Restaurants have increasingly become more reliant on technology to do well. Today, reservations are made online, ordering can be done digitally, reviews are left on apps, and pictures are posted on social media. Recent research by Barclaycard indicates consumers are now spending more on eating out than they have in the past 15 months. This creates a huge opportunity for restaurants to use technology to draw in more diners.
Adding WiFi to the menu
Many restaurants already have WiFi, but only make it available to staff. However, more and more diners are seeking guest WiFi while eating out. Guest WiFi is a powerful tool, yet often underutilized.
Adding a guest WiFi platform to an existing WiFi network is quick and easy, and doing so not only keeps diners happy, but can also bring a wide array of benefits for the restaurant. As diners get online, personal information is gathered and diners are asked to opt-in to restaurant newsletters – helping grow marketing distribution lists. Once online, a branded welcome portal appears with restaurant-related information, special coupons, loyalty program details and more are available, helping to promote restaurant initiatives with little effort.
Serving up analytics
With guest WiFi, restaurants can finally grasp a better understanding of who their customers are and how they behave. Data collected on the platform provide insights such as what the diner demographics are, when they visit, how long they stay and how often they return. Restaurants can utilize this information to improve day-to-day operations, for example, by knowing when the busiest days and times are.
Reaching diners before and after the meal
No longer is diner engagement limited to just mealtime. With technology, restaurants can reach customers even before they’ve decided where they want to eat. Guest WiFi has the capability to track visits so restaurants can send out personalized promotions targeted to diners at just the right time. Identifying broader footfall trends can also help restaurants make operational decisions – from staffing levels to stock levels – particularly relevant during busy periods.
Similarly, restaurants can continue to communicate with diners once they’ve finished their meal and have left the restaurant; this is particularly important in cementing loyalty and gathering feedback. Restaurants can use email campaigns, social media marketing, and alerts via mobile apps to highlight upcoming events and special menus, and even promote ‘foodstagram’ competitions.
Restaurants of the future
A survey by Deloitte recently found that if a restaurant offers digital ordering capabilities, customers are six percent more likely to return, with 20 percent spending more each visit. Similarly, 47% of millennials recently stated whether restaurants offer WiFi or not could dictate where they go eat.
The pervasive nature of technology means that all customer-facing organizations must start adopting digital strategies to keep pace with their customers. Restaurants especially are heavily influenced by technology, and must start thinking about how they can reach customers in innovative ways.
Looking to draw in more diners using technology? Talk to one of our consultants today!