In this most critical and uncertain of times, practically every hospitality business has been scrambling to adjust their model to remain functional. The COVID-19 crisis will continue to seriously impact on cafes, restaurants and takeaway businesses for months and years to come, but it is worth noting that with these incredible challenges comes an opportunity to reshape our industry for the long-term good.
Here are three examples of how Ai-Menu is helping food service venues to embrace this ‘new look’ hospitality sector and benefit from a more resilient business model:
Online Ordering Greatly Improves the Customer Experience
It’s nothing personal, but the reality is that some of your customers would much rather order food for takeaway or delivery through an online portal than communicate their requests over the telephone, or even in person. The reasons for this trend are varied, including greater convenience, improved quality and accuracy, self-paced ordering and less perceived personal pressure. Suffice to say, with a reliable, well laid out online ordering service, your customers are far more likely to have a positive experience that they will tell their friends about.
Restaurants that have been forced to pivot in recent times and offer this kind of facility will likely find that online ordering will not die out, but will present even further customer engagement and promotional opportunities as time goes on. A mutually beneficial relationship between venue and customer can develop as regular clients become ‘brand advocates’ based on the improved experience they receive on the back of using a quality online ordering service.
Digital Menus are Reshaping How Venues Sell to their Customers
Responsive, informative and image-rich digital menus are the way of the future. Whether it be through online ordering, self-order kiosks, digital menus at the table or mobile apps, the benefits of this technology include improved accuracy of received orders, greater upsell take-up and increased customer average spend. When set up correctly, digital menus don’t simply share product information and prices, but are an active selling tool, with inviting photos and descriptions that inspire and motivate, bringing greater perceived value to the meal being offered.
While many restauranteurs once saw digital menus as an optional addition to their venue, they are now fast becoming an essential tool for maximising the opportunity that is presented when a customer chooses to dine with your business.
Benefiting from Transitioning Away from 3rd Party Delivery Platforms
There has been much discussion in the industry about the negative impact that 3rd party delivery & marketing platforms have had on restaurant profitability and long-term viability. The stories have been confronting and the problems undeniable. Additionally, venues that rely heavily on these web services are effectively giving their valuable customer and sales data over to these companies, largely losing out on the opportunity to engage directly with their customers and build brand loyalty.
With a combination of online ordering linked to their own website, locally targeted social media marketing and a well organised in-house delivery service, restaurants are fighting back, saving thousands of dollars on exorbitant fees, developing promotional opportunities with their own customers and maintaining better quality control of the delivered goods. These new innovations will continue to be refined, ensuring a stronger, more resilient and profitable hospitality sector for many years to come.
Ai-Menu is a leading innovator in hospitality technology, with solutions for online ordering, digital menus and self-ordering kiosks. If you would like to know how your restaurant can embrace the changes that are happening…