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How technology and mobile apps are driving growth for the restaurant and food industry and how vital is it for the growth?

In these times customers have become more sophisticated and they have become more open to the idea of exploring various brand options before spending. Food industry is also experiencing a similar shift in consumer behaviour as consumers have become more conscious towards health, calories, hygiene and of course pricing. Consumers today have more number of options available for dining out or ordering over the phone or online. Digital technology has made consumers more choosy, conscious and aware. But it has also opened new doors of opportunities for the restaurant industry and food chains.

Restaurant and Food Chains solution

The key to growth and profitability lies in satisfying the needs of the consumers to retain them and achieve better customer loyalty rate. The research data suggests that food and drinks market alone in the US would be approx. $700 billion+ in 2016 and so, the market is full of opportunities for those who adopt and implement customer-centric solutions to engage them and cater to the changing consumer demands.

Customer satisfaction is the key to a profitable food business

Taste matters but in the restaurant business a great dine-in experience wins the battle for the owner. Customers now prefer a great dine-in experience and a compelling service to enjoy every moment they spend inside the restaurant. They expect a return for every penny they spend. Thus satisfying and retaining customers is becoming more difficult and competition is on the rise.

Customer Relationship Management is the key to achieving goals of customer satisfaction and loyalty. Technology plays a vital role in bringing best practices together and implementing best strategies for building great relationships with customers.

There are various software available on the market today that claim to fill the gaps in the customer facing business processes. Some are extremely costly, some are affordable and some are open source and free. But the question is which technology suits the requirements of the restaurant businesses and food chains and can address the business challenges?

A robust Customer Relationship Management Solution will definitely bring the benefits to the business and drive growth by proving the insightful information to the owners and based on that customer engagement strategies can be made.  

Some promising technologies that deliver immediate results and are extremely affordable

One of the promising solutions that is available on the market today and is in use by over 200,000 restaurants is the Odoo restaurant management solution. It is powerful because it is flexible, open source, license free and users only have to pay for the implementation and customization (if needed). It comes integrated with over 2500 modules that support almost every business process such as POS, table management, bar management, ordering, kitchen, billing, payments and a CRM to name a few.

Odoo restaurant management solution has features and modules specifically designed for restaurants and food chains. It allows processing orders choosing the tables on the processing screen, connecting multiple printers, sending orders to the kitchen staff, split the bills individually or group them as your specific customer requests. This is not all Odoo has full-fledged accounting module, customer relationship management module fully integrated to the Odoo POS and bar management module and above all it does not cost anything to own it. If implementation and customization is done as per the requirements after a thorough analysis of the business processes by an experienced consulting company then it can bring immediate results to the restaurant industry and food chains.

Augmented Reality and its benefits for the food industry

Another, very interesting and promising technology that is driving growth by engaging customers is Augmented Reality. Brands, restaurants and food chains are all adopting Augmented Reality based mobile applications to bring interactive experiences to the customers. AR based mobile applications delights dine-in customers by allowing users to scan the menu and trigger the interactive content on their smart phones and tablets.

Both large and small outlets can engage customers using one single AR based mobile app and that’s the beauty of the Augmented Reality. Interactive content can be served to the customers through print ads, bill board ads, menu and brochures. It is a technology that delivers the most delightful experiences to the dine-in customers. Augmented Reality also fills the gap between customer experience and customer loyalty.

Large chains such as McDonalds, Taco Bell, Inamo and Starbucks have already invested in AR based mobile apps to keep consumers engaged with the brand. It allows these brands to push the interactive content through different mediums such as print, meal boxes, cups, mugs, billboard ads etc. and inform consumers about new deals, discounts, new products and inspire them to order.

Small food outlets and restaurants can also reap the benefits of this amazing piece of technology by starting with a budget of $2000 – $4000 for a simple AR based mobile app. They can invest in simple solutions first to measure the results and then based on the results they can invest in more sophisticated apps. Simple Solutions such as augmented food menu, meal boxes and soda mugs can do wonders and drive immediate customer engagement for a small price.

Conclusion

Food industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Large food chains are trying to grab every opportunity to retain customers and acquire the new ones by heavily investing in latest technologies. Small chains can also reap the benefits by investing in technologies that are affordable and promise growth. They must think about early adoption of the latest technologies to cut the competition and achieve customer loyalty to differentiate their brand.

Restaurant technology

If you are looking for the world’s most promising Customer Engagement Solution for your Restaurant or Food chain that delights your customer or want a powerful extremely affordable Odoo Restaurant Management Solution that works with your own Hardware, call us on +1(205)624 7254 for Europe +44(203)514 3291 or leave us a message. Our client Relationship Manager ‘Shirley Anderson’ will be in touch with you shortly.

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