The hospitality and the restaurant industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. If we look at the data published by ‘Statista’ the food and drinks sale stood at $683 billion alone in the USA in 2014. As per the data more than 82 percent of consumers in the US visited fast food or a dine-in restaurant at least once per week. The estimated sales for the year 2015 – 2016 are expected to reach over 700 billion US dollars.
As it is clear from the data that the consumer spending on food are increasing and there are infinite opportunities in the food industry to build a successful business. But the harsh reality is that more than 70 percent of new restaurants close in the first year itself as they fail in marketing and promotions to attract customers.
Consumers have become digital now and services such as Yelp have enabled consumers to find various options of eating out. There’s no guarantee that a customer would return to a particular restaurant again as they have various options to choose from right on their mobile phones. Restaurant business is getting tough not only for small chains but also for global chains such as McDonalds, KFC, Domino’s and Pizza Hut to name a few.
What most of the restaurant owners fail to realize is that marketing is one of the most important aspects of building a successful business and targeted customer engagement can do wonders. They focus on all aspects such as Location, Staff, Service, food safety, deals & discounts but what about marketing? You cannot engage and acquire customers if you don’t use proper channels of marketing and promotions.
Targeting the digital customer in the digital age to build a successful business
There’s been a lot going on in the food industry and global brands are targeting consumers using branded mobile apps to differentiate their offerings and cut the competition. New customer acquisition is a top priority for most of the global food chains that are expanding in different locations and technology is playing a major role in fulfilling their aspirations.
One such emerging technology and the most promising technology is ‘Augmented Reality’ that is driving growth for the restaurant owners. Augmented Reality based mobile apps enable restaurants to deliver the best dining experience to their customers.
Mobile applications play a vital role in engaging the customers’ on-the-go and AR based applications for mobiles and tablets bring immediate customer engagement and inspire dine-in and take out customers to order more. AR enables restaurant businesses to deliver the most interactive experiences to the consumers through print ads, bill board ads or street ads and augmented menus or brochures.
Few examples of how restaurant chains and global brands are using Augmented Reality to acquire new customers:
- McDonalds has used this promising technology in different ways to be successful in their customer acquisition Their TrackMyMacca app allows users in Australia to view what’s inside their meal box even before they open it, simply by scanning the top of the meal box cover using their smart phones. Customers feel delighted to see the meal box come alive on their phones and they experience a new level of interactivity with the brand.
- Taco Bell used AR app to promote its new product Doritos Locos Tacos. With the new mobile app users could scan the Tacos box or soda cups to trigger the interactive content and experience the new product come alive on their smart phones and tablets.
- Inamo restaurant in London used AR to enable users to customise their table top. They are also able to order items from an interactive menu by scanning the food menu and see the live video feed from the kitchen.
New technologies are driving growth and those who adopt early, benefit even more and gain competitive advantage. Food chains and the Restaurant owners must recognise the new trends in marketing and target the digital consumers by investing in mobile apps and Augmented Reality to reap maximum benefits.
A simple AR based mobile app for your restaurant can do wonders to your customer engagement and acquisition efforts and it also does not cost you much. You can start with a budget of $3000 – $4000 for a simple app that delivers an augmented menu experience or brings your brand alive on smart phones and tablets for the dine-in customers or passersby.
Looking for the most promising Customer Engagement Solutions for Restaurants and Food Chains based on the Augmented Reality technology for Smart Phones and Tablets, 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.