Technology has been evolving across industries for quite some time now, and the restaurant industry has been no exception. In this changing era, it is pretty essential for restaurateurs to stay updated with the latest technology innovations. Especially in the times of COVID-19, with online deliveries on a surge, technology can play a crucial role in bridging the gap between customer expectations and restaurants.
Reasons Why Restaurants Are Going Tech First
There are innumerable ways that technology can optimize restaurant operations. It all depends on how the restaurants use it to survive in a competitive marketplace. The POSist PRIME Report highlights the various reasons why restaurants in the UAE should consider investing in technology.
1. To Level With Tech-Savvy Customers
With the increasing use of smartphones by customers for online ordering and making reservations, it is essential for restaurants to make their menus available on various food aggregator applications. The rise of food aggregators like Talabat, NowNow, InstaShop, or Careem Now across the region has given a considerable boost to the online delivery market in the UAE.
Furthermore, it is also crucial for restaurants to build their presence across social media sites to attract new customers. Easy discovery of restaurants is vital for restaurants because an undiscovered restaurant will lose out on a large pool of customers.
2. Improve Customer Experience
Engaging customers with great service and gaining their trust and confidence is a key part of redefining their experience, which is the top priority for 60 percent of restaurateurs, as mentioned in our UAE PRIME Report.
Feedback forms and 24X7 customer support available on the food ordering applications can play a huge part in enhancing the customer experience. Furthermore, facilities like streamlined online ordering and live tracking of ordered food can help restaurants gain their customers’ confidence, making them visit the restaurant more frequently.
3. Upgrade Restaurant Operations
While some restaurant professionals are looking for new ways to generate profits, others are intensely focusing on upgrading their existing operations using digitization. Interestingly, our survey highlights that half of the respondents are open to investing in technology with the motive of upgrading their restaurant operations.
A few restaurants have further shifted from digitization to automation already by deploying robotic staff in roles such as chefs, cleaners, cashiers, etc., to cut down on labor costs and increase efficiency. For instance, a recently launched cafe in Dubai called the RoboCafe is entirely automated. Every operation of the restaurant, from cooking and waiting to maintain the ambience with short choreographies, is carried out with the help of robots.
4. Increase Profitability
The economic turbulence triggered by the pandemic has led restaurateurs to focus on saving as much capital as possible to maximize profitability. Making one-time investments in robust point-of-sale (POS) and customer-relationship-management (CRM) systems to roll out digital loyalty programs and attractive offers can further boost profitability for restaurants.
Having a strong online presence and efficient and fast service is extremely important for customer retention. This can help the restaurateurs increase average order value and encourage referrals translating into better profits.
5. Expand The Customer Base Via Online Delivery
Online delivery services, which were only limited to burger and pizza chains a few years back, have now expanded to include other cuisines as well. Many restaurants have built their own mobile food ordering apps or websites to interact with customers and provide them with the best services. This move not only enhances the customer experience and fosters customer loyalty but also creates an additional sales channel for the restaurateurs to generate revenue. It caters to the online customer base, reaching out to whom is the need of the hour.
The bottom line is that technology can be a game-changer in the tough post-pandemic market conditions prevailing today. Adoption of new technologies to align with the customer needs while optimizing costs is what the restaurant industry in the UAE needs right now.