Famous author and playwright George Bernard Shaw once said, "Progress is impossible without change." While the quote is applicable across a number of contexts, it jumps off the page as if tailor fit to the current state of the restaurant industry. Times are changing, and so are customer expectations, especially where advancements such as restaurant payment technologies are concerned.
To keep your business running at peak efficiency, it pays to keep your tech stack up to date. In order to identify the latest in cutting-edge and compulsory technology, however, you must first understand the values and needs that drive the modern customer to patronise an establishment.
Restaurant payment technologies and the modern customer
Consumer attitudes toward food service and hospitality have changed in some exciting and even radical ways over the last few years. Given the industry's recent history, packed with societal upheaval and watershed moments in response, how do we pin down what the modern patron expects out of us? And do restaurant payment technologies and other software-driven solutions really address those needs? A handful of stats should help point us in the right direction. In the United States:
- younger demographics are much more likely (71%) to engage with the loyalty programs that you offer.
- 50% of all demographics say that loyalty programs are a deciding factor in where they give their patronage.
- 50% of all Millennials and Gen Z choose restaurants based on their take-out options.
This cross-section demonstrates the overall attitude of the modern customer, but let's take a more exploded, granular view of the subject, especially through the lens of restaurant payment technologies.
What drives the modern customer?
Customers today expect a dining experience that's more personalised and independent than what we think of as traditional. Below are some of the key qualities and values that drive them.
When it comes to today's patrons, the one-size-fits-all approach is no longer salient. Each customer that sets foot in your venue expects to be treated like an individual, rather than the latest in a long succession of clientele.
It will be a running theme throughout this article, but today's restaurant goer wants two major elements: a customised experience and convenience during every step of the process.
The ability to order directly from their device
Our mobile devices are an important part of our lives. We use them for everything from entertainment, to household management, to a digital wallet. It's only natural that customers would want to integrate their devices into their dining experience.
According to Hotel Tech Report, more than 60% of all online orders originate from a mobile device. And while 47% of all customers have used some form of app to order food, 66% would rather order online directly from the restaurant itself.
Regardless of the method, ordering direct from mobile is essential in the current food service climate.
The ability to control the pacing of the meal
When a person goes out to eat, one of the most important aspects of the meal is its pacing. Nothing detracts from the experience quite like long gaps between being seated and ordering or between finishing your meal and paying for it.
Modern solutions, such as restaurant payment technologies, have given control back to the customer. By using tech such as QR code menus along with ordering and payment functionality, customers can better control the flow of the evening, crafting their own ideal customer experience.
A robust array of payment options
According to the UK-based Guardian, more than 80% of all transactions in the UK in 2021 were cashless. The world over, fewer and fewer people are carrying hard currency, opting instead for digital payments. With this knowledge, the food service industry is wise to offer a wide array of convenient payment method options, including digital payments directly from a QR code menu.
Custom loyalty offers
There is no better way to make your customers feel special than by extending tailor-made offers to them. In fact, 79% of customers choose brands based on the associated loyalty programs that they offer. That's because loyalty programs, especially ones that are hyper-focused on the individual and tailor-made to their preferences, prove that your establishment is paying attention.
Tech that works together seamlessly
One final note on customer motivation: a superior customer experience is one that goes off without a hitch. Your clientele expects tailor-made service without extra steps. For restaurant operations, this means making sure your menu and POS are seamlessly connected and that your tech is up-to-date and fully featured.
While it might seem like high maintenance on their part, what your customers are really asking is that the technology you use integrates with the technology they use. They want to have options like Apple Pay, AferPay, etc., minus the hassle. Fortunately for them, most quality solutions fit together in a modular way, making customer-facing processes and the backend tech that pilots it run silently and reliably.
Related: Mr Yum and inKind Capital Partnership Helps Restaurants to Grow
The restaurant technologies that make it all happen
The purview of this article is both today’s changing customer attitudes and expectations and the restaurant payment technologies that make meeting those expectations a reality. Satisfying the customer is more than just a matter of offering them an array of payment options, however. It requires a concert of tech to help push your venue's profitability. Below are the must-have solutions to help you make increased revenue a reality.
QR code menus
QR code menus are an incredible tool due to their adaptability. Customers can simply scan the QR code at their table, which links out to a digital menu, and make their choices from there. Unlike a traditional menu, QR code menus feature high-quality images alongside every entree, appetiser, and drink (at your discretion of course). QR code menus truly shine, however, when they link to your ordering system and restaurant payment technologies.
Digital order and payments
Remember: the modern customer craves convenience and a custom-built experience above all else. To service their expectations, your QR code menus should allow customers to order and pay directly from the menu itself. Think of this tech as a double win for your establishment. On one hand, patrons can control the flow of the meal, helping create the customer experience that they want to see. On the other hand, putting that kind of control into the customers' hands frees up your frontline staff to engage in active selling or simply relationship-building with customers. The end result? Less money left on the table.
Customer relationship management software (CRM)
The final must-have element in your establishment's tech stack is the CRM. The CRM is the behind-the-scenes software responsible for pulling actionable data from each and every customer interaction, including purchasing habits, payment info, metrics, and valuable identifiers such as name, address, and contact info.
With information like this in hand, you can craft custom-made loyalty programs that are built for each individual patron. In turn, the robust loyalty programs CRM enables will drive a steady stream of business into your venue with profitable results.
Related: Research Reveals Key Challenges for Venues in Preparation For Peak Season
Keep customers coming back to your establishment with the right payment technologies
The modern customer may have evolved from its past iterations, but that doesn't mean that their values and preferences are a mystery. Today's patrons crave convenience and a personalised experience. Restaurant payment technologies and other key advancements can help facilitate a superior customer experience that will keep patrons coming back to your establishment long-term. To find out how to make the magic happen, contact Mr Yum today.