Having a strong IT framework and a seamless experience are items that many restaurant brands understand. After all, a better infrastructure allows for more sophisticated management and organization and benefits the customers as well throughout their experience in your physical locations.
While many restaurants are utilizing some of the key elements like kiosks for ordering and payment, or using digital signage for menus, few are integrating mobile devices into their framework.
This is a huge missed opportunity, as almost half of all orders are placed on a mobile device, and most interaction with your brand’s social media channels occurs while your customers are on location.
Here are a few ideas on how you can leverage your customers’ smartphone use into a larger omnichannel initiative.
How To Make Your Mobile App Worth Downloading
The chances are high that your company has a mobile app in one form or another, and chances are just as high that only a marginal number of customers download or use it to place orders or review your menu.
What incentives are you offering to your customers to give them a good reason to download your app? And how are you leveraging the Internet-of-Things to create a better customer experience?
Your mobile app is a powerful tool that offers a myriad of ways of interacting with your customers. You can set up mobile-checkout kiosks that integrate with your mobile app to allow customers to order and pay for food in a completely separate, unique experience from their traditional visits to your restaurant. If you offer takeout at your restaurants, companies like Apex offer heated food lockers that allow customers to pick up food using their phone, seamlessly.
If you aren’t utilizing customer loyalty programs with your app, you are also missing out on the ability to consistently interact with customers on this channel. Customer loyalty programs don’t have to be complex – many modern POS systems can integrate with your app so you can send personalized offers to your customers if they haven’t been inside your restaurants for a time.
In addition, you can reward customers discounts if they refer their friends – which will constantly put your brand on their mind if they are considering places to ear.
Make Restaurant Reviews Part of the Experience
Many customers will base a decision to visit your restaurants solely on what types of reviews you receive. It only takes one bad experience for a customer to complain on Yelp or Facebook and give a one-star review. As you can see in the image to the right, however, most Yelp reviews are actually positive. This is counter-intuitive, but shows that customers are indeed willing to go out of their way to write your restaurant a review.
The question is, how do restaurants capture the reviews from customers who have a great time, but aren’t necessarily looking to go through the trouble of writing a review?
One way of going about this is to simply ask. When a customer is checking out using one of your tabletop kiosks, simply ask for a star rating and some additional comments if they choose. Nearly every customer is willing to take the extra few seconds when asked to leave a quick review. In addition, offering polite incentives – like a discount on a dessert – for showing a positive Yelp review can help your business cultivate real reviews.
Another option that integrates with your IT framework is to have a digital display in your restaurant that cycles between recent positive reviews on Facebook or Google Reviews. Not only are you helping emphasize your restaurant’s appeal, but you are also creating a unique opportunity for customers to interact with your brand.
Your Customers Are Your Audience
Think about your customers not as clients or guests, but as users. They are looking to have a great experience, and the more you engage with them, and the more inventive those engagements are, the more likely they are to return. That’s the basis of omnichannel strategy.
You can learn more about how restaurants are utilizing kiosks to great success, or contact us to get started with revamping your restaurant brand’s IT framework.