Technology has permeated every industry in the modern business world and has completely revolutionized the way companies and business leaders make strategic decisions as well as to conduct day-to-day operations. And the restaurant business is no different, starting with the adoption of advanced POS systems, all the way to the integration of innovative software such as the Linga ROS, technology is driving the restaurant industry forward and ensuring that you remain competitive and that your customers are satisfied.
Not only is technology optimizing and improving restaurant management and POS systems, but it’s also taking restaurant branding to a whole new level, allowing you to elevate your brand’s reputation in the online and offline worlds, and create a loyal customer base. Let’s explore the top tips on how you can leverage technology and branding to increase your restaurant’s revenue.
Elevate customer research and gather insights
The first and most obvious application of the technology in the restaurant industry is gathering customer data to make better-informed decisions, gain a deeper understanding of your customers’ likes and dislikes, needs and pain points, and of course, to innovate solutions in order to develop a competitive advantage. That said, it’s important to use reporting software and AI instead of manually trying to collect and organize vast amounts of data in order to save time and money.
Fortunately, modern technology is more than capable to analyze customer information, gather valuable insights, predict industry trends and make accurate forecasts based on that data. If you integrate machine learning as well, you will allow your system to learn over time, and thus help you make the right decisions as the industry evolves, but more importantly, before your competitors discover the same opportunities.
Leverage digital marketing to improve brand reputation
Nowadays, a restaurant can become famous overnight, and a famous restaurant can lose its brand reputation and appeal in the same amount of time. How? Because your customers are the ones who are building your brand’s identity and reputation in the online world through user-generated content and engagement. The better the online reviews, the better your standing in the industry, and the same goes for your engagement metrics on social media and across the web.
This is why you need to leverage all digital marketing technologies and methods in order to control the narrative, inspire customers to leave positive reviews on online portals and on your social media pages and to engage with your brand in a positive way. Unfortunately, the quality of your service isn’t enough anymore, as you need to communicate with your online audience on a regular basis as well.
To stay in control of your restaurant’s online reputation, it’s best to work with an experienced marketing agency, or an in-house team of professionals that will communicate with the online audience, post frequently on your blog and social media and transform negative reviews into success stories if need be.
Emphasize mobile optimization and features
There is no denying that mobile is dominating the restaurant industry nowadays. Modern, tech-savvy customers are researching local restaurants on their handheld devices, filtering and narrowing down their choices through a myriad of nuanced settings that help them find the ideal restaurant for their needs and their mood. But aside from optimizing your marketing for mobile devices, what about in-house mobile optimization?
Nowadays, restaurant owners are choosing to integrate an advanced mobile POS system into their operation to allow their staff to track the status of every table and order on their smartphones, and ensure payment convenience for the customers by letting them make payments directly through the POS platform. What’s more, your wait staff will be able to manage tableside ordering and complex orders with ease, which will not only reduce customer and employee effort but keep satisfaction high for both parties.
Build a loyal customer base with smarter branding
To ensure long-term success in this business, you need to tend to meticulous branding in order to build a loyal customer base, inspire brand trust, and elevate your reputation to improve customer acquisition and retention. You can leverage technology to create better loyalty programs, and tailor them to the exact needs of your customers, and then combine it with branding in order to put your restaurant on the map.
Some of the best loyalty programs include branded Visa gift cards that you can offer as a part of a reward program for repeat customers, or even as an incentive for first-time customers to return to your restaurant. The trick is to make branded gift cards that will showcase your visuals and position your restaurant in front of the right audience, making a part of their everyday life. Use the insights you’ve gathered through AI-powered research to discover what kind of loyalty rewards your ideal customers are looking for, to improve your chances of success.
Find online influencers to boost WOM
Word of mouth marketing is one of the key drivers of the modern restaurant industry, so it’s important that you find influencers who are willing to promote your brand and share it with their online audiences in order to expand your reach, build social proof, and elevate brand trust. To make your search easier, you should leverage the power of technology once more and find the right influencers for your restaurant.
Also, keep in mind that social media shootouts are not the only form of effective WOM, as your influencers can promote everything from your food to your blogs and content, all the way to your social media posts, giveaways, and more. Remember, it’s not just about pushing your culinary expertise across the web, it’s also about building an appealing narrative.
Technology and branding are the two key drivers of success in the restaurant business nowadays, so it’s important that you integrate the latest technological solutions in order to improve efficiency and productivity. Likewise, be sure to use technology to fuel your branding efforts and build an irresistible brand identity that will boost customer acquisition and retention.
Jacob Wilson is a business consultant, and an organizational psychologist, based in Brisbane. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for Bizzmark blog.