The most effective restaurants, eateries, and cafes understand that in order for a business to maintain its momentum and prosperity, that business must forge a deep connection with its customer base. This means investing fully in the customer experience using all the tools at your disposal, including customer tracking software for restaurants.
Join us as we take a deep dive into the world of emerging restaurant tech. We'll discuss the latest trends and industry flash points, as well as the way in which customer tracking software designed specifically for restaurants can radically increase your venue's customer experience —and its bottom line.
The rise of customer tracking software for restaurants, and other tech trends dominating the industry
The modern customer experience is built on equal parts hard work and equal parts technological progress. If you are an entrepreneur, small business owner, or even a c-suite for a large-scale chain, you've already made good on the "hard work" part of the equation. Below are some of the top technological trends, including customer tracking software for restaurants, helping drive the "progress" part.
QR code menus
There's a lot of new tech on the horizon where cafes, eateries, and other food service venues are concerned. Some concepts, like drone delivery, are tantalising and exotic but still limited to a very small geographic footprint at this point.
While big, bold ideas like this keep the industry pressing forward, it's the solid, useful ideas, like QR code menus, that contribute quality-of-life improvements to the customer experience and keep the industry on an evenly progressive keel.
QR codes date back many years, all the way to the early 1990s, when they were first developed to serve the Japanese automotive industry. These diminutive yet visually striking barcodes are capable of holding a wealth of information. In the internet age, they are capable of linking to additional web-based resources. And while QR codes themselves have been around for years, it's only recently that they've been purposed for the restaurant/ hospitality industry.
QR code menus found a home in cafes and eateries all over the globe during the COVID-19 pandemic. They allow customers a contactless ordering method, which brings the added benefit of a vastly improved customer experience. All the customer has to do is scan the QR barcode using their device's camera in order to bring up a dynamic and visually rich menu.
Not only are QR code menus beneficial to the customer, but they also help to improve your restaurant's bottom line by allowing you to fine-tune your menu's look without the costly reprinting fees involved with standard paper menus. QR codes provide a contactless, frictionless experience for the customer.
Online order, payment, and delivery options
Oftentimes, QR code menus go hand in hand with online ordering options, delivery options, and the restaurant's point of sale (POS) system. This kind of synchronous technology takes customer convenience one step further by allowing your clientele to pend orders, select delivery or dine-in options, and even cash out, all from the ease of their own mobile device.
The best and brightest technological solutions involve even more robust ordering and payment options. This is especially handy if you are the proprietor of a large-scale venue such as a food halls, festivals, and single locations with multiple sites. The POS can be tailored to accept orders from multiple vendors, providing the customer an easy way to cash all sales out on a single transaction.
Related: Research Reveals Key Challenges for Venues in Preparation for Peak Season
The spotlight on customer tracking software
Let's turn our attention toward a technology that's leading the way in terms of increased revenue and overall prosperity: customer tracking software, a.k.a customer relationship management (CRM). Below is a quick crash course in the power of restaurant-grade customer tracking software for the uninitiated, or those looking to integrate new tech into their day-to-day operations.
Customer tracking software for restaurants is a comprehensive tool that can be used to obtain a virtual treasure trove of sales and customer data. Every customer interaction is a valuable touchpoint from which an abundance of information can be obtained.
The CRM software works in conjunction with your existing tech stack (POS, order and delivery scheduler, scannable menus, etc.) to capture everything from customer demographic information to purchasing habits. In turn, this data can help drive your sales skyward and serves as the cornerstone of any loyalty program you wish to implement.
We know that customer tracking software can spur your business on to incredible gains while improving client loyalty and the overall customer experience. In the next section, we'll take a look at just how CRM can positively impact your business (and your bottom line).
Related: Epos Now and Mr Yum Drive Hospitality Growth Around the World
Four critical ways customer tracking software can add to your bottom line
Let's start the discussion by throwing out a couple of powerful stats. According to a recent Forbes article, 67% of younger, global demographics (Gen Z and millennials) admit to altering their purchasing habits based on the strength of a business's loyalty programs. Given the size, not to mention purchasing power, of this particular subset, the number is eye-poppingly big.
On the other side of the table, 89% of businesses that integrate a CRM platform into their operations see their revenue increase afterward. There are no guarantees in life, but that's pretty close to a sure bet. Here are some of the ways that customer tracking software for restaurants helps push the revenue needle higher.
1. It helps develop better loyalty programs
Famous author and poet Maya Angelou once wrote, "When you know better, do better." In a way, that is the core philosophy behind customer relationship management. The more you know about your customers, from who they are to what they like, the more efficiently you can create loyalty programs suited for them.
Loyalty programs come in all shapes and sizes, from special VIP events at your venue to coupons, discounts, and savings. Loyalty is a reinvestment in your customer, one that drives business straight through the door.
2. It helps turn waitstaff into sales staff
If knowledge is power, then CRM usage is a fountain of wisdom. Not only can you drive loyalty using customer tracking software, but you can also enhance the customer experience.
Using valuable data gleaned from previous customer interactions, you can turn your waitstaff into an active sales force. With a customer profile in hand, your service crew can recommend add-on drinks, appetisers, and desserts or steer customers toward high-value dinner plates and other upselling opportunities. Does your venue sell additional, branded merchandise? Customer data will help create opportunities to put those products in front of your patrons with lucrative results.
3. It helps create targeted advertising
No two customers are alike. In order to draw in a diverse range of patrons, you've got to tailor your marketing efforts to different tastes and demographics. Fortunately, customer tracking software for restaurants gives you the tools and focus to carry out differentiated advertising.
Using accrued data, you can create marketing materials and media aimed at different subsets of the community in which you do business. You can even use that data to determine the best channel to reach your core clientele, i.e. social media, email marketing, traditional media, etc.
4. It keeps you accountable to your goals and KPIs
There isn't a single cafe, eatery, or restaurant that exists in a vacuum. You can't run a business successfully without clear goals and a way to measure your progress. Almost every establishment, from the smallest mom-and-pop diner to the largest corporate franchise, will have sales goals, revenue goals, and other key performance indicators (KPIs).
Customer tracking software helps you keep your finger on the pulse of the business, measuring and tracking a wide array of sales-based information. How many customers come through your door on a daily basis? How much do they spend, and how many food and beverage items do they buy per transaction? With information like this at your fingertips, it's easy to keep your establishment growing in the right direction.
Are you looking to take your first steps into the world of customer tracking software? Would you like to harness the power and agility provided by a high-quality CRM system? Contact Mr Yum today to find out all our restaurant tech options.