The past five years have reshaped the restaurant industry. Pre-pandemic, restaurants were already on a pathway of modernisation aimed at improving the experience for the diner and the operational service elements of the business. Recent history has further elevated this period of transformation, and how restaurants take payments, communicate with customers, streamline internal processes has changed more in the last five years than ever before.
Digital menus and payment options
Having a presence on third party ordering Apps is now commonplace, yet the original concept of taking orders on restaurants’ own websites will continue to progress in 2022. For businesses that are shaped mainly around indoor dining, digital will still play a major part this year and digital menus with table ordering options will be a priority for diners. Digital is now very much part of the restaurant offering and should be considered in current and future decision making for restaurants
Digital customer reviews breed loyalty and new diners
Online review sites are being used more than ever for the restaurant industry and that’s not set to change this year or beyond. According to restaurant reservation company OpenTable, 90 per cent of diners research a restaurant online (more than other type of business), before deciding where to eat. And according to Yelp, which publishes over 184 million business reviews worldwide, 30 per cent of all reviews on their site regard restaurants. Restaurants will need to be both vigilant and proactive in managing feedback and work hard to score high on review sites to ensure they keep diners coming back this year.
Contactless payments surge while mobile devices are reigning in 2022
People simply don't leave home without their phone or a mobile connected device today which has resulted in increased enthusiasm for mobile interaction in restaurants. Driven by the desire for customers to manage their own journey and make payments, the adoption of mobile menus and digital payments will continue to trend in 2022. Furthermore, cashless environments and the steady decline of hard cash means that restaurant owners wanting to ensure swift, fast payment methods this year should certainly be considering digital payments as an option.
Restaurant automation tech to aid staffing issues and satisfy diners
In a changing landscape that continually produces challenges around food supply chain issues and staff resourcing, savvy restaurant owners will look to technology as a remedy this year. Technology that can empower the dining experience through self-service or tailoring the options available, will be prevalent. Great staff and the values of personal interaction will always need to be part of the hospitality sector, yet technology will help restaurants in 2022 to provide better levels of service, increased satisfaction and ensure the business is not wholly reliant on staff and resources.
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