January 7, 2017
The Restaurant Experience and meeting Customers; Expectations in 2017
By: Anders Jansson | Uncategorized | Comments: 1
What trends will dominate the restaurant industry in 2017?
Every restaurant has its own niche with its specific customer base and marketing needs. But we can also see trends which permeate the global culture. In 2017 restaurant customers are predicted to be inclined towards healthy food choices coupled with diverse flavours from around the world. Another clear trend is that in 2017, the customer experience and technology will be pre-eminent.
Technology can give the edge enabling small and independent restaurants to compete against large chains. The statistics are interesting. The future of the restaurant industry globally is promising; but in USA in 2016 the number of independent restaurants operating dropped by 3% while the big chains grew by 1%. To compete effectively, the small restaurant business needs to develop a robust marketing strategy.
In today's market place, the role technology plays must be greater than just having a website displaying the hours of operation, location and requests for customer reviews. There is a need to interact with customers with a day by day hands on approach. The most effective 21st Century solution is centered on mobile apps.
To follow are some of the major trends on the horizon for 2017 if you want your restaurant business to prosper using mobile app technology.
A mobile app with a loyalty program embedded, will tell an owner exactly when a client comes in, and what they ordered. 2017 is the year to implement a mobile app for your specific business. Chuck out the old punch cards and switch to a mobile app in order to precisely and accurately keep track of customer loyalty. Mobile apps are easier for both the customer and the restaurant. The app is on the customer's phone so there is no need to keep a card at hand. For the restaurant there is immediate and precise data tracking their customer's spending habits.
Mobile App Ordering
Ordering through a mobile app is not the same thing as ordering via a website. Web sites require logins, are less streamlined, and don't offer that instant and quick access to the ordering process than an app does. Mobile apps compliment the constant hectic lifestyle most people lead. All a mobile app user needs to do is tap a few buttons on their phone, and their order is made. Customers can use their apps to order lunch while still in the office, and by the time they make it to the restaurant, their food is ready. It saves both the diner and the food provider time since there is no waiting around for the food to be made.
An app-based reservation system is more efficient for the restaurant because the bookings are unambiguous and precise. As with mobile ordering, people want things simple. If a customer only has to click a few buttons to make a reservation, they are much more likely to do this than they are to call the restaurant to make the booking.
Push notifications are an effective way to interact with customers. Notices for special menu items, or upcoming events can be communicated to the target market instantly. A restaurant that has a constant flow of new menu items, such as a variety of craft beers, can use push notifications to let people know when an old favourite comes back, or something new goes on sale.
Enhancing the Experience
Sell what you are, and create value through quality. About 40 percent of consumers, especially Millennials would rather have an experience than buy a material item. Included in the experience column is eating at a restaurant. Mobile apps make the experience easy.
The bottom line is, a dining experience enhanced with the convenience of technology tops the list of customer expectations for 2017. However, the new generation of diners has a need for the right now they also have a taste for the authentic and the unique. Some of the trends, like an increased demand for exotic spices, coupled with some healthy options should be placed on your radar as well.
2017 can be a great year for your restaurant business. Just make sure you can provide your customers with what they want, so that they keep coming back; coupled with the technology to easily access the experience.