The success of a restaurant depends on the ability to attract and retain customers. To improve restaurant customer engagement and satisfaction, restaurant leverage should technology to offer better services. At the heart of restaurant technology for marketing is customer analytics. Customer analytics provide deeper insights into the behavioral patterns of your customers and their interactions with your restaurant. This information helps in adjusting services to offer better customer experiences.

Customer analytics play a critical role in improving services to meet the exact needs of the customers. Customer analytics software is designed to unlock the value of restaurant hidden data. It serves as a vertical business intelligence platform, which consolidated siloed data that flows through the organization. This way, restaurant owners and managers can unlock insights into such data and turn the insight into action. The data is collected automatically and analyzed to identify any trends and anomalies. The analysis is then used to identify opportunities for growth, improving profits, and resolving issues. 

Customer data collected can be used to determine what the customers want and how such needs can be satisfied. For instance, a restaurant may use the data to design an ultra-efficient kitchen. It may also utilize customer data to offer menu suggestions that meet the desires of specific types of customers. The three important aspects of improving customer service include customer engagement, digital marketing channels, and customer relationship management (CRM) integration. 

Customer Experience

Customer Engagement

Customer engagement is the restaurant’s efforts to establish long-term connections with customers. The aim is to encourage repeat customers and cultivate customer loyalty. It is a crucial factor in ensuring the services offered in a restaurant meet customer expectations. An engaged customer has an emotional connection with the restaurant. This also means that highly engaged customers tend to buy more. They demonstrate more loyalty towards the restaurant and promote it more. 

Research by Gallup found that engaged customers are 56% more likely to visit their casual dining restaurant every month while 28% are more likely to visit their favorite fast food restaurant.

Rate of engaged customers running to a restaurant

Customer satisfaction software gathers information about customer satisfaction with the restaurant. This information can be used in implementing strategies that can improve customer experience and satisfaction. The information may be related to the top-selling items, highly demanded products, and best-selling periods. The customer satisfaction software also collects demographic data, including contact information and traits of the customers for better decision making. This information is helpful in: 

  • Identifying top-selling and underperforming items to customer menu based on consumer preferences
  • Establishing the perception of customers about the dining experience offered by the restaurant 
  • Identifying slow and peak hours to provide special offers, time-sensitive discounts, and happy hours
  • Gathering vital customer information to launch marketing outreach program and establish a repeat customer base

Information collected by the customer satisfaction software should paint a clear picture of the customers. This information is then used to create strategies to increase customer retention. It is also important to use this information alongside information from other systems to create proactive marketing and outreach initiatives.

Among the most important tactics used to keep the customers engaged include posting status, photos and videos on social media platforms. The idea is to let them feel like they are part of the restaurant and want to come to the establishment. Other tactics include:

  • Using web push notifications 
  • Email marketing or reaching out to customers via email.
  • Online reservation platforms and review sites
  • Integrating POS systems on mobile devices
  • Restaurant rewards and loyalty programs
  • Promotion and discount sites
  • Restaurant CRM communication

Customer engagement can also be achieved physically at the restaurant. This includes engaging the customer while they are waiting for a table or at the host stand. The customer can be engaged while ordering a drink, receiving the bill or check, or signing the receipt. The idea is to make sure the customer feels they matter to the restaurant. This should include every touchpoint that the customer has with the restaurant to create a positive impression. 

Digital Marketing Channels

Restaurant marketing technology allows the restaurant to reach customers and communicate with them easily. Following restaurant technological advancements, digital marketing has grown tremendously to become the main method of restaurant marketing. Restaurant owners and managers now utilize digital channels like social media, blogs and search engines to reach customers and market their services. 

The most common digital restaurant marketing ideas include posting on social media. Social media platforms are easier to use and provide business with a readily available market. About 49% of consumers use social media to gather information about food. Restaurants that provide information about food on social can easily market themselves and engage with customers. 

Some of the important digital marketing approaches include posting updates on a regular basis, and using compelling visuals like photos and videos. Restaurant managers also need to create a consistent brand across all social media platforms. Social media platforms also help in increasing brand awareness to a specific customer group. 

Source of Food Information

When it comes to search engines, they help restaurants increase their online presence. Specifically, search engine optimization (SEO) techniques improve a restaurant’s search engine ranking to get more traffic. This may include techniques like publishing quality content on your restaurant website, encouraging reviews and testimonials, and mobile SEO. The techniques can be used alongside search engine marketing (SEM) tools like Google Ads to promote the restaurant to more customers.

CRM integration

Customer relations management (CRM) is critical in ensuring good customer relations are maintained. This aspect should be easily integrated into the restaurant management software to ensure all aspects of customer relations are met. It allows you to analyze customer data in a familiar and convenient manner. You can also export data to other systems to make sure you access it whenever you want. 

The goal of a CRM system is to retain as many customers as possible. Loyal customers are worth more to a restaurant than new ones. They tend to spend more, repeat their order, and recommend the restaurant to their friends and family. A restaurant can retain its customers if they are fully engaged and can be associated with the restaurant. This cannot be achieved with food and service alone, and this is where technology comes in. 

Among the software used to boost customer relations is loyalty management software. The software collects customer data regarding their engagement with the restaurant. This enables restaurants to develop and deliver a loyalty rewards program. Restaurant managers can easily view details and manage their loyal customers in one place. They can also use the data to make informed decisions to improve restaurant operations. Other ways of enhancing customer engagement include:

  • Greetings and special offers: Making customer service personal to bring out the aspect of special treatment.
  • Regular accouchements: Keeping the customers updated on the products and services available.
  • Feedback: Showing customers that the restaurant cares about their needs and views. 

Concluding Remarks

Running a successful restaurant largely depends on the ability of the restaurant to attract and retain its customers. With the advent of technology, restaurants are using digital ways to keep their customers engaged. Platforms like social media and search engines are effective in increasing the online presence of a restaurant. On the other hand, systems like CRM keep customers engaged.