Currently growing healthily, the UK restaurant sector is forecast to be worth c. £56 billion by 2019. However, it’s been slow to embrace new technology and the power of this to transform the customer experience. ABA’s 5Drivers model reveals how players can exploit tech to engage and stand out in an increasingly competitive space.
Tech-enabled ordering/payment tap into #Control and #Freedom drivers
We all know waiting is among the most frustrating aspects of dining out. Tech’s capacity to overcome this by handing back control to the customer is becoming ever-more apparent. Contactless payment, Apple Pay and Android Pay are increasingly popular. Meanwhile the ordering process is being accelerated by innovations such as the Starbucks app that enables customers to pre-order their coffee and the ‘E-tables’ at London restaurant Inamo, which allow diners to place an order from a menu projected onto their table.
Harnessing social media to boost #Immersion and #Belonging
Anxious about negative feedback, some restaurants have been reluctant to interact with customers through social media. Others are embracing it by getting consumers involved in shared experiences or immersing them in mouth-watering, Instagram-worthy content. Prior to opening its St Albans restaurant, Busaba Eathai’s clever promotional stunt invited fans to take selfies beside a mural and tweet it to them in exchange for a free meal. In the US, Burger King recently proved that it’s listening to customers by bringing back ‘cheesy tots’ for the festive season, in response to popular demand on social media.
As well as its ability to engage, excite and empower, new tech permits restaurants to gather valuable data about consumers. In turn this can be used to personalise offers and promotions, help build brand love and keep customers coming back for more.