The restaurant of the future – what will it look like, and will you own it?
It’s 2020 already – but what will the world of tomorrow look like? If you’re a restaurateur seeking hungry diners, probably like this:
- Your customer has been talking to Alexa, and his device asks if he wants to book a table at his favourite restaurant. Instead, he uses Facebook Messenger to place an order for delivery.
- Another customer arrives at the burger chain she likes best, having pre-ordered and pre-paid for her meal on the restaurant’s app. The system remembers her usual, knows she doesn’t like relish, and the perfect personalised order is there to pick up as soon as she arrives. No queueing, no delay.
- Another customer takes his car for a pre-ordered meal. As soon he drives in, his arrival is detected by a smart platform, and the kitchen know he’s ready to pick it up.
- Friends are chatting on social media, and decide on a meal out. They choose a restaurant and use its app separately to order what they want to eat. Once the meal is over, they are automatically billed individually.
This COULD be tomorrow for most restaurants – but it’s actually today for some of the most technologically advanced.
They use their restaurant POS system, teamed with advanced technologies such as virtual assistant based ordering and chatbot assistants, to deliver exactly what today’s demanding diner wants – a highly personalised experience, easily and quickly delivered.
In a massively competitive market, it’s a strategy for success. As analysts Deloitte say in a new report:
“Winning restaurant brands will be those that best understand their customers, capitalise on digital technology options and analytics and seize upon the opportunity to engage customers in a highly personalised way.”
There’s going to be a lot for restaurateurs to think about as the digital transformation of the industry evolves. And it’s not just about new widgets and gadgets coming onto the market.
It’s also about how you decide to use the amazing digital tools available to you, in what combination – and about how your customers choose to respond to the technology.
At the core of every clued-up and successful restaurant, there is already a hugely capable restaurant POS system.
It’s hard at work in the background 24/7 performing many valuable activities that improve operations and drive revenue, including:
- Controlling labour costs
- Controlling stock and reducing food waste
- Providing tableside ordering and payments on handheld devices
- Speeding up food delivery and table turn
- Enabling online reservations and ordering
- Reducing risks including allergens and staff fraud.
The restaurant POS system is also key to creating the customised guest experience, capturing data with every diner interaction.
For instance, the restaurant of the future will offer every customer a personalised menu based on their known preferences from previous orders – once you reject the relish with your burger, you’ll never have to face it again.
That deep knowledge of a diner’s preferences will go further than food and seating choices.
The savviest restaurants will look carefully at the digital life of their customers; with so many communications channels at our disposal, most people prefer one or two over others.
Restaurants will need to define how their customers interact with technologies. For example, are they Alexa enthusiasts – and is that the best way to reach out to them? Do they use Messenger more?
Did you know:
Deloitte surveyed 4,500 diners and found that nearly nine in ten of them belong to fewer than three loyalty programmes.
You want to be one of those three – so you need your loyalty programme to matches their preference and lifestyle perfectly.
With the data captured by your restaurant POS system and an insight into they way they like you to communicate, you can create targeted marketing campaigns with offers you know they will appreciate.
And that’s available NOW, not in the future.
There’ll always be developments we can’t predict – 10 years ago, who would have imagined food delivery by drone?
But one thing is for sure: digital technology is here to stay – and the restaurants who are on board in 2020 are the ones who’ll be around for a very, very long time.
Start thinking future – discover the facts about restaurant POS system now!