Like most businesses today, restaurants have faced rapid digital growth. The pandemic accelerated this expansion into the digital space, giving rise to increased online ordering, a greater need for mobile apps for delivery and other technological opportunities. Even in the darkest parts of the pandemic, restaurants that had a strong digital footprint were able to maintain and build customer loyalty — especially those that offered online customer loyalty programs with points incentives for return orders.
Moving forward, the need for digital infrastructure will only grow as consumers continue to rely heavily on online ordering. Technology won’t simply affect the customer experience from home, either. Inside of restaurants, we’re likely to see more digital ordering systems and QR codes to scan in order to access menus. Technology is pervasive even in the restaurant industry for understanding and meeting customer goals, and the key to improving the customer journey is harnessing the power of digital tools.
Related: Learn how Blu Jam Cafe uses QR code ordering to reduce labor requirements.
In addition to technology, restaurants are leveraging social media to promote themselves, interact with current customers and attract new ones. At La Parrilla, Juan Fernando said, “We definitely have had to get more creative, especially [with] social media during that time when people couldn't come to the restaurants.”
Having a strong digital footprint is more critical than ever to enhancing the customer journey and building brand loyalty for your restaurant, especially when combined with a good rewards program or loyalty app.
Adaptability is the key to success in the restaurant business. Establishments that are able to stay flexible by offering new or alternative menu options show their customers that they really care. Evolving the way you, as a restaurant owner, do business in the wake of the pandemic will be key to maintaining your share of the consumer market. Whether you opt to increase your out-of-store purchase options or expand your restaurant’s dining space to accommodate new health and safety concerns, it’s important to remember that customers want to feel catered to and valued.
No business today is successful without the help of technology. Increasing your restaurant’s digital footprint can make your brand more accessible, help attract new patrons and build long-term customer loyalty.