Restaurant operators have had a wild ride in 2020 and 2021. Both diners and operators have had to change gears in order to provide new services and to enjoy their meals. Restaurants have had to invent a lot over the past two years.
We seem to be moving towards a new normal, with widespread vaccinations and fewer restrictions. We are now asking the question: What’s next in the restaurant industry? What innovations and consumer trends in the restaurant industry will we see next. What can guests expect from bars, restaurants and other nightlife venues?
Here are our predictions for the future Restaurant Management Software in 2022 and beyond. Here’s a peek at the future of restaurants in 2022 and beyond.
Guests expect more
Digital experience will become more important than ever
Diners will place convenience as a priority
Online ordering is here for good
Automating hospitality operations will be key to scale up
Data is crucial to the retention of guests
Diners want to leave their home after nearly two years of being at it. Restaurants will struggle to meet high expectations from guests due to rising food prices, shifting pandemic-related circumstances, and labor shortages.
In the new year, it will be crucial to keep guests satisfied with review aggregation and post-meal feedback surveys. Knowing what your guests think will allow you to make informed decisions about how you serve them and their menus.
The future of restaurants is not limited to the four walls of a restaurant. The digital experience a diner has with a restaurant is becoming more important. According to 54% of diners, an online reservation system is the most important technology feature that a restaurant can offer.
Customers expect to be able to interact with restaurants online. This could include ordering online or booking a table.
You can connect with guests digitally in multiple ways. Look for digital interfaces that improve the customer experience and not cause friction.
Whitelabeled reservation platforms allow guests to see your brand through the booking process.
With a virtual waitlist, guests can easily wait from anywhere to get a table.
Customers can place orders online for takeout or delivery from their computers.
One thing is certain: convenience is what customers want. This is evident from the rapid growth of fast-casual restaurants over the past few decades and the double growth of food delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This desire for convenience is tied to an expectation of personalization. Customers will expect restaurants to be just as personalized and relevant as other businesses. Consumers will expect the same experience from restaurants if they receive personalized emails highlighting relevant products from their favourite retailers. In 2022, the restaurant industry will be witnessing personalized convenience as a consumer trend.
Many ways can you deliver personalized convenience.
This allows guests to take control of the booking process. They can book online, select where they want to sit, upgrade their reservation (like a bouquet at the table), and even update the reservation.
This involves sending targeted emails to guests who regularly dine on-premises with their favorite dishes. It also encourages them to order their first online order by making it extremely convenient.
Personalized convenience means giving customers options. For example, they can order directly with their server, or use mobile order and payment technology. This allows diners to place orders and pay for their meals as they are served, rather than waiting for a waiter. This option, which is an excellent example of customer service, can also benefit your restaurant by helping you to navigate the labor shortage.
The takeout and delivery business is expanding at an incredible rate. McKinsey reports that food delivery has grown to a global market of $150 billion and that the U.S. market for food delivery has more than doubled since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Online ordering is here for good. You can bet your customers will choose your competitor if your restaurant does not offer takeout or delivery options.
You can offer takeout delivery through an online ordering portal if you don’t already have it.
Although third-party apps and platforms are easy to set up, they can be costly.
You should use an online ordering platform that is commission-free like SevenRooms. This allows you to keep your profits and gain access to your customer data, so you can build relationships with your customers.
Restaurants will need to be more efficient because of the labor shortage.
Automation will be a key component of restaurants’ ability to keep up with daily demand and run their day smoothly. It will also allow them to do things that are impossible otherwise. AI-enhanced software for table management can analyze more than 10,000 seating assignments per second in order to determine the best table for each guest.
Restaurants will be able to scale up their operations by using automations in marketing and operations.
There are many ways AI can help your restaurant make more money. You can automate your online reservation system to automatically send reminders via SMS. A restaurant customer relationship management platform (CRM Software) can alert you when a VIP arrives to ensure that you provide exceptional hospitality.
Automating most aspects of restaurant marketing will help you save time and money, as well as attracting repeat customers. You can automate your email marketing by looking for tools that will send personalized offers to your customers. You can also keep track of the sentiment of your guests with post-meal feedback surveys and review aggregation.
A restaurant’s income is 80% dependent on its regulars. You can generate more revenue by turning more customers into regulars.
What’s the secret to increasing repeat business? Access to guest data.
You can market to your guests like never before if you have access to their preferences and dining habits. Targeted marketing offers that appeal to their preferences and habits will help you attract them.
You will need tools that allow you to share guest data in order to gain access to it. Many third-party reservation and delivery tools, as well as many third-party services, keep your guests’ information private.
You can convert these third-party visitors into direct customers by using your online reservation and ordering platforms. Customers will order takeout or book tables through your direct online ordering and reservations platforms. Direct software allows you to own all guest data.
You can convert guests by placing flyers in third-party delivery and takeout orders. Include coupon codes for their first order. Postcards can be placed in check holders to offer third-party reservations guests upgrade on their first direct booking.
You can gather information from guests when they make direct bookings or order. This information can be stored in your CRM, and used to personalize each interaction online and on-premises to make them feel special.
Future restaurants will be able to take advantage of data, automation, convenience, and personalization.
Future restaurants will have to be able to leverage data and automation to provide the kind of hospitality that they want. The diners will expect a level of hospitality that is personalized and personal, that gives them the ability to choose when to place a reservation and what to order.
SevenRooms’ Guest Experience & Retention platform will help restaurants to deliver the experience customers want. Request a demo today.