Have you taken steps to introduce technology into your business?
We’re not suggesting you install tablets for digital ordering at every place setting - but there are simpler, less intimidating ways to introduce tech to your business and boost sales.
Tech at the Table
We’re not suggesting you install tablets for digital ordering at every place setting - after all, taking this step may be too drastic (or expensive) for most. But consider making it optional for customers to employ the use of a tablet ordering system. According to a recent study of IT decision-makers representing the QSR, casual dining/full-service, and fine-dining industry segments, 41% of them said table-side ordering devices will be a priority in 2017.
As the trend shifts towards faster service and QSRs are on the rise, there is an indication that consumers (especially Millennials, who outspend other age groups on dining out) want options when it comes to tech. By installing tableside tech, you can let tech-savvy customers use it while other more traditional diners can place their order with servers the old-fashioned way. Tech at the table also allows customers to feel more in control of the bill paying process and may even encourage them to spend more freely (bonus!)
Tech in BOH
While tablets and tech are a “maybe” in your dining room, they should be prevalent in back of house. Tablet systems with digital workforce operating systems, like Harri, can be used for a wide array of things, including a smart time clock with facial recognition login, alerting them to announcements upon clocking in, and the opportunity to survey employees upon clocking out. This creates a more interactive, transparent work environment in which you’re able to easily communicate with and thus educate your staff - which in turn leads to better customer service and increased sales.
Over the past 5-10 years, one of the biggest changes in the restaurant technology sphere has been the ability for customers to discover new restaurants through the growth of social media applications like Facebook, Instagram, and OpenTable. These apps connect consumers to the broader world and allow them to experience a wider variety of dining options at their fingertips. This has led to a shift from people favoriting their usual haunts to trying new things all the time.
As an owner/operator or manager, you have the ability to tell your powerful brand story through social media. By capitalizing on these free platforms, you’ll be able to share menu updates, seasonal specials, beautiful imagery, and more - using hashtags and geotags to allow new consumers to discover your dining options. Telling your brand story can garner you more customers, and telling your hiring story can garner you the best people.
It’s 2017. Time to ditch the spreadsheets and rely on more sophisticated tech for reporting! Your staff, while a rich source of information, can’t be expected to do the same manual data collection that computers or digital solutions can do. Managers may not be able to identify who of your staff is most effective, or how the new special is performing. But with smarter technology, you have the ability to do so.
Attracting the Right People
You may think a new restaurant in town is to blame for a slump in sales - but it could just be the way the trends are turning. Millennials are more likely to be health-conscious, cook at home, and order takeout. As a business owner, you need to keep customer engagement front of mind and think creatively about how to always be inviting people to come through your door.
Maybe you’ve gotten used to doing everything manually over the years. We bet you have a pretty good “system” in place! But adopting new technology is the key to getting the new generation of the workforce in the door, and optimizing your business. Without it, you could be missing out on crucial data that will help you drive sales.
(*Interested in Harri’s award-winning digital workforce operating systems? Learn more here!)