In every business, leaders need to ask themselves, “What is the purpose?” and “What is the goal?” Implementing new technology in the restaurant industry is no different and requires a plan of action. You might find it difficult to keep up with the pace of technology for your business right now. Technology now touches every aspect of your operations, and you have to decide what kind of adopter you’re going to be as a franchiser, restaurant group or restaurant owner. If you’re looking to upgrade for the first time in awhile or implement new technologies in your already data-driven restaurant business, the digital transformation taking place in businesses across industries has a few particularly relevant solutions for restaurants in 2018: business intelligence solutions and systems integration.
Business Intelligence Solutions
Let’s start with solutions you may already have considered, such as technology that helps with ordering, food tracking and loyalty programs. Business intelligence solutions that gather data from various aspects of the franchise or restaurant give leaders a new perspective on their business. Take data from mobile interactions. The average American consumer spends around 10-12 hours a day on some form of a digital device. Of that, they spend five hours collectively on a smartphone. This is gold for businesses in general and for restaurants, it’s no different. The data gathered will not only give better insight on who their patrons are, but what future campaigns can be run to drive in more traffic and revenue.
Consumers are looking for ease and speed. If restaurants can provide fast and easy ways to engage, repeat business is a likely response to that. For example, mobile apps and Chatbots remove common barriers to conversation and provide customer support in reservations and ordering. With automatic responses from bots, businesses can increase customer satisfaction while maintaining a positive brand reputation and freeing up staff for more important and complex tasks. Ordering through systems like these also provides insight into popular items, a way to track and predict demand and ultimately, reduce food waste to improve profits.
When you think of applications for performance improvement, delivery tracking technology might come to mind. It’s an important feature for you and for your customer. Business intelligence can do much more for performance improvement though. These systems can unveil seasonal trends you might not have noticed before, demographic and patron information you haven’t had access to, or places to maximize sales based on server/employee performance. Say the system could track regulars for you, their order history, and tie it to the mobile loyalty program to make it easy for them. Servers could be provided information on that patron to tailor the dining experience, offer a last-minute perk or reward, and more. This level of service and more can be tracked and analyzed to monitor employee performance, identifying your very best for improved training practices that pull from experience on the floor.
Now that you have or are considering different solutions, it’s time to look at systems integration. Chances are you’re running various custom and plug-and-play technologies to gather the information and make these offerings to your patrons. This year, it’s important to look at how you might integrate all of these in one custom platform. This allows for gaps in data in be filled in and gives you the 360-degree, birds eye view you are looking for.
It’s worth recognizing that technology makes the franchise or restaurant attractive to future franchisees or buyers. It’s an opportunity to stand out and ensure any opportunities that bring change can be taken on with smooth transition. If you’re looking for more information on business intelligence, this white paper details more information about implementing it in your business.