The 3 Most Important Features Restaurant Patrons Want
As a restaurant owner, you are probably always on the lookout for new ways to improve your guest’s in-house experience. And you likely already know how important it is to have a finger on the pulse of the latest trends in the industry. So it might be of interest to hear a report that came out recently found that “The most important technology features for guests are online reservations, free wifi, and online ordering.” Technology is always changing, and it can make a big different in the way your business operates. We thought it would be interesting to take a deeper dive into each of these technologies and spell out the benefits of making them a part of your restaurant.
If you’re someone who hates talking on the phone, you’re not alone. The thought of talking to a live human being to put in a restaurant reservation can be crippling to some. Offering online reservations is a nod to those folks, but it’s also a great way to drum up more business. Guests can place their reservations 24/7 and know their information has been accounted for. No more waiting until the hostess arrives to begin taking calls, and no more concern that he or she didn’t write down the right name and number of guests. Having an online booking system in place increases efficiency at your establishment and streamlines the dining process for your customers. Plus, guests can easily cancel their reservations without calling in, which reduces the number of no-shows you’ll receive.
One might not think being connected to the internet is a big deal in a restaurant, but the numbers don’t lie. A site called Small Business Trends reported that “As many as 62 percent of businesses pointed out that the customers spend more time in their facility or shop if WiFi access is offered.” Guests need to be able to text, Tweet, and post at all hours of the day, and being out to dinner is no time to put your social media on the back burner—especially not in the current climate of “post everything you eat on Instagram.” Offer them free WiFi and you’re sure to see them linger just a little longer. New customers will also be attracted to your establishment if they’re actively seeking out free WiFi when choosing where to eat or grab a drink. And if your neighbors aren’t offering this feature, you’ve already got a significant advantage over them. An additional benefit to offering free WiFi is the targeted marketing you’ll be able to accomplish. By controlling your network connection, you’ll have the unique ability to make your website the homepage, gather customer data, created targeted ads you can send right to their mobile devices.
Customers love ordering their food online for a variety of reasons. They don’t have to search for a phone number or talk to a person on the other end, and there is very little room for error. So many mistakes are made when calling an order into a restaurant, what with all the background noise and chaos happening in-house at any given moment. When food can be ordered through a simple website interface, the likelihood of it being packed up incorrectly significantly decreases. The costs are often transparent, too. It’s rare that in a live-ordering scenario the person on the other end will give you a total, and this is primarily because most often they are not near any type of calculating device (or a menu, for that matter). When an order is placed online, costs are delivered right then and there—as is the option to pay, most of the time. Online ordering is also great for restaurant owners. It increases customer loyalty in that you’re able to offer a convenience and accuracy, plus you have ample opportunity for inexpensive marketing on your website when you know you’ve got an engaged audience clicking through your site to decide what to eat.
If you’re not offering at least one of these features in your restaurant, it might be time to start thinking about adding some new technology to your business plan. And with help from the restaurant experts at ARF Financial, it’s never been easier to launch your business into the future (and give your customers the dining experience they expect). We offer loan products to fit your needs, with terms that can’t be matched by anyone else. Apply today to see how much you qualify for!