A recent report from the NPD Group projected that apps will see a rapid increase in adoption and use by 88% between now and the end of 2020 thanks to consumers increasingly seeking convenience from online order and food delivery services. Facing such figures, Food To Go, QSR and casual dining operators cannot afford to ignore this consumer preference for service via an app.
In my opinion, any future growth in foodservice visits will be overwhelmingly tech-driven. Operators have realized that the full-scale implementation of digital order channels which offer a combination of convenience, engagement and new experience is a prerequisite for survival and growth in a sluggish, over-supplied market.
Here are just some ways in which operators can utilise third party apps to improve efficiencies, encourage increased customer spend and drive customer loyalty through an enhanced and personalised experience:
Online ordering and payment apps
For QSRs, speed is at the very core of their business and new disruptive ordering apps such as Deliveroo and Just Eat have increased the speed we need to operate at from transaction through to delivery, either to the table or home.
The Deliveroo ordering app allows customers to view, order and pay for food from their favourite eatery in seconds and have it delivered to their door within an average of 32 minutes. Deloitte studies have shown that when things speed up so does average customer spend. QSRs cannot afford to ignore this finding when tech adoption can so easily contribute to increased revenue.
CASE STUDY: QSR, Mission Burrito’s success pivots on offering speed and convenience for its customers and so adopting an online ordering app that integrated fully with their EPoS was key to their operation as it allowed customers to pre-order and pick up at their convenience. Behind the scenes the app can also collect vital data about customer order preferences which can be integrated with loyalty and CRM software to offer personalised incentives for returning customers.
pointOne’s Online Ordering App has tripled the amount of online business we now receive. It also has the benefit of reducing queues at busy lunch time periods as customers can pre-order allowing our staff to prepare the meal before the rush occurs. Customers can just pop-in, pick-up and go. It’s a win-win situation for everybody.
Customer feedback apps
Customers want their voice both heard and acknowledged. Restaurants need customer feedback to stay relevant and ahead of the competition. Third-party feedback apps like Yumpingo make capturing customer opinion instant and actionable thanks to tableside devices that allow diners to review their food at the table and then send the data in real-time to the EPoS hub. This enables operators to manage staff training and compensation, marketing and menu development through specific and timely customer feedback. This also significantly reduces any negative reviews that diners may leave post visit and helps to build customer loyalty.
Loyalty and social media apps
Many customer loyalty apps integrate fully with social media which is essential for the Gen-Zers who often make their restaurant selection based on pictures of the food on Instagram or by perusing the menu via Facebook. Making this seamless connection to the venue via multiple channels ensures that the customer journey is both fluid and flexible.