The future for restaurants is touchless
Updated: Apr 5
Utilising the latest touchless technology is no longer a differentiator for restaurants - it’s the price of entry.
In this article we explore how restaurants can offer the latest touchless marketing solutions designed to increase customer engagement and incremental revenue.
We explain how smart, AI driven menus can be used to optimise the ordering experience and how mobile wallet passes can be used as digital loyalty cards to drive footfall and acquire new customers using geo-targeted notifications.
1. Touch-less smart menus
As restaurants take steps to adhere to social distancing rules, customers want to keep physical distance as much as possible and dine in a Covid-friendly environment. As a first step, many restaurants have launched digital menus, which customers access by
scanning a QR Code. Customers browse the menu and place their order with the waiting staff.
Whilst these digital menus are safer and more environmentally friendly than printed menus, they can lack usability when presented as static PDF's. How many times have you seen staff offer the printed menu when they see customers struggling to navigate a static digital menu?
Smart, AI driven menus solve this problem by offering restaurants a contactless, cloud-based ordering platform that saves the restaurant operational costs and increases order values.
Smart menus take digital menus to the next level by empowering customers to place their order and pay directly from their mobile. Smart menus are dynamic and designed to enhance the ordering experience by offering customers the ability to customise their browsing experience. Want suggestions for drinks, sides or dessert? with built in AI customers will be able to see what's frequently ordered and be offered upsell options.
Tourists struggling to read the menu? - give them the option to change the language, the currency and even the font size. If the customer has a question, the waiter can be called with a click of a button.
Aside from increasing customer engagement, smart menus offer several operational efficiencies:
Actionable data insights to help restaurants optimise their menus - smart menus offer real-time online reporting helping restaurants understand if a customer is new or existing, their AOV and valuable trends on what they are ordering.
Increased table turnover - smart menus reduce ordering errors and have been proven to increase average order value as menu items can be easily upsold.
Staffing efficiencies - staffing levels can be reduced or staff can be redeployed, to manage take-away orders or encourage new customers into the restaurant.
Restaurant's that have implemented smart menus have reported high customer adoption rates with some venues having over 95% of orders going through the smart menu despite their staff being available and average order values increasing between 10% - 25%.
2. Touchless loyalty
With customers still wary of venturing out, restaurants can no longer rely on foot traffic to keep front of mind. Instead, restaurants need to market their businesses where customers spend the most time - their mobile!
Mobile wallet passes empower businesses to market to their customers via their Apple or Android wallet. Frequently used as digital loyalty cards, they can deliver geo-targeted notifications, serve real-time offers and rewards, drive additional visits and increase engagement rates.
Mobile wallet passes are quick and easy to deploy and a cost efficient way to open up a brand new communication channel with customers. For example, if a customer is within walking distance of your restaurant, they can be sent a promotion directly to their lock screen to encourage a visit.
So how does it work? Every interaction with the customer is touch-less and conducted on the customers mobile. Customers can sign-up for a digital loyalty card by filling out an online form before downloading the pass directly into their mobile wallet. Every time they visit, the QR Code on their digital loyalty card is scanned using a tablet or POS scanner and (depending on the marketing strategy) customers can redeem offers and earn rewards in real-time.
In addition to rewarding existing customers, new customers can be acquired across multiple channels such as email, SMS and social media by running engaging lead-generation campaigns.
Can smart menus and digital loyalty cards work together?
Yes. Integrating smart menus with digital loyalty cards enable restaurants to get a valuable 360 view of their customers, combining order data with personalised rewards and incentives. This unique combination of touchless technology allows businesses the chance to build direct relationships with their customers and engender loyalty, providing multiple opportunities to increase foot traffic and monetise customers.
Want to know more?
Gonca Bengherbia is the founder of Vollodigital,com, a digital consultancy specialising in customer acquisition and retention. Email email@example.com if you would like to learn more about smart menus and digital loyalty solutions.