The topic of technological trends for restaurants in the coming year is an incredibly exciting one. Technology has let businesses automate their customer service workflow, personalize and add that missing human element that customers have claimed for in the past. It has given users the freedom to pick what ingredients they prefer in their meals, decide between a printed receipt or a version they can receive directly through their email addresses and even play a game or two in order to entertain themselves while their orders are being fixed.
Systems assisted by technology have set standards that have brought the daily activities that happen behind restaurant doors to levels of efficiency that were hard to imagine in years where, even the most basic of tasks were a hassle. The digital age has created methodologies that elevate business operations and facilitate turning casual users into loyal customers which gives way to more significant and rich culinary experiences.
We believe it’s necessary for commited business owners to take a look at this post since, we will be taking a closer look at the latest technological advances that have begun to define new trends and have already been adopted by users and restaurants through 2017. They influenced the manner in which customer service was delivered in positive ways and, according to data provided by recent research, 2018 will be an amazing year with plenty of opportunities to integrate cutting-edge elements into new, incredibly efficient restaurant marketing strategies.
What improvements did technological trends bring to restaurants in 2017?
In 2017, users had an easier time getting their hands on apps that let them share pictures of meals they had in restaurants with friends and family through social media networks. Each photograph was rewarded with a score, most usually rated through a five star system that some business owners have turned into opportunities for clients to enter sweepstakes, be part of promotions or gain access to special discounts.
If you think that this is simplistic, that anyone can take a picture and upload it to the Internet, let us remind you of the times when hiring a photographer and paying for posters, advertising space in printed press or billboards used to cost huge sums of money, a limitation users don’t even have to think about or consider in this day and age. Restaurants can thread this new path provided by modern technology and use it to attract new clients and turn them into faithful customers who will take the initiative to come back after enjoying a pleasant experience.
Let’s talk now about the introduction of customized orders, a game-changing tool that lets clients pick, ingredient by ingredient, what elements will shape their meals. Where previously, patrons were limited to what was listed in the menu and making changes delayed their orders, they are now able to comfortably be in control of what they pay for which, immediately translates into satisfactory experiences that will motivate them to keep coming back.
On the other hand, have you noticed how easy it is for customers to pick up a mobile device and place a restaurant order through a simple phone call? This factor has dramatically increased the number of yearly sales as opposed to transactions that were only possible by visiting brick and mortar establishments (that is, before modern technologies were made available). Customers love the convenience of picking up a smartphone, placing an order and having a full, warm meal in front of them in a very short amount of time.
How have new technologies made everything easier for restaurants?
The connection technology has established between clients, social networks and restaurants has created incredibly convenient platforms that reach beyond limitations that were previously considered as unsurmountable. This also created incredible opportunities for businesses that needed to promote themselves without having to spend huge amounts of capital in traditional advertising campaigns.
The phrase “imitation is the most sincere form of flattery” directly applies the the possibilities technology has brought to satisfied users who, after having had a pleasant experience with a restaurant, immediately go online and recommend that particular business to family members, coworkers and friends.
New technological trends for restaurants have also contributed to impressive progress in the customer service area, the clients themselves are now in charge of choosing how to pay for the service they are given, how and what to order, they are in control of the exchange dictated between what they want and what your brand has to offer. This lessens the chances of suffering an unpleasant experience and improves the level of satisfaction clients will be able to encounter without having to spend too much time or energy into transactions that were meant to be simple in the first place.
What technological trends for restaurants will 2018 bring?
Greater handling of information related to customer preferences
Clients have become highly selective, their preferences can now be automatically analyzed by software algorithms that help restaurants gain better understanding of the origins of their interests and motivations. Be it the dishes they end up choosing or the times they tend to make the most reservations at, such samples of information provide restaurant owners and marketing specialists with precise ways to discover which products and services will end up being successful in the long run and which ones won’t.
Likewise, the general public now counts with tools that let them visualize and gain new perspectives on the type of service that may be available to them before taking one step out of their homes or place of work. Restaurants can progressively gauge the reactions clients show when they make use of such advantages, make plans to improve the quality of the customer service they offer and adjust the parameters that dictate a better overall experience.
Payments through visual transactions
The possibility of paying for items or services through virtual transactions is another trend that has already started to seep in beyond traditional and cumbersome methods of purchasing goods. These new methods include the use of cryptocurrencies (such as Bitcoin). The opportunity for your restaurant to investigate its pros and cons is at hand, don’t hesitate to research the benefit virtual transactions may bring to your business since they definitely show a tendency to become incredibly relevant in the nearest future.
Increased automation of restaurant reservations
The availability of highly developed A.I. (artificial intelligence) has already been tested with the intention of automating dining reservations. What used to be a tedious task is now a simple and efficiently streamlined operation that lets clients use their smartphones to gain direct access to restaurant social media sites thanks to specialized apps, place orders, book tables at the time or spot of their preference and choose specific options without being subject to the usual limitations of the past. There is no longer a need to wait in long lines, make frequent phone calls to see if a restaurant is open or if there are tables available. Clients essentially have complete control of the experience before it even starts!
Restaurant tables with digital displays
We couldn’t pass talking about specific, new devices that will make restaurant experiences look like scenes from fancy science fiction films. We are talking about restaurant tables that act as computer touch-screen monitors! They have already been made available by certain businesses in different parts of the world. They let clients look at virtual menus, check prices, place orders, make payments and even play games while they wait for their orders to be served. They have been extraordinarily successful, clients have reacted by showing a relaxed and playful disconnection from their environment while waiting to get their meals without having to wait unpleasantly, until they are able to reach an employee in front of a cash register.
The exchange of highly creative and innovative content remains a strong tendency that will continue past what’s already been achieved this year. Users and business owners will continue being active on social networks, sharing increasingly interesting and relevant posts; this establishes a presence that makes up the backbone of efficient restaurant marketing strategies.
Restaurants that don’t have a desire to be left behind should seriously consider introducing menu items that haven’t been tried before, creating or adopting new recipes and deploying some of the new, cutting-edge technologies we have mentioned through this article. In case you feel slightly afraid about them, the implementation of of such devices and methodologies will translate into solutions that, in the long run, will represent significant benefits to end-users and society in general.
Tips for the application of technological innovations in the gastronomic field
Given how new technologies represent important investments, gastronomic businesses should not take their implementation lightly. Restaurant owners need to step up their game and apply their use slowly and correctly without overlooking specific aspects and features that will significantly improve the general experience of their customers. Definite goals must be established, knowing what use will be given to these exciting, new tools, will let your brand take advantage of the best they have to offer and facilitate bringing new customers who will subsequently become loyal clients.
As we have previously mentioned, these new technological tools demand clear strategies before it is time to implement them. We will now present you with a few important questions you should ask yourself before embracing them:
- Why am I investing in new technological systems?
- How will the implementation of these technologies improve customer service?
- Will clients enjoy and adapt to these flashy, innovative technologies?
- How do these technologies fit within the message and the goals my brand is trying to convey?
New technologies provide your business with powerful tools that must be used carefully. You will come to understand the benefits they will offer to your establishment once you have assimilated their virtues and became more familiar and comfortable with them. The future has arrived thanks to the power of the tools provided by the creative wonders set forth by the World Wide Web. We are sure you will not regret finding room for them within the structure of your culinary enterprises and reap the gains and profit they will most surely bring.