When it comes to smartphones and social media, the next big thing that it targets is restaurant app development. Today consumers whole-heatedly welcome the use of new technology when it comes to having delightful dining experience as far as it can either speed up the process of bringing the meal on the table or helping with faster bill payment.
Many of the people belonging to this generation believe that restaurants need to use such technologies to build restaurant app, software and website for better food production and delivery more efficient and to make food order better in the coming time.
This means that the first restaurant which works towards using technology to help you order food using mobile phones will win the competition with ease.
Recently the restaurants across the globe have been seen approaching reaching the millennial market to increase their sales and to stay relevant in the market. Millennial have the habit of dining out more but, businesses should also increase their focus on Gen Z. When it comes to social media dependency, these two groups of people are more or less like each other. However, increasing your focus on Gen Z and making them your prime focus can help you come up with a loyal customer base.
Gen Z spent $78 billion just on eating food at restaurants in 2016, and this was something that they spent without putting in any money on alcohol.
Things have changed much, and the numbers are estimated to rise much more in just three years. Even today a good number of people belonging to this generation spend money on eating at restaurants.
Apart from eating out at most of the restaurants out there, Gen Z is more inclined towards sharing their positive experience on social media. This means that apart from helping restaurants have increased sales, they offer free social media campaigns to market the restaurants well.
What Gen Z are they Looking for in your Restaurant?
Gen Z customers are very specific about what they want, and things are not much different when we are talking in terms of restaurants. Some of the things which they expect from the restaurants are:
When it comes to Gen Z, they have no patience to wait for their food to arrive at their table. In case it takes a lot of time for the restaurant to serve the food, then chances are more that they may not return to your restaurant again. Offering delicious food can attract them, but you need to be sure that the food is served in a very less amount of time as possible.
You can offer them different things to keep them engaged until the food is served but, if it takes too long for it to come to the table, they will not like it for sure. Efficiently managing your staff and simplifying the ordering process can help you serve food as expected and please the customers with ease.
Many may think it not to be the priority thing, but for Gen Z, quality matters. They will look at the way you serve dishes to them, and if the food is delicious, they will be attracted to your restaurant naturally. Gen Z is in their early years of making money and so are very careful where they are spending it. This means as a restaurant owner. You need to ensure that the presentation and taste of the food should go hand in hand to please them.
It was in the past when restaurants used exaggerations to impress and attract customers. Gen Z is the kind of the customers who will see and appreciate the authenticity you have to offer and will side-line the restaurants which make use of gimmicks to attract the customers and after that sell them something else. This means they value transparency more than anything else. They like to visit restaurants with an open kitchen where food is prepared in front of the customers. They love to have food prepared healthily using natural ingredients.
70% of restaurant guests are looking for healthy restaurant menu options.
Ease of finding a table and ease of placing an order is something that millennials and Gen Z are keeners about when visiting a restaurant. With the right use of restaurant technologies like online table booking solutions, it is possible to satisfy these customers with ease. Make use of apps and kiosks to let the guests carry out the task of finding and reserving a table as well as placing an order from a distance. In this way, you can serve them in better ways by reducing their waiting time.
Coming up with unique food and drinks is something restaurants can do to attract these people. If you have nothing new to offer to the guests, then there is no way to prove you are better than others in the market. This means you need to come up with a new dish or a new experience to keep the customers hooked.
In case the people find some unique dishes and drinks at your restaurant which they cannot find elsewhere, they will be more likely to visit your restaurant again and again. So whether you plan to come up with different prices or build a combination of unusual flavours, you need to be sure that you come up with your signature dish which will give you a name in the market.
According to Rail Media, 73% of restaurant operators have agreed that technology provides them a competitive advantage and helps increase profitability.
How using the technology can serve Gen Z better?
Gen Z is more open about spending money when it comes to food. Unlike the previous generations, Gen Z is more focused on what is served, what they eat, and how the food comes to their plates. Using the right technology to serve them can be one of the wisest decisions you can take for your restaurant business. They are:
One of the best ways to boost guest experience is by offering Wi-Fi as a part of the restaurant technologies. The number of smartphone users is high across the globe, and their number is increasing at a steady rate. They have the habit of regularly using the internet to check the score of the cricket match or football. So if your restaurant is offering free Wi-Fi, such smartphone users will use your restaurant for sure.
Increased people visiting your restaurant for Wi-Fi will directly increase the sales too. Offering free Wi-Fi service is good, but you need to be sure that you are choosing a credible Wi-Fi service provider. If the connection is not upto the mark, then the users will feel irritated, and this will lead them to not return to your business with the same goal.
Online Table booking
According to OpenTable press report 2018, it has got on-board more than 28 million diners per month via online reservations across more than 51,000 restaurants.
When it comes to visiting the restaurants, the customers have no interest in waiting for their chance. For the same reason, more and more restaurants are now putting in the effort to boost their online presence. This also helps them to find new customers quickly. This way, the restaurant gets to build a better relationship with the customers, thereby helping them in easily making reservations.
Today things have changed, and now people can easily create a booking at the restaurants by merely visiting the website or social media pages. To let their customers have a pleasant experience when making a reservation, some of the restaurants have even come up with restaurant reservation software.
Restaurant Feedback & loyalty Technology
As per stats, 92% of consumers read restaurant reviews.
Today customer reviews play a huge role in making or breaking a business. Things are not much different in terms of the restaurant business. Restaurants now offer a feedback section in their app or over their website to know what customers think about them. The feedback they get from the guests helps them to make improvements in their service, food, and infrastructure.
Customer reviews are now registered on the internet over a number of popular websites and on the internet giant Google. Viewers go through such reviews to judge the site while the restaurant owners make use of them to make improvements on their part as well as to prove their competitors how well they are doing in business. Today even customers are urged to provide with stars to evaluate the kind of experience they had at the restaurant, and that helps others to know how well the business is doing in the market.
45% of the consumers who took part in a survey said that they prefer to make online ordering at the restaurants more often if they offered any loyalty programs.
Restaurant programs are trying to work out new things when it comes to loyalty programs. The restaurants now must come up with a better loyalty program for their standalone app or their online program.
Compared to the traditional punch cards out there, such kind of online loyalty programs help the restaurants with the latest technologies by providing great marketing insights. You can use such ideas to track customer behaviour and build your marketing strategy accordingly.
On-Demand Food Delivery Services
As per Stats, Digital ordering and delivery has grown 300% faster than dine-in traffic since 2014.
With time food preferences have changed, but then, the ways people eat food have changed too. Today people have no time and so are more inclined towards ordering food online. This saves them a lot of time and effort that they would have to spend otherwise. This is mostly preferred by people who are working or by people who are trying to get to a restaurant which is located at a distant place.
By ordering food online, the food gets delivered at the location of the customer with ease. They can easily make payments using different online payment methods or choose to go cash on delivery options. It is also possible for the customers to make use of the restaurant website or the food delivery app to place the order.
Digital Tabletop Tablets
Restaurants are working towards improving their skills in food ordering. They are doing this by offering the guests the power to make the order using a digital menu and then make payments using a touch-screen tablet.
A Stats says, 68% of customers agree that the use of server tablets improve the restaurant experience.
The trend of self-service restaurant technologies was started with Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs).QRSs like Taco Bell is used by customers to place an order by using the kiosk, tablet or mobile app. There was an evident benefit of using Taco Bell in this industry niche. Compared to the order sales made by the human cashier, digital order sales have increased tremendously. As per statistics, Taco Bell revenue is proposed to reach $15 billion in sales by 2020.
Today even casual and fine dining restaurants are now adopting these self-service restaurant technologies. Now several restaurants are making use of tabletop tablets to display their digital menu and using that customers can easily choose their dishes and place their order to the kitchen directly.
In such a manner, the orders get delivered fast, even during the rush hours of lunch and dinner. This means the guests will end up being happier.
Again to add more value and make the waiting time of guests entertaining, such tabletop tablets come with some entertainment and games.
The best thing about such emerging restaurant technologies is that they enhance personal service than replacing them. So instead of spending more time verifying the orders and moving the bill here and there, here, the servers spend more time to engage with the guests.
The use of AR and VR has taken place across different industries for a long time now, but its use in the restaurant industry is yet to make a profound impact. Currently, restaurants are making use of AR and VR for training employees, marketing and advertising and delivering rich customer experience.
Here is a fine example of Restaurant using AR/VR Technology in order to invite users to take a new experience
AR and VR can be used by restaurants to make the waiting time for the guests enjoyable by offering VR headset. This will keep them engaged all the while food gets prepared.
Such solutions can be used to educate the guests more about the food, its content, and ingredients. This will help them know what they are consuming in a better way.
Online Payment Gateway
For restaurants serving or delivering food is the foremost thing, but then, they also need to make sure that the rest of the process is simplified for the customers. Offering different online payment gateway helps the customers to make the payment for the service as per their convenience. They can either make use of debit cards or credit cards, banking apps or e-wallets, etc. to make payment. When you integrate a secure and reliable payment gateway with your restaurant, you will be able to fulfil this service completely.
74% of customers prefer to use either credit or debit cards at dine-in restaurants
Robots for smart kitchen
The use of robots as one of the major restaurant technologies is in trend today. Robots have been programmed to prepare delicious food for the guests without compromising on the taste and presentation. Such robots can efficiently and tirelessly work in the kitchen and continuously prepare the food to meet the demands.
The use of robots to serve food to the customers directly on their table has been seen in some places. It can seem to be a new and refreshing idea for the restaurant while for the customers, it can be a different experience altogether. No doubt it can be an initial investment for the restaurants but, it will be something which will pay them back well in the coming years.
Self-serve Smart Kiosk
How about not standing in line to make an order? That sounds astonishing, right! Now you can make use of kiosks that are placed at the restaurants to place your order immediately and then sit and relax till the time it gets delivered to you. This can be very useful in the case of restaurants which have frequent orders to deliver. In the coming time, a number of restaurants will make use of this restaurant technology to decrease the number of walk-aways and increase sales.
Live gaming and use of AI
Just more than helping the guests with placing orders and making payments, restaurant tablets can do more. There are some restaurants which help the guests to have a better time at their restaurants by entertaining them with some games. Apart from playing games locally, some restaurants schedule competitions on the national level. Moreover, such restaurant tablets also schedule poker tournaments at their place.
It is possible to attract a number of customers to your restaurant by opting for right handheld entertainment. It is even possible that a big group of guests may come to your restaurant specifically to play the game and use the digital solution which is available 24*7. Whatever be the thing is, restaurant technologies in the form of tablets for entertainment can help your business to have repeated visits at your place.
Construct your menu in a proper manner
It may be possible that certain dishes and their prices may be the main reason why people are not visiting your restaurant. Such a thing may be negatively affecting sales.
In case there are a few items on the menu that the customers have not ordered in a long time then maybe it is time you think about discontinuing them. Again, there may be some dishes on the menu which you may consider to be profitable, but for the customers, they may be thinking of them to be quite expensive.
In both scenarios, it is time you think about updating the menu. Think about menu engineering at this point if you are not sure about how to start everything strategically. This will help you to revamp your menu offerings and price points in a way that you will be able to see an increase in restaurant sales by 27%.
Using Social Media to stay active
86% of Millennials will try a new restaurant after seeing food-related content online.
Gen Z has a unique habit of deciding the place to eat by following social media platforms like Yelp and Instagram. In the case of Gen Z, influencers play a key role, and they are greatly influenced by the reviews and photos available in there regarding food and drinks. This means the restaurants should be using social media as an effective way to reach their target audience and should be using social proof for their benefit.
To increase social engagements, it would not be needed to improve your marketing budget. You can start by working on to build your presence on social media sites by creating blog posts, using reviews and leveraging user-generated content.
As per a survey conducted by Business Insider, Gen Z is more inclined towards using social media sites like YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram. The sites like Facebook, Pinterest and now the trending Tiktok are other sites where people are spending in more time expressing their interests and reviews on food and places.
In case you are planning to use such social media sites as an effective market to target your audience, then it would be better that you have a strong presence on such sites first.
Just think about a situation where a bunch of guests decides to pay the share of the bill individually. In the normal scenario, a single bill is offered to the guests over the table, and this makes it difficult for the customers if they want to pay the share through an online payment.
By opting for bill-splitting technology, it is possible to let the guests make part payment for the same bill based on their preferences. Such a step will increase digital payments across the restaurants.
Wrapping it up
In the coming years, the restaurants will have to serve several customers from Gen Z. This means, having a proper understanding of their choices, their needs, and their tastes will let the restaurants to reach out to them in a better manner. The use of technology can play a key role in successfully achieving this milestone.