Posted by Patrick Maness
Just as Uber and Airbnb have radically changed how people get around and where they stay when traveling, many are wondering if any similar apps will come around to transform the restaurant business. While no single app has yet overhauled the industry, digital technology has brought about major changes in one of the most basic aspects of the restaurant industry: How people order their food.
Perhaps in 10 or 15 years, waiting for your check or waiting in line at the counter will be no more. How will this happen? The following trends show how digital and online ordering will increase customer satisfaction and forever change the business.
Online ordering for restaurants – Perhaps the biggest change to the dining experience is how easy it is now to order online. And it’s not just traditional take-out restaurants that have made the switch, as many sit-down restaurants have linked up with food-delivery apps such as GrubHub to better serve customers.
Social media – In addition to connecting with their customers and keeping the digital world updated on menu offerings and promotions, restaurants have leveraged the power of social media to streamline the ordering process. Services such as ChowNow or NetWaiter allow restaurants to integrate their menu, payment methods and delivery options right onto their Facebook page.
iPad kiosks – Many fast-food restaurants have begun to set up ordering kiosks as a way to save on labor costs and increase profitability. Some table service restaurants have started to experiment with iPads featuring a digital restaurant menu that performs a similar function. The initial results seem to suggest an increase in orders and fewer people walking away, so it’s likely they will appear in more places.
The next wave of apps – One of the most exciting restaurant apps to make a splash is Requested. This app works by having participating restaurants offer discounts, usually during slow times, to fill vacant seats. Using the tagline, “dine and dash in style,” it allows users to register their credit card with the Requested app so they can have the bill and the tip automatically charged to their account, meaning there’s no more waiting around for the bill.
Read other articles in this series: