How are restaurants serving up a digital experience?

While perhaps one of the slower industries to embrace digital technologies, restaurants are beginning to realize that they must innovate or risk being scrapped in the bin.
29 August 2018

The key ingredient in forward-thinking restaurants? Technology. Source: Shutterstock

Digital transformation is no longer just the pursuit of banking, insurance, retail, or healthcare. With consumers of today becoming more and more demanding, a whole variety of otherwise “traditional” industries have no choice but to innovate using digital technologies.

In the food and beverage industry, consumers are expecting convenience at every stage of their journey.

They want a speedy service that can be ordered with a swipe and delivered in under 30 minutes; they want an unforgettable dining experience good enough to Instagram with theĀ caption #foodporn; they want service transparency with visibility and control, and finally, they want food quality.

As a result, many restaurants are stepping up their game in order to deliver to these hungry consumers. Fast-forward restaurants are realizing that in order to create a memorable experience for customers, they need to harness the power of technology.

Here are a few examples of ways restaurants are serving up a slice of digital disruption:

The rise of the chatbot


Chatbots are helping restaurants automate the ordering process. Source: Shutterstock

A rising number of restaurants are implementing chatbots on their websites to help deliver a greater customer experience.

These virtual assistants help respond to customer inquiries, and process and customize customer orders. Fast food chains Taco Bell and Pizza Hut have utilized chatbots to automate the ordering process from a social media platform.

Pizza Hut has even introduced “Pepper” the robot in their physical stores to help streamline food orders. Customers can experience personalized ordering, reduce waiting time, all while having a fun and frictionless user experience.

Mobile apps

Many big chains are rolling out apps to deliver a better customer experience. Source: Shutterstock

Mobile is changing the way consumers interact with restaurants, with more restaurants rolling out apps to streamline solutions and add value to the business.

Whether users are wanting to make a reservation in a flash, or order a mealĀ from the comfort of their own home, everything they need from most restaurants can today be handled within an app.

For a restaurant, having an app can be an excellent tool in creating a seamless experience for customers.

Let’s take Starbucks as an example. The F&B goliath has created an app that allows users to order and pay for their drinks in their restaurants. Not only this, they have also added a loyalty program via the app with hyper-personalized offers and experiences for their connected customers.

Starbucks is an example of a food and beverage company who have truly mastered an omnichannel approach to delivering customer service excellence.

Digital inventory tracking

Is it time for restaurants to ditch pen and paper? Source: Shutterstock

Managing food inventory with the traditional pen-and-paper method is now a thing of the past for many food and beverage companies.

A rising number of restaurants are making the switch over to an electronic inventory system which provides better visibility and more efficiency.

Employees are able to submit and view inventory counts from a mobile device, with managers able to set up customized counting schedules.

The tracking software can monitor inventory levels and calculate how much inventory a restaurant should have stocked based on items sold. With the power of technology, restaurants can significantly reduce instances of waste and over-stocking.