There are few aspects of modern life where technology doesn’t play a role now, but one industry that it has changed considerably that may surprise people is the restaurant industry. Whether it is how people pay for their food to the ways restaurants can interact with their customers, and even to tracking sales, inventory and cash flow with a restaurant POS system, here are some of the key ways that technology has evolved the restaurant industry.
Visibility plays an important role in any business and having a presence online is vital for restaurants and food outlets. If you don’t have a website or social media platform, it can quickly affect your profitability and marketability. After all, think about how many people in the local area will do a quick Google search for a place to eat or drink? If your website doesn’t show up in the search results, fewer people are going to know about your venue which will impact your profits. Digital marketing is a big business in today’s modern age but it’s highly valuable to those in this industry.
Social media makes it easier for restaurants, cafés and food outlets to build their own brand and reach out to customers in ways that they couldn’t before. For small business owners, this platform has levelled the playing field without the need for a hefty marketing budget. It’s easier now for new venues to create a buzz about their brand, update customers about new products or offers, and share unique content to set their business apart from the rest. Those who are able to market themselves in a unique way on social media and build a following reap the rewards.
Mobile technology has evolved quickly over recent years and it’s affected the restaurant industry in ways that others haven’t experienced as intensely. 60% of all searches are now done on a mobile and having a responsive mobile presence is key in today’s digital landscape. So many of us now search on a mobile when we’re out and about to find local places to eat and drink and for those in the restaurant industry, it poses a great opportunity to be visible in those searches and bring in more customers.
Today’s consumer is discerning and while restaurant reviews have long been a rite of passage for new eateries, having those reviews accessible to anyone in the world can make or break a business. Online reviews give customers the chance to talk about their experiences immediately – even if they’re still in the restaurant – and those reviews can quickly be read and responded to just as fast. What’s more, they have the ability to be shared far and wide, which is great news for positive reviews but can be damaging if the appraisal is more of a criticism. Knowing how to deal with online reviews and bloggers has become an aspect of the restaurant industry that many businesses have had to learn how to do in recent years, and it’s now an important part of running a business in this industry.