Digital Technology in Restaurants
Over the last few years, QSRs have been experiencing a digital transformation, which is leading to an enhanced and more efficient customer experience. Fast food giants like Taco Bell and Chipotle have gone fully digital in some of their locations.
Even traditional sit-down restaurants have begun to introduce digital elements to their services. These include DIY ordering via iPads, touch screen kiosks, or QR codes. This approach frees up time for staff members and helps reduce customer contact—something many restaurateurs are focusing on as we ease out of the pandemic.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways restaurants can continue to embrace this digital shift, and how we at Zero-In have helped our clients leverage technology in the restaurant space.
Developing an app might not be in every restaurant's budget, but restaurants can still utilize the power of mobile ordering and online delivery.
By offering services on platforms like GrubHub and UberEats, restaurants can offer a faster, digital experience without the need for customers to have a sit-in meal. In some cities, like Houston or LA, robotic deliveries are now becoming a go-to choice for students and other residents. This is great for ordering efficiency, plus they don’t require restaurants to go through a hiring process to find drivers.
Many restaurants are also harnessing the power of WhatsApp to facilitate orders, and sometimes even SMS.
Though WiFi in restaurants certainly isn’t something new, there are modern ways for restaurants to utilize it to their full potential. By connecting a mandatory login page for those guests who want to use wifi, restaurants can create attractive landing pages that feature offers, incentives, and loyalty program information to those who want to sign up.
From there, visitors to the restaurant can be retargeted through email marketing funnels to potentially increase sales. It also provides a greater customer experience for people who want food discounts and promo offers delivered straight to their inbox.
Digital signage is a simple, yet effective way for restaurant owners to begin their transition to digital. One of our clients, &Pizza, has been harnessing the power of digital screens to provide real-time menu updates, promote flash sales and create a better brand experience.
Video walls can help to communicate stories, either from those who work at the restaurant, or more about the brand story of the restaurant. Information about where the food is sourced from is a great way to offer transparency to patrons—something they’ll appreciate.
Sweetgreen recently underwent a complete rebrand, which not only saw its logo change but revamped its whole content strategy. They wanted to emphasize their passion to reconnect people with healthy food. A digital makeover was an essential element of this rebrand that allowed them to effectively communicate their ethos surrounding food and how restaurants like themselves should source their ingredients.
Digital ordering kiosks
Whether done on huge touch screens in the lobby or from the comfort of your table, digital ordering kiosks have been popping up everywhere and will soon be the norm.
They’re great in a post-pandemic world where we’re all more conscious of health and safety measures. Not only that, but they allow a greater customer experience as patrons can browse the menu at their leisure without being constantly approached by waitstaff.
Digital menus can also be updated in seconds, reducing paper waste every time there’s a new special. They can even be integrated with payments processing software so payment can be taken at any time.