Revel Systems was thrilled to send Director of Marketing Jennifer Levanduski to the Women Chef’s and Restaurateurs conference in Minneapolis on April 22 and 23. In addition to some great food (of course!), the conference brought together great content relevant to women in the industry.
Revel was delighted to present a session on Restaurant Technology: What’s Now and What’s Coming on technology that can be implemented right now as well as some that are on both the near and far term horizons. Missed the talk? See some of the highlights here!
Tech solutions are powering diners’ experiences before they set foot in the restaurant – sometimes before they’ve even decided they want to go out to eat. Every business has a marketing plan to attract customers but I wanted to touch in on two quick things. How many of you are actively managing your Google MyBusiness page? Consumers are now so conditioned to pull up Google or Google maps and search what they’re looking for near them by way of decision making. It’s important that you maintain this listing – location, hours, photos, reading and responding to reviews. This serves two purposes: 1. By actively participating with Google MyBusiness, Google knows that your restaurant is legit and may give preferential placement in search results. 2. That experience within Google’s apps may be a diner’s only exposure to your offering pre-visit; you want it to be enticing! To read more about this, check out Reve’s Guide to Brand and Demand.
To that end, many restaurants are also now set up for both online and mobile ordering – for delivery, pick-up, and dine in orders. This is great for customers as it allows them to review menus, make choices, and manage their schedule more easily. In a recent survey by RestaurantNews, 39% of consumers used mobile to place a dining order in Q1 of 2018, up from 23% in 2016. Expect adoption of mobile ordering to continue to increase at this pace. Revel customer CHARburger in Fresno, CA uses online ordering to help their lunch customers make the most of their mid-day break; it was implemented and widely adopted when the owner noticed her customers’ frustration at spending their “break” standing in line.
There’s good news for you too – orders placed online or via app are usually 15-20% higher in value than orders placed with a server. There are a couple reasons for this – less perceived judgment, more time to peruse the menu, and your online or mobile ordering platforms will never forget to offer the upsell.
Voice recognition is also going to be a hot topic. As the tech behind Siri and Alexa gets stronger, look for voice recognition services to be available in drive-thrus and self-serve kiosks. For fine dining establishments, where technology is seen to interfere with guest experience, there may be traditional order pads equipped with voice recognition software that allows diners to feel like they’re receiving tech-free high touch service but in actuality, the order pad converts the server repeating back the order and sends it to the kitchen.
Augmented Reality is the tech that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world. (Think Pokemon Go.) Bareburger recently rolled out a full AR campaign through start-up Kabaq which uses SnapChat as the way the consumer experiences the AR. So in-store, you scan the SnapCode – SnapChat’s version of a QR code – to view the menu. They’re also running a promotion where every delivery order comes with a SnapCode that has the opportunity to win free food. Pairing the idea of AR with a widely adopted consumer app could be game-changing in terms of the ways that restaurants can use the tech. This is an exciting one to watch develop! I’d also keep an eye on what Instagram stories do in response to this news.