Who is the next-generation customer and what are their expectations?
Today’s diners are well-connected, tech savvy, and expect a high-quality restaurant customer experience—whether visiting a five-star sit down, fast-casual, or the drive-thru.
As a restaurant operator or owner, understanding where the bar is set is the first step toward capitalizing on the customer journey. Approaching 2020, restaurants need to make a conscious shift toward offering future-facing operations with the ability to meet the expectations of their customers.
Menu and Order Customization
According to a consumer study by Deloitte, the number one factor that influences consumers when selecting a restaurant is menu options and order customization.
Employing the right POS systems for your type of restaurant can attract loyal customers. Self-service kiosks for example, engage customers and make them part of their experience giving them freedom to easily customize their own orders. In doing so, the opportunity to fast upsell and cross promote increases with all the menu options at their fingertips. In QSR, when technology is used to place an order, reports show it increases the frequency of visits by 6% AND a 20% increase to the average spend per visit.
Excellent service in-house and out-of-house
Guest experience starts with service. Tablets or kiosks can be used for line-busting rather than keeping hungry guests waiting. Offering flexible payment, like pay-at-the-table options, keep guests involved and frees staff to care for other guests needing attention.
Guests want a quality experience, but quickly. Enhance the speed of service with POS technology. Integrate your POS with mobile options so servers can accommodate guests right on the floor, adding on a dessert or ordering another drink from the bar when they ask for it. A KDS streamlines communication between front and back of house to ensure timely and accurate order prep.
Service isn’t limited to inside the restaurant, guests choosing your restaurant for takeout expect their experience to be seamless. Online and mobile ordering adds value and convenience to the customer journey— 40% of customers prefer to order online for quick pickup and delivery. When given this option, the average spend also increases by 26% in QSR and 13% in casual and fast-casual restaurants.
Customers in 2020 are all about perks—87% of survey respondents belong to fewer than 3 loyalty programs each. If your goal is to attract new customers and turn them into returning customers, offer a loyalty program stuffed with rewards. Diners that can earn a discount (51%) or reward (44%) are more likely to choose that restaurant over another in order to continue earning.
Customers love the points but don’t want to keep track of them. Paper punch cards are in the past—our tech-savvy diners are demanding restaurant apps with features to track their loyalty points.
When it comes to payment, 53% drive-thru, 54% take-out, and 50% in-restaurant customers say flexible options are important to them. The ability to split checks efficiently and accurately makes taking care of the bill easy.
With so many applications to access our money, next-gen customers want the option to pay by phone—48% of drive-through, 46% take-out, and 31% in-restaurant—and of those, 50% say they want to be able to do so using the restaurant app.
Creating a satisfying customer journey is painless when equipped with the right tools for the job. The restaurant specific technology makes for smooth management and paves the way to a successful customer experience.