It’s Friday night at 7:00. You have been running around dealing with customer complaints, overcooked chicken and a new waitress who just dropped a tray of food. You finally get the chance to look up from your tornado of responsibilities when you see an army of guests all on their cell phones.
Your initial response being, “What! Their eyes should be on my beautiful braised lamb shanks!”
Instead of yelling at the top of your lungs, take a deep breath and keep reading this article.
Technology had a sneaky way of coming into all of our lives, seemingly overnight. Whether you like it or not, technology is here to stay, and will constantly be developing to fit even more seamlessly into our lives. With that, there IS a way to integrate this change in culture to see profits in your restaurant.
1. Technology Is The New Word Of Mouth
Think of the mobile phone as an extension of the guest.
Just as you want your guests to have an amazing experience, let’s just say you want their phone to have an amazing experience. From the moment they sit down, they are texting, Snapchatting, scrolling on Instagram or “checking in” on Facebook. That is brand recognition for your restaurant.
Technology is the new word of mouth. Whether your guest texts their friend from college that they can not meet up because they have dinner tonight at your restaurant or tweets it to their 5,000 followers, you are getting free press. This is giving you the ability to leverage every bit of your restaurant. Whether it be having a friendly and helpful staff, creating a welcoming ambiance or having the most out of this world tacos, they will be sharing it.
It is important to keep in mind that this can go both ways. Although your guests won’t even notice they are promoting you on these networks, they can also just as easy and knowingly talk about a bad dining experience.
2. Get Feedback That Counts
Gone are the days of asking your guests to go out of their way to fill out a survey on the computer, or call a number.
Instead, think about utilizing the fact that they will already be on their phone, and will be on it during their meal, which is the best way for them to give feedback.
You could ask your guests to…
- Visit your website before paying
- Fill out a survey based on their dining experience
Sweeten the deal and offer them a coupon for their next meal for participating. This is not only a culture of technology but also one of instant gratification, and any way to combine them is your sweet spot.
3. Why Are They Taking So Many Pictures Of My Food?!
Social media. We read a lot about it, and we see it everywhere.
You may be managing a Twitter or Facebook page sharing just how awesome you know your food is, but it is 10 times more credible and believable when it comes from someone else.
Many of your customers will be on social media during their meal…why not have them post for you? You never know how prominent they are in the social world, and one share could mean bringing in 10 new guests. To get them posting pictures of their food or the fun time they are having by creating a “hashtag” that can be searched. Maybe it is the name of your restaurant (#Restaurant) or a quirky saying that is unique to your business.
To get your diners motivated, include your social media platforms add them to your menu, or have your servers mention it. You could even follow them back, like their post, or retweet them. Offer free WiFi so guests can easily connect and post before they leave.
Social media is more than something fun to do online. It is creating modern day relationships, and the closer relationship you have with your guests, the more likely they will come back.
Who knows what the future will hold when it comes to technology. We couldn’t have planned or ever guessed that we would have mobile phones, never mind ones that were stronger than entire computers were 20 years ago.
Maybe you will implement an order ahead policy through mobile devices? Or will your main goal be to increase your social media plan? Let us know!