The restaurant industry today is no longer just about the food presented on the diner’s plate, but the full experience from the second they step foot in the door. When dealing with customers, employees are serving the person sitting in front of them as well as their 850 Instagram followers, 1,000 Facebook friends, and 300 twitter followers. A case study with regards to consumer trends and buying habits revealed the huge effect online peers have on purchasing decisions. The truth is that with just the click of a button, a business’s reputation could be enhanced or destroyed in the eyes of hundreds of people who essentially could have been potential customers.
Customer Desires Influence Change:
The dining experience as a whole is transforming rapidly as customers values continue to change. In today’s digital world, people are very concerned with efficiency, order and convenience. Time is valuable and consumers want what they need, as fast as they can get it. In order to conform to these desires, restaurants are constantly referring to social media to see what consumers are talking about and what the latest trends to incorporate are. Recently, the overarching message regarding the restaurant industry on multiple social media platforms is the desire for quick service and meals that are time-efficient. As a result, restaurants are constantly working to discover ways in which they can make the dining experience equally as personalized as it is productive.
Allset & Cover:
Recently there has been a multitude of buzz about a new app, Allset, which aims to eliminate wait times by allowing users to not only make reservations, but also have the food the customer desires at the time they arrive. Diners will also have the ability to pay for their food on the app so they will no longer have to wait for the receipt at the end of their dining experience. Other applications such as Cover already complete the payment portion of the Allset app, by teaming with restaurants and allowing customers to request that their servers send the bill directly to their phones. On the app diners can also calculate tips within seconds and split a bill amongst friends with ease.
An idea that causes great controversy, but may eventually become a harsh reality is the idea that computers may eventually replace servers. As technology continues to advance rapidly and attention spans continue to decrease, implementing tablets into the restaurant atmosphere may solve many problems. Although computers will never fully replace human interaction and service (hopefully) computers and tablets may be very useful for restaurants to use during slow times of the day when a full staff of workers may not be needed. This could be very cost-efficient and would provide diners with easy access to social media right there at the table to share their dining experience with others.
As consumers continue to share their ideas and thoughts, restaurants must continue to listen and respond.