Catering for the ‘next generation’ tech-savvy customer is essential for restaurants to not only survive but thrive in the highly competitive F&B industry. Expectations are high and increasing among this customer group, who demand a seamless, personalised dining experience, with every detail at their fingertips so they can make an informed decision.
International professional services firm, Deloitte, says restaurants can no longer excel by providing good food, at fair prices, in a clean venue. “To stand out, restaurants must align their customer experience strategy so that guests feel engaged, empowered, heard, delighted and known,” the company says. To prove this they commissioned research of more than 2,000 restaurants guests to find out what factors influenced their experience.
Underlining the desire of ‘next-gen’ diners for a quick and easy customer experience, the highest percentage of survey respondents said ‘empowerment’ was their most important consideration. This translates into ‘the restaurant provides me with real-time information to help me make decisions’.
Speed of service essential
While the speed of service has always been an important factor for restaurants in general, this is particularly true of quick service restaurants (QSRs), who rely on diners receiving information quickly and accurately, placing an order, eating, paying and then vacating their table for the next sitting. These fast table turns maximise profits.
However, service should always remain smooth and efficient. If a restaurant has effective systems and service has a steady, relaxing rhythm, then covers will turn over smoothly without diners feeling rushed.
Other research from Deloitte found that, within a QSR, when technology is used to place an order this results in a 6% rise in visit frequency and a 20% higher average spend per visit. These are compelling statistics. But, with new technologies being released constantly, where does a busy restaurant find the time to research and engage with best-practice restaurant solution providers?
TabSquare’s AI solution solves QSR challenges
Food and beverage software solutions company TabSquare has been in on the ground floor of artificial intelligence (AI)-driven cloud ordering platforms since 2012, solving many of the challenges faced by the QSR industry. It meets next-generation customers’ demands for empowerment and also ticks the boxes for other key customer experience criteria: engagement, personalisation and delight.
TabSquare’s three solutions – SmartTab, SmartKiosk and SmartWeb – all have super-fast, engaging user interfaces that are easy to operate and which guide customers through their dining experience step by step.
SmartTab and SmartWeb offer a full dining journey at the table. They become each customer’s personal waiter, managing all touch points from the time they enter the restaurant to when they leave. This helps relieve the burden on often overwhelmed staff and makes sure that ordering is a smooth, painless, error-free experience for customers.
A benefit for venues is that they speed up table turns and free up wait staff for more valuable and profitable customer interactions.
AI technology offers next-level customer experience
The smart AI-powered technology – nicknamed Aiden – allows customers to browse the menu at their leisure. It offers clear photographs and detailed descriptions of menu items, recommends dishes based on diners’ preferences and suggests food and wine pairings. Imagine trying to offer this level of customer service for each table, simultaneously, with a traditional wait staff scenario.
Using advanced personalisation, Aiden’s data analytics engine also reviews sales and customer preference data to recommend the best cross-selling suggestions, which are proven to increase average cover value. Once customers have made their selections, order taking through TabSquare is equally quick and seamless.
The TabSquare intuitive user interface avoids the clutter you’d normally find on ‘old school’ restaurant menus and boards. It offers clear, time-based menus and pricing, such as happy hours, lunch or dinner specials or weekend menus and can switch from one to the next seamlessly. It also offers unique, multi-language, stock-out and search features to help customers order quickly and easily.
Complete dining experience without staff intervention
The entire dining experience can even be completed on TabSquare’s solutions without staff intervention. This neutralises diners’ frequent gripes about slow service, wrong orders, or frustration with wait staff forgetting to mention specials and promotions, or not explaining them clearly.
Customers can view their bills, use vouchers, make card payments – even individual payments on split checks – and get a receipt emailed to them in a matter of minutes, without having to wait for staff. A recently introduced first-of-its-kind solution lets customers pay their bills via mobile phone at the restaurant table quickly, easily and securely.
TabSquare also gives customers the ability to give feedback directly from their table without any face-to-face embarrassment.
The platform allows venues to communicate promotions and events to customers during their visit, or engage with them after dining. Powerful customer segmentation allows venues to run specific promotions to drive business from each customer segment.