As restaurants struggle to differentiate from the competition by offering seamless, omni-experiences, improving the digital customer experience is vital for restaurants to remain competitive. HT recently queried operators for its 2017 Restaurant Technology Study and asked the question, “what’s on your innovation agenda for 2017?” The results paint a picture of an industry that is focusing on the digital diner.
Improving digital customer engagement and loyalty was named a top strategic goal for technology by a large majority of operators -- 61% to be precise. That result dwarfs the next two entries on the list, improving business and customer analytics with 39% and enhancing payment and data security (38%).
One out of four operators will still be focusing on improving employee productivity (27%), but let’s take a moment to really consider what this means. For the first time in recent history, operators are acknowledging that customer experience just might trump efficiency.
Indicating the increasing importance of providing frictionless ways for customer to order -- 23% of operators are focusing on enabling seamless orders across all channels. Fostering an omni-experience is one way for restaurarants to offer customers a variety of options for how they want to interact with a restaurant, while offering a consistent brand experience.
With technology deployment plans focusing on the omni-experience, point of sale capabilities will need to be increasingly robust. We asked operators to call out functions that they believe are must-haves for the POS versus what already exists, is a “nice to have,” or is not necessary. Responses reveal that restaurants are prioritizing omni-experience with mobile payment, managing orders from other channels, and CRM topping the list of must-haves.
For more findings and analysis, download the complete 2017 Restaurant Technology Study.