Foodservice Updates is designed to help foodservice operators keep on top of all the industry news and provides tips for keeping business running smooth. We endeavor to provide the latest tips and solutions to keep you in the know.
How do your guests want to hear from you?
The habits and tastes of the couple who dines with you on a Friday night are likely much different from those of the parent who brings his child in for lunch with you on a Saturday. So your outreach to these guests must be different too. As Paytronix CEO Andrew Robbins recently said, “Fifty percent of people are day-dependent. The day they make a purchase is hugely important.” Getting the day right when communicating offers to them, he says, can make marketing to these guests 50-58 percent more effective. Your loyalty program, therefore, should be able to make guests feel like you’re interacting with them personally (without them noticing you’re doing so at scale). For example, if a guest loves getting takeout from you on a Friday night and she tends to ignore emails, you’ll have an easier time securing her order if you tempt her on a Friday afternoon with a text message that includes a link to (and even a visual of) her favorite order. It’s a much easier “yes” than a blanket email for a new lunch combo deal – though directing that to a certain subset of your guests may work perfectly. When you get guests to sign up for your app or to other forms of communication from you, how far are you able to drill down on their habits and preferences? Consider not just what they like to eat but when, why and how they like to hear from you. More data from them should equal more detailed customization from you.
Improve your omnichannel experience
In the past few years, your restaurant has likely expanded the number of sales channels it offers to guests. Many full-service restaurants may have permanently ramped up their delivery and curbside pickup businesses, while quick-service restaurants may have made significant investment in their drive-thru business. But regardless of restaurant category, being able to deliver a consistent brand experience in every available ordering channel is critical – particularly if one channel seems to be getting more focus/investment/attention from guests than others. It starts by having a strong central nervous system in the form of a POS that streamlines all of these different business strands, makes it easy for staff and guests to process orders through them, and has functionality that allows the business to track and prioritize orders and other information in real time. Still, a recent report from Restaurant Technology News says many restaurant businesses are holding off on implementing such an all-in-one tech solution, largely because it might be too difficult for staff to learn in the midst of handling daily tasks and serving guests. However, it says, “utilizing these solutions can eliminate vendor fatigue for hospitality staff and free them up for higher-level activities…These solutions are giving them more time to prioritize, execute tasks, and delight guests, which ultimately increases efficiency and revenue for the business.”
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