
Is your restaurant this flexible? It’s time you are.
Digitize your dining offers to enable socializing
Booking a table online and preordering the food does not necessarily mean that the group of friends is in a hurry. They want to socialize, and they don’t necessarily want to be on your staff’s schedule or wait on the phone to book a table.
The fact is that most of your guests have already made up their mind about your restaurant before they even arrive. What they think about your brand, what they want to eat and when it’s time to pay the restaurant a visit. In most cases, they already know what they are about to order as well. The new generations are digital natives that conducts this type of research (almost) in their sleep.
As for location, that used to be king, your customers are now starting to look for recommendations and are fine to travel a bit further to dine with you. Digitizing may save you a great deal of money on real estate.
Word of mouth, or word of digital platforms?
Attracting the attention of diners is still largely about the magical word of mouth. But let’s face it, it’s all changing. Word of mouth no longer spreads from person to person, but throughout and between social networks of people on social media platforms.
Millions and millions of reviews are given annually and posted to third-party applications such as The Fork. These platforms allow you to communicate and connect with your potential customers in new ways – long before they have even set foot in your place of business – whether you run a bakery, a café, a restaurant or a bar/nightclub.
It’s all about giving the customer what they want, when they want it…
Dine in vs. Dine out
… and where they want it. Now, more than ever.
In the last five years, food deliveries have experienced an annual growth rate of 7%. This number is impacting every type of foodservice business. In other words, this is a new opportunity for you to widen your potential guests’ interest in dining with you by offering take-out, delivery third-party delivery services.
That one friend that wants to dine in could have it her way, if the third friends suggested restaurant offers take out or delivery. Or they utilize your flexible food services next time they order, to relive the great experience they had when dining with you.
It’s not for everyone, but you should consider it before ruling it out completely.
Your next steps
- Interact with your customers and potential customers. All. Times. Keep track of social media platforms and reply to feedback and questions in a timely manner.
- Build your own digital presence. This could mean to invest in a UX-focused website, an detailed app or reposting your guests photos on Instagram.
- Make yourself available. Allow online orders, take out or deliveries. Always answer the phone and keep an eye on messages on social media platforms. This is just as important, if not more, as it’s all about your brand.
Trivec provides a wide range of products designed to improve customer experience, including third-party integrations to apps which help people find you. Our Point of Sales (POS) system is based on a flexible APO, making it easy to integrate with various third-party services that do deliveries but also allow you to interact with customers in other innovative ways. Read more about Trivec’s solutions here.
Download the Digital Restaurant to learn more about the new generations and how to attract them, improve customer experience as well as the processes behind the scenes (the kitchen) and how to optimize your business and save & make more money.