Japan has been a leader without title for a while when it comes to restaurant technology trends. If you have ever been to Japan you will notice fascinating technologies used across the restaurant industry and most prominently in the Sushi Restaurants; these technologies are transforming and transforming really fast the so called “restaurant experience”. The Sushi industry itself is moving so fast that I have witnessed the conveyor belts sushi delivery to tables in more than couple of Sushi restaurants here in Berlin itself. These are exciting times and things are getting really innovative and efficient!
In this post, I want to mention 4 big restaurant technology trends that are knocking the doors of restaurant industry and soon going to explode across the world. And there is a BONUS video for you to witness what happens in Japan, a close sneak-peek!
Before going deep into how big data works for restaurant industry it is really important to understand- why restaurant industry needs big data? Restaurant industry is a service industry based on experience. Customer experience is the biggest thing for any restaurant because a bad restaurant review on websites such as Google or Zomato or Yelp can severely undercut even the best of the restaurants in the business. Let’s face it, internet has made consumers information driven. It is that informational phase that has a big impact on consumer buying decision and in this case, an online review and reputation of a restaurant are the most important facets for a consumer to make a decision about visiting a restaurant.
In order to offer the best customer experience, restaurants have to work really hard in understanding customer preferences and providing a top notch service on the basis of several internal and external combined factors. This is exactly where big data comes into picture. Restaurants are not only able to offer a great quality but also able to lure customers into consuming more by understanding their preferences using big data. Big data helps in significantly influencing the customer buying decisions.
Using big data restaurants are trying to understand which food items in their menus are likely to be a hit than be a debacle. This drastically brings the right focus on where the time should be rightly spent. This big data analysis is based on- food orders, pricing, and marketing trends.
Specifically for marketing trends, think of data like what kinds of food-related keywords are trending, seeing and monitoring the prices for a particular dish and the popularity of those food items (indication of demand).
Having said that majority of restaurants are not collecting any data and clearly they are letting a big opportunity fade away. Sooner or later, we will see more restaurants collecting more and more data in order to offer the best customer experience so that they come back again and again.
Inside Restaurant Ordering System
We all know that online ordering has transformed the food industry massively, but now trends are soon moving forward towards inside restaurant ordering systems. Yup, I am talking about the ordering systems when you are there at the restaurant. Operation efficiency could be a great value driver for the restaurant, it not only helps in cutting costs but also provides a great customer experience. Therefore, we are now seeing trends such as touch screens or tablets being installed at the customer seating tables at the restaurants. Customers come in, take a seat, decide their order and submit it using one of the devices installed on the table. Restaurant kitchen receives the order in a flash and within minutes the food is delivered to the tables, voila!!
Computer Forecasting and Offline Support
As more and more restaurants focus on operational efficiency to empower top notch customer experience, it turns out that restaurant activities are monitored in real time. So, there are not only people inside the restaurant who are monitoring customers but also outside the restaurants. These outside people are the hotel staff who sits in front of their camera screens and noting down things for performance optimizing. Just imagine- all of a sudden a customer is coughing and needs a glass of water, even before she could could place the order on the device on table, the monitoring staff could instruct to the kitchen and they will bring the water to the table. From a customer’s point of view, isn’t it a fascinating experience? I think, it is great!
These outside eyes monitoring restaurant activities could monitor and collect important data that can be used for improving the customer experience and operation efficiency of the restaurant.
Making payments simple and smooth for customers in both online and offline restaurant environments is key to customer success. Point of sale (POS) software at the restaurant are also used for gathering customer feedback using surveys and building loyalty programs that help getting the customer back at the restaurant. Also, by collecting customers’ feedback while they are still in the restaurant is a great practice which can totally eliminate customers from posting bad online reviews. Every restaurant knows that how important it is to have guests leave happy. Moreover, these software are helping data on customer purchases and volume which is key to restaurant competitiveness!