A ton of great industry reports and data have been published recently from the likes of Oracle Hospitality and CGA. We cover some of the major findings and what this means to you as an operator:
Consumers would spend more if they could order from their Smartphones
Research by CGA reported by Restaurant Tech Live has found 67% of customers would spend more cash and buy more drinks if they could order from their mobiles. Other findings include:
- 40% of 25-34 year olds prefer to use their phones to order food and drink and have it delivered to their table.
- 80% of guests are happy to pay via mobile using trusted brands such as PayPal and ApplePay.
- Of those who prefer mobile app loyalty schemes, 68% are significantly more likely to be loyal to a brand.
Behaviour-driven campaign execution leads loyalty pack
The ability to execute campaigns based on customers’ historical, location and behavioural data is the driving force behind the industry’s most successful loyalty campaigns according to QSR Magazine. Operators using text notifications, in-app alerts, email campaigns based on past purchases, timing, behaviour, loyalty status etc are gaining the loyalty edge over their closest competition. The best loyalty strategies are those that really connect customers to the restaurant. For example, closed loop reward management where single use personalised offers can be redeemed so the restaurant gains insight into the customer’s behaviour and the customer receives more targeted and relevant offers based on their profile and personal preferences.
Restaurants are offering trends that consumers don’t want
An American Express survey has found:
- 63% of customers would like to continue to be able to tip servers where 29% of restaurants either already have a no tipping policy or were considering adding one
- 57% of customers don’t like the idea of communal seating but half of restaurants currently offer or are considering adopting it.
- 7% of restaurants use automated customer service technology with 26% say they’re planning to adopt it in the future. 25% of consumers (29% of Milennials) prefer restaurants with digital customer service platforms.
- 62% of Millennials have used a restaurant’s mobile app or website to order take out in the past month.
- Millennials are more likely (58%) to have used such a service than Gen-X (35%)
- 24% of restaurants use online ordering and a delivery platform with 31% saying they’re planning to adopt.
- 24% of restaurants already offer the ability to order ahead through websites or mobile apps and 42% plan to adopt the technology.
App Store Optimization listed as one of the ways to get customers to download your app
For app adoption success Fast Casual suggests:
- App Store Optimization: make sure your app is listed in app stores and include impressive app screenshots, clear explanation of app’s main features and clearly highlight the value of your app. Read more about ASO here: Maximize your food ordering app downloads with ASO.
- Plan a launch event: Choose a specific time and date to launch your app. For example, if you’re an Italian Restaurant, you might choose National Pizza Day to launch. Pick a date that makes sense to show the benefits of your app and make sure you’re prepared for the influx of customers.
- Promote the app: Use channels such as social media, promotional digital and print materials and your website.
- Incentivize downloads: Offer rewards or discounts for downloads. Offers should be promoted throughout the restaurant with a description of the app’s main benefits.
- Train your staff: They are your most important app promoters and they should know how to sell your app to customers and even assist in downloads if needed.
AI used to satisfy shift in customer expectation for a greater experience
Oracle’s Restaurant 2025 study has found technology such as drone delivery, 3D printing of unappetising food into nutritious meals, voice activated responses, virtual reality and biometric diner recognition are all set to transform the dining experience. Other findings include:
- Customers are most likely to accept the influx of new technologies if they feel they are in control of their experience.
- 1/3 of operators think guest recognition via facial biometrics will be in use in the next 5 years.
- 50% of guests agree having this recognition would improve their experience.
- 72% of operators agree AI systems that leverage guest preferences and buying history to make targeted recommendations will be mainstream by 2025.
- 48% of operators believe drone delivery will be mainstream by 2025.
- 60% of operators say restaurant location planning using AI would be mainstream by 2025. This would include personalized nutrition plans, waitlist and capacity management, dynamic seating planning and forecasting.
Linking data together and consolidation is 1 of 5 steps when getting data for the boss
Fast Casual looks at why good data is so hard to find within the restaurant industry. They advise these 5 steps when trying to gather and present data for the boss:
- Find the data: Make life easy on yourself so you’re not searching 5 different sources with different passwords for the right information.
- Centralize the data: Make sure all your data is easily found in one place and make sure it is secure.
- Consolidate: Spreadsheets are common for consolidation but there may be easier, smarter ways of getting what you need all in the same place.
- Link different data sources together: Cutting and pasting data together can get complicated fast. Look at 3rd party systems that summarize by daypart and destination.
- Apply consistent business rules: Have the same rules across your data so you can see accurate side-by-side reports.