Digital restaurant sales still have room to climb. According to new data from market research firm Incisiv, digital sales will comprise 54 percent of all limited-service and quick-service restaurant sales by 2025 – a 70 percent increase over pre-pandemic estimates. Forbes reports that as restaurants look to position themselves to accommodate more digital sales, new partnerships between tech companies and large restaurant brands are focusing on such aspects of the customer journey as using artificial intelligence in marketing, accepting customer orders via social media and messaging platforms, and enabling autonomous driving as a means of making delivery financially feasible.
Retain customer data in 2021
Your customers’ preferences are what keep them coming back to you – and are what tell you what items to promote to whom and when. Restaurants often lose ownership of that critical data when partnering with third-party delivery companies, but they may be able to find more ways around that this year. Industry analysts are seeing potential for a rise in unbranded delivery partnerships with restaurants in 2021. In practice, this means customers would have to visit a restaurant’s website to place an order and access delivery – at which point the third-party delivery is triggered on the back end. It takes delivery off of a restaurant’s shoulders but also ensures it retains the customer information that can help them formulate their sales and marketing plans.
Tech for instant personalization
If you can customize and personalize your menu for guests, you earn loyal guests, which are what operators need right now. Technology is making it easier for operators to give guests the choices they want on demand. Case in point: Taco Bell recently unveiled a feature called Veggie Mode on its self-order kiosks. It will allow users to push a button and immediately change the options on their screen to vegetarian ones. Ostensibly, it’s a feature that could be extended to eliminate any food to which a guest has an intolerance or dislike. Through your website, app and text/email promotions, are you using your available technology to help guests quickly see the options best suited to their tastes?
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