Historically, all you needed was a creative menu and a good chef in the restaurant or food service industry to be a community favorite. Prior to 2020, food service did not have to be the early adopter of new technology. In today’s connected world, we can’t deny the importance and customer expectation that you have the technology to improve the front and back of the house.
Today, 75% of restaurant customers expect digitally connected experiences online and in-store. But that doesn’t mean that their dining experience has to suffer because face time may be swapped with screen time.
If you are just starting or growing your IT infrastructure, here are the best places to invest your technology dollars.
Your Own Online Ordering System
Delivery aggregators like DoorDash and GrubHub were popular with both customers and restaurants when they were introduced to the industry. Restaurants didn’t have to worry about building and paying for the creation of their own digital ordering platform. Customers loved the ability to find whatever they were craving in one space.
Post-pandemic, consumers and restaurateurs are moving away from these apps especially since they can charge an average of 15% commission on each order. As more and more customers want to support their local favorites, they are choosing to order directly from the restaurant. In fact, 63% prefer to order directly from their restaurant over using a 3rd party app.
A Modern Loyalty Program
Restaurants are no strangers to loyalty programs, but they have evolved from “buy 5 get the 6th free” punch cards. Connected to cards or just the customer’s phone number, these loyalty programs are used by 48% of consumers. Today’s digital loyalty programs enable you to offer personalized specials and promotions based on their purchase history and trends. 65% of a restaurant’s revenue comes from repeat customers so loyalty programs allow you to strengthen those relationships.
You can also harness the power of that loyalty by collecting data on your customers. Data is the biggest trend in retail businesses, and the food and beverage industry is no different. Knowing your customers’ trends strengthens your relationships with them, increases their spending with you, and can help you identify new customers.
POS Beyond the Cash Drawer
Aside from your menu, your POS software may be the most important facet of your restaurant. Today’s POS IT solutions go beyond ordering and a cash drawer. These robust software solutions support all of your staff from servers, chefs, cashiers, and the back office. Yes, they are how waitstaff put in tickets, how the kitchen receives orders, and how checks are paid. But they have expanded to record inventory, track expenses and invoices, schedule staff, and provide valuable data and analytics about your menu, customers, and staff workload.
Many owners and managers are juggling multiple platforms to record revenue, schedule staff, track inventory, and support mobile and in-store ordering. Having one software enables you to track all of this data or at least enable all of those solutions to talk to each other quickly and seamlessly.
FSA Consulting would love to review your current POS system and customize a workflow that serves your staff and your customers. Contact us today to let FSA Consulting focus on your IT responsibilities so you can serve your customers.