n today’s fast-paced restaurant world, businesses must use all available tools to connect with guests and keep them coming back for more. The restaurant-customer relationship is changing – instead of sitting and chatting with their local servers and baristas, more customers are ordering a quick bite they can take on the go.
Nevertheless, great customer service is personal. Technology empowers restaurant operators to connect with every kind of guest, no matter how they choose to order. This article from CAKE will discuss how restaurant technology can help personalize service especially when it comes to loyalty.
Restaurant technology is a great way to record data about your most loyal fans. Did you know that 63% of people like to earn rewards for their personal purchase history? Loyalty cards are just the beginning of customer retention. Reward your guests by recording their choices directly in your Point of Sale system, and save them the trouble of tracking their own progress.
While you track their orders, you can also save details like dietary restrictions, their favorite times to eat or order food, and most important: their email address. Reach out to your fans directly with specials, limited-time offers, and info about your restaurant’s events. Use technology to review the success rate of your email promotions, and you can hone in on the best possible marketing offer to improve sales and guest satisfaction.
Pagers and written guest lists are older, less reliable systems. With guest manager systems, you can text guests the moment their table is ready. If your digital waitlist has an app, guests can check in to view their place in line at any time, instead of trying to get the host’s attention. Apps also encourage guests to peruse the menu even before they’re seated. This not only keeps them engaged during the wait; it also streamlines the ordering process and improves your restaurant’s flow. Predict accurate wait times to show guests that you care about their experience and understand their time is valuable also. Best of all, a downloaded app allows you to keep in touch with specials or promotions after their meal is over.
Online ordering (OLO) is more popular than ever, and your most loyal fans might never come in to eat at your brick-and-mortar establishment. And yet, great customer service is personal, even for the guests you never meet face to face. Some OLO platforms can integrate directly into your Point of Sale system. This streamlined technology saves time and effort: instead of tracking orders from various sources, you and your team can focus on providing great service for every kind of customer.
For guests who prefer delivery to eating in your restaurant, technology is the best – and only – way for you to connect with them. Whatever delivery service you use, make sure you get in touch with your customers directly. Take note of their order history and offer them deals on their favorite dishes, or reach out during your slower times of day.
If they’re already online, it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump to connect with these guests on social media. Running a contest on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram not only gets the word out about your restaurant; it also gives you the valuable opportunity to gather self-reported data about your guests. The better you know their preferences, the more you can personalize their experience – even from miles away.
Getting to know your guests is the best, and the easiest, way to improve customer service. Remind them you care about their unique needs, and you’ll win their loyalty while boosting your own bottom line.