7 Ways The Internet Has Changed Restaurants
Everyone knows that you don’t need a cell phone to have a snack. In fact, because everyone needs to eat, food advertises itself by way of being delicious, right? Okay, sure, but if you’re in the business of restaurants, there’s a lot of different factors that go into feeding your customers. There’s tons of competition in this market, despite the fact that eating is a basic human need. There are so many restaurants with so many different levels of luxury, styles of food, flavours and anything else you could think of. On top of that, most people don’t go out to eat everyday, so restaurants need to convince people that eating out is worth it. And they do a good job of it.
But in all things marketing, digital and the constant trends coming and going have changed the entire way restaurants can market themselves, and it’s even broken through into the dining experience for most people. So here are the top 7 things that digital has changed in the restaurant business.
1. PPC Ads
Pay Per Click ads have given restaurants a place to reach a different audience in a different way. Some restaurants may advertise and encourage you to order delivery. Others may have campaigns running about new menu items or deal offers. These ads can reach people at all different times of day in different processes.
Let’s talk about the dining experience. How can digital change the way we eat? Well, how many times have you gone to a fancy restaurant and seen someone with their phone out, taking a picture of their fancy drink or their plate? I’ve done it myself, and of course I post it on social media; Instagram or Facebook. Making Insta-Friendly food gives you a free way to advertise. Restaurants can encourage guests to use hashtags and sometimes offer incentives for posting and tagging their food.
3. Digital Ordering
Have you ever been to a restaurant and seen tablets or iPads on every table? Many restaurants are now automating the process of ordering and paying. You order on the tablet, the food is brought out, and your bill is paid digitally. What could be simpler than that?
4. Feedback Loop
This one is huge. The feedback loop refers to customer experience and reviews. Now, instead of leaving comment cards in a box, customers will login to Google or Facebook, navigate to the restaurant’s page and leave a public review. For customers, it gives them a place to find out if they want to even go to a restaurant in the first place. For the restaurant, it’s a whole new avenue to manage and they have to work to get positive reviews. Something like a Review Management service can help them keep their reviews positive.
Being on a waitlist sucks. Whether you’re a party of 5 or just a couple, it’s a pain to sit around in the front of the restaurant hoping that giant group will leave and the staff will be able to separate the tables and serve you. Now with smartphones, there are a few options restaurants can take to prevent losing customers when there’s a bit of a wait. They can put you on a digital waitlist and either call you or notify you via text when your table is ready.
Pizza used to be the only thing people would get delivered. Now, apps like Just Eat have changed all that. You can order pretty much anything you can think of from any restaurant you desire. The app usually takes a cut, but restaurants can get more exposure and all they need to do is prepare food.
7. Faster Fast Food
Mobile ordering has also changed the way we think of fast food. Because there’s often a lineup at your favourite coffee shop, they may have implemented a way for you to order ahead online. The app or site lets you choose when you want your food to be ready. Most of the time, you just pay in the app, and then walk right in and pick up your order, saving you time in line.
That’s our list of major changes that digital has caused in the restaurant industry. If you’re interested in more articles like this, subscribe to our Newsletter and we’ll deliver everything right to your inbox.