“These businesses are driving – and will continue to drive – a generational shift in the way humans buy their food.”
Who is analyst Giles Thorne talking about? The Dutch food delivery firm Takeaway.com, who want to buy Just Eat.
Thorne told the BBC that this is ‘one of the last great digitalisation stories.’
The potential acquisition – which would create one of the world’s biggest food delivery organisations – is just the latest step in the massive mobile revolution being embraced by food consumers.
It’s not just meals. Amazon recently tried to buy Deliveroo, and indications are that these ‘last mile’ delivery companies might be roped in to bring groceries and other goods direct to consumers’ doors.
The British public now have a wealth of mobile tools at their disposal, and consumers (particularly the youngest) are now used to accessing every area of their lives via smartphones and apps.
The massive shift in the way people access their food is no surprise to restaurateurs, who are living the transformation.
In a challenging marketplace, restaurants are doing their best to adapt their business models to meet current demands.
They’ve taken tips from how banks, supermarkets and even estate agents are benefiting from the consumer shift to online purchasing, and many (such as Wagamama) are adapting their business models to gain similar benefits.
For instance, food outlets with up-to-date restaurant Epos software are using delivery services to open up a value new revenue stream that is helping them to compete.
Guests order food online for delivery via their app and the restaurant’s epos system. Then the outlet prepares the meal and uses a service such as Uber Eats to drop it off. Some hospitality groups have even started up ‘dark kitchens’ in industrial units to meet demand.
Restaurant Epos software has also been a big enabler when it comes to two other restaurant themes – casual dining and online reservations – which were once trends and have now become mainstream.
Epos makes it easier for customers to find your restaurant and book a table online, via apps such as OpenTable, there’s no need for your restaurant to be open, or for anyone to take a call – and it also removes the possibility for human error.
Casual and fast outlets are also using Epos integrated with self-service kiosks and kitchen automation. The kiosks are a popular choice for customers who need to order, pick up and go – hardly anyone objects to self-ordering these days.
The “digitisation” of restaurants pays off for restaurateurs – and for their customers – by giving better control and uplift in 5 different areas:
- Restaurant EPOS software provides detailed reports that show exactly what levels of staffing is needed at what times.
- Stock and waste
- Data capture in restaurant management technology make sure stock levels correlate with what’s selling, and provide accurate forecasts for procurement.
- Menu costs
- Aloha restaurant Epos software is teamed up with KitchenCUT technology that tracks allergen risks down to ingredient level, and also helps chefs accurately cost dishes.
- Customer service
- Tableside ordering and payment-taking via handheld devices help create a swift and satisfying customer experience.
- Customer loyalty
- restaurant Epos software strengthens engagement with diners by capturing their preferences so you can send them tailored offers.
It’s not clear where evolving mobile and digital trends will lead the restaurant industry. They fulfil customer needs, but also drive them – for instance, when delivery becomes available, it creates a new market where none existed before.
Good food, excellent value for money and great customer service will never be topped as the three main reasons customers choose to eat at or from your restaurant, of course.
But with a ‘generational shift’ in eating already upon us, it makes sense to make dining digital – all through the day.
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