Why is technology revolutionizing casual dining? Grabbing something to eat out, whether it is a light lunch, some coffee, and cake, a simple pub meal or some fast food, is a normal part of a day out shopping or at work, and one which you wouldn’t think had really changed a whole lot over the years (or even decades). However, casual dining is an extremely competitive industry, with everyone from major chains to small business owners vying to win over customers for their cafe, sandwich bar, pub or restaurant, and using technology in innovative and convenient ways allows some businesses to differentiate themselves from the mass of options available.
Here are three ways technology is changing how some casual dining businesses work, and allowing them to offer a better experience to their patrons:
Some places have waiting for staff to come and take your order, others, you queue to order and then take a seat with your food. Neither of these is as quick and easy for the customer as being able to order at their table on an interactive menu on a tablet. Some restaurants offer apps the customer can use on their own tablet or phone to do this, but this can be problematic and a bit messy. Instead, other restaurants have tablets fixed in place on tables or in kiosks throughout the location (for instance for takeaway food), where people can order or browse the menu. You can click this link to read more about how to create this kind of set up using secure tablet enclosures and iPad kiosks.
This sort of ordering system not only appeals to customers as there is less perceived waiting around, but also helps keep the restaurant running smoothly without a bunch of people queuing at the counter during busy times, or waiting staff runs off their feet because they have to take orders as well as bring out food.
Better Loyalty Schemes
While offering punch cards to entitle regular customers to a free sandwich, coffee or another product has been a popular practice in the casual dining industry for a long time, thanks to things like apps and social media, businesses can now be a bit more creative with rewards and loyalty schemes. Rewards can be offered for things like checking in at the location on Facebook, tweeting about the brand, or liking the business’ pages. Also, app-based loyalty schemes can allow customers to rack up points or benefits from businesses they visit often in a more convenient and flexible way than simple punch cards.
Technology is also changing how some businesses take payment from their customers, particularly for small transactions, such as buying a beverage or snack. With contactless payment and services like Apple Pay, customers can pay in a way that is convenient to them and also saves time for staff.
These are just three of the ways businesses in the casual dining sector are using technology to gain an edge over their rivals and provide a better experience.
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