Restaurant Customer Experience: What Do Customers Want When It Comes to Eating Out? Convenience!

Restaurant managers and owners have ample responsibilities. They oversee staff, serve as customer service agents, perform complex business processes, and much more. As with any business, the essential factor goes back to the critical function of the company. In this industry, that function must be to deliver a superior restaurant customer experience, not just good food. The online ordering market is growing faster than expected, reports Forbes magazine. 

Online food delivery is set to supersize to a hefty $200 billion by 2025. In 2018, Frost & Sullivan estimated the industry at $82 billion in terms of gross revenue bookings and is set to more than double by 2025, backed by a cumulative growth rate of 14%.”

What Do Restaurateurs Get Wrong About Customer Expectations?

Failure to recognize the value of customer experience remains the biggest problem with restaurant management. Restaurant managers understand that customers expect good food, quality service, decent facilities, and fast service. Unfortunately, restaurant managers may be losing an opportunity to secure positive experiences by only offering a limited omnichannel food ordering capability. Unfortunately, offering branded delivery and online ordering through your restaurant website itself is not enough to tap the full value of the market of modern, omnichannel restaurant customer experiences.

Why Customers Value Convenience Most

Customers value convenience. Convenience forms the basis for most millennials and Gen Zers’ decisions to order takeout or delivery. When it comes to the choice between the two, younger generations prefer delivery and online ordering. That much is clear. Yet, the path to a find the right solutions for of online ordering capabilities is not so simple.

For example, restaurant managers could take advantage of the available third-party restaurant delivery services, such as Uber Eats, to offer delivery. These third parties developed simple, tablet-based programs that allowed any business to participate. That only worsens the problem, giving restaurant managers more to worry about, more responsibility, and an assumption that everything works out to be profitable. Business tells a different story, and the restaurant customer experience requires both convenience and a well thought out approach to achieving positive results.

How to Increase Restaurant Customer Experience

A restaurant manager should follow these steps to increase customer experiences through better online ordering capabilities:

  1. Consider partnering with available third-party restaurant delivery services, provided those services leverage an API to connect to your systems, especially the Point of Sale (POS) system.
  2. Upgrade your point-of-sale system to make it compatible with APIs.
  3. Gain data into the use of third-party delivery services to understand cost versus return.
  4. Remember to include additional online ordering capabilities, such as your own branded website, an internal branded app, and even other forms of order, such as traditional phone and in-store orders.
  5. Evaluate your restaurant for the use of kiosks, including counter kiosks for fast-casual chains, as well as tableside kiosks for those seeking to bridge the divide between fine dining and fast-casual dining.

Use New, Automated Ordering Systems to Improve Speed Now

There will always be change within the industry, and restaurant managers must work to secure a profitable future. Regardless of what improvements are made, all managers must band together in their establishments to build positive restaurant customer experiences. While this includes upgrades to the facility itself–online, digital, and convenient ordering solutions and options are essential. While similar arguments exist for any improvement, the value of the convenient, online ordering market is too great to ignore. This is especially true for customers that do not plan to eat within your facility. Learn more about the value of digital ordering systems and their impact on customer experiences by contacting Tacit for a demo of our digital ordering solutions platform today

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