By Dwayne Reno
Foodservice operators are some of the hardest working people around. Even the holidays seem to bring them no rest.
But luckily there are some very cool tech toys that can help foodservice operators increase efficiency BOH/FOH, differentiate their brand from their competitors and interact with customers this holiday season.
Although cumbersome at times, technology can help your restaurant bar, or café reach and interact with current and potential customers. Let’s take a look at why you should consider technology, which one of your competitors are using technology and how they are using it to benefit there brand and customers.
Why Use Technology
It goes back to those millennials, there’s that word again. If you missed my article on millennials, Here. Millennials are picking up where the baby boomers left off. And they are bringing technology with them. Also the most commonly used item in your restaurant, bar or café is a POS (point of sale) machine.
That is because most customers are not carrying cash nowadays it just goes to show you how seemly integrated into our lives technology has become. But not all tech will serve your business as well as your POS machine. So before you start looking at all the latest restaurant technology ask yourself:
Does it increase FOH or BOH efficiency?
IF you are more efficient you will make more money. So if it doesn’t help you increase efficiency in FOH or BOH it’s probably not for your location.
Or, does it help me communicate with my customers?
Social media can be a jungle sometimes. But since your customers are online, so should you. I suggest getting a platform that allows you to integrate all of your social media accounts into one. If you are not currently online, I did an article that should help get you started, Here.
Are my competitors using technology, and how?
With most of your potential customers online so will be your competitors. Some have even found some very creative ways to use technology to make BOH and FOH more efficient and differentiate their brand from yours.
Recently, McDonalds has been installing electronic ordering kiosk at its restaurants across Canada, Here.
How it works: The kiosks allow customers to build their own burgers, to order is then brought to their table by a server. All Canadian locations will be outfitted with one of these kiosks by 2017.
South of the border in the States, Dunkin Donuts have recently followed in Chipotle footsteps with mobile ordering, Here.
How it works: The American franchise has started testing mobile ordering technology to help them outcompete Starbucks and everyone else.
The mobile app will also allow Dunkin donuts customer’s to place an order 24 hours ahead of time, and then confirm via the app when they are at the restaurants for pickup.
In an effort to communicate with customers and grow foot traffic, Red Robin has taking to Twitter promising to give a free #NameThatChicken Burger to anyone who shares a derivative of Santa’s name, Here.
The promotion ran for one day December 10th, 2015 at restaurants in Alberta and British Columbia. There are many more examples of how competitors are using technology to help them become more efficient in BOH and FOH, reach customers and differentiate their brands.
I’m also happy to say that Building Block Associates will be introducing our management App next year for foodservice operators. Stay tuned for more info.
Until next time your customers want to know why they should spend money at your restaurant, bar or cafe. So give them the goods!
Need inspiration? Checkout some of our services.
Dwayne Reno CEO & Founder
Social Chat Blog
Once a month, Building Block Associates serves up some food for thought with our foodservice Social Chat Blog.