Restaurateurs are well aware that patrons want more than just food when they visit a restaurant – they want a dining experience. Now restaurateurs should also expect their guests to have expectations around technological advancements and capabilities. Much like restaurant goers of yesteryear expected on-trend decor and popular and fashionable food options, they now expect a certain level of technological capability at their restaurants of choice.
The number of consumers who say technology options at restaurants factor into their choosing of restaurants went up from 20% in 2014 to 25% in 2015 according to a recent survey. Perhaps surprisingly the 25% included both Millennials and older generations.
Welcome to 2015.
But do you know which technology your present and future customers are on the lookout for?
Below we go over the important and top restaurant technology trends for 2015. See how many you knew about!
Games on Tablets:
Tablets have become popular in the restaurant industry in recent times. They have multiple uses – one of the most popular being gaming. Lightweight, conveniently sized tablets with pre-loaded games are increasingly being given to restaurant patrons to pass time while they wait for food. These games can be geared towards families with children or even adults. These games can even be a way to gain additional revenue. Chili’s for example offers unlimited games on tablets for 99 cents. Overall using tablets in this fashion connotes technological savvy which appeals to today’s techie patrons.
The old legacy POS system no longer cuts it for modern restaurateurs. One reason for this are changing security regulations which mandate PCI compliance and EMV readiness. If you haven’t heard of terms such as ‘PCI compliance’, you will want to learn them fast as your competitors may know of them and also because regulated laws dictate you do. PCI compliance is a set of requirements designed to ensure that all companies that process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment. In a recent survey 47% of restaurant owners said they would upgrade their POS to prepare for EMV readiness and 45% said they were looking to make sure they were PCI compliant. A cloud based EMV ready and PCI compliant POS such as Vexilor keeps your customers’ credit card info safe, as they expect. Remember that a wide variety of restaurant concepts including Dairy Queen, Jimmy John’s and PF Chang’s China Bistro have suffered data breaches in 2014. Don’t be next.
Many restaurateurs are also looking for POS providers with mobile point-of-sale (MPOS). MPOS allows you to serve customers and process payments wherever they are located, cutting down on wait time. MPOS also boosts operational efficiency as servers are not detouring back to a fixed workstation to input orders for every table. Instead they input orders and information on their handheld tablet right at the table and then swiftly move on to patrons at the next table.
Mobile wallet is a top priority for both mobile customers and restaurants. 59% of restaurant owners said they intend to implement mobile wallet during their next POS upgrade. The technological and practical implications of initiating a mobile wallet at your locations needlessly worries some businesses. With the right provider mobile wallet implementation can be easy. With a provider such as Givex for example mobile wallet is not an expensive hard-to-maintain downloadable phone app. It is also possible to develop a mobile website that has an identical look and feel as your desktop website. This can be created easily and quickly by Givex and can be implemented with minimal hassle. Increasingly customers expect to be able to pay via their smartphones. One of the technological hurdles is needing to upgrade your POS equipment for NFC or other technology which certain mobile wallets need. This can be a costly investment if you have many locations. Look for mobile wallets that work with your existing POS environment.
32% of all smartphone users are able and willing to pay their bills using mobile wallet instead of debit/credit cards or cash. Beyond simply processing payments many restaurants are also looking for mobile payments which can help them gather data about their customers. Data which informs you on spending patterns or popularity of certain menu items can be valuable. This information will help you decide which items to discontinue or which times of the day are best for sales, saving you from the waste of offering unwanted items. Also keep in mind that customers also look for mobile wallets that give them additional benefits such as rewards and offers.
Another capability patrons are looking for more and more is online ordering – that is the ability to order menu items online whether on their tablets, smart phones or desktop computers. Quick-service eateries are especially suited to this option as customers are already in a rush. Online ordering allows them to place their order on their smartphone and pick it up when they arrive at your location. It is important to pick a POS which can provide an integrated online ordering solution, one where you don’t have different reports from different portals to analyze and understand. Instead pick a POS like Vexilor from Givex which comes with an online ordering option and a provider who can create an affordable and easy to use online ordering site which you can easily deploy.
Don’t let your restaurant’s great food and customer service be undermined by a lack of technological know-how and capabilities. Satisfy today’s consumer with the trends outlined in this blog!