Web-based technology has grown by leaps and bounds, with mobile tech at the forefront. For a growing number of people, tablets and smartphones have even replaced computers as the primary way to get online.
What does this mean for operators? It means an increasing number of customers are using their smartphones to get information and order food. According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2015 Restaurant Industry Forecast, the most important activities for customers are being able to view menus and look up locations, directions or hours. Therefore, it’s critical that your restaurant’s website design be responsive so it’s easily viewable through mobile browsers. Those on the go are using reviews to make their dining decisions, so it’s important to be responsive to your Yelp, Google, and Facebook reviews.
Casual dining is also seeing a resurgence thanks to the aid of restaurant tech, with many chains rolling out tablet implementation. For the convenience of time-pressed guests, Chili’s and Applebee’s have introduced on-table tablets which let customers order and pay when ready. Olive Garden has seen positive results from tablet testing with similar features of ordering appetizers and drinks from the table, but also allowing customers to play games and trivia.
These changes in how people find out what and where to eat are just the beginning of how mobile technology is changing the restaurant industry. In Part 2 of our Restaurant Tech series, we’ll help you navigate the emerging field of mobile payments.