Restaurant technology has evolved with the advent of cloud computing and the boom in reliance on mobile devices. Sure, not every establishment can benefit from big data, but if substantial growth and superior customer service are to be gleaned from the big guys, it’s worth learning more about how it’s done with restaurant tech.
Making the Most of Mobile
Large chain restaurants are increasingly adding tech gurus to their staff, keen to invent new ways to engage the customer beyond seating and serving. One way they entice more consumers into choosing them is by taking up space in the app world.
Many chains, such as Chick-Fil-A and Starbucks, have seen the benefits of online ordering, but the chain that really turned everything around in this arena is Domino’s. The pizza chain enjoyed a more than 800% increase in stock after it became one of the earliest adopters in online ordering.
Of course, a good measure of this can be chalked up to CEO Patrick Doyle’s ethos: that tech is just as important as pizza. To that end, Domino’s is revolutionizing not just ordering, but delivery.
Mobile technology certainly makes for more efficient routing, but they’ve taken it further by offering customers a Pizza Tracker, so they can check in on the status of their order from oven to table. In addition, they plan to use tech like self-driving cars and robots that keep pizza warm to delight and impress their reinvigorated customer base.
And to cap it all off, customers can order a pizza by sending them an emoji. Even Starbucks lets consumers buy coffee for their friends via Twitter. Special apps, social media, and texting functions are areas that will continue to be a focus in restaurant tech.
Tech On the Table
One must consider how restaurant technology can be used to benefit establishments where customers are more likely to sit and eat. For chains like Olive Garden and Chili’s, it’s inviting customers to pick up a device familiar to them: the tablet.
Tablet orders not only make payment simple, eliminating the need to wait in line or for the return of their receipt from a server, but they’re a genius tool for a no-pressure upsell. Customers are apparently more likely to add extras to their order when a tech device innocuously puts the option on the table.
Front-facing services are making restaurant technology more attractive to entrepreneurs and hungry customers than ever, but it’s only the beginning. With simplified inventory, effective training, and useful analytics, the tech adopted by chains is definitely trickling down.