In recent times change in the overall hospitality industry has reached a feverish pace. The use of smartphone technology in everyday scenarios — from internet banking to online shopping — has accelerated changes to an extent that some operators feel that they simply struggle to keep up.
There’s good news. Our guide covers the top 4 customer experience trends in restaurants today, ensuring food businesses don’t fall behind the ways of neighbouring industries.
What Is Good Customer Service in Restaurants Today?
Customers now expect more from the paces they eat out in. From contactless payments to queue management options, it is no longer enough to think that good customer service solely relies upon simply greeting, seating, and feeding guests.
In a sum up of today’s guest expectations, we have created a general outline that includes:
- Customer convenience
- Staff satisfaction
- Safety and security
We break down these general expectations and illustrate how restaurants today can meet current customer experience trends.
1. Mobile Ordering
Prioritising ways to order goods online is a solid move for hospitality businesses at the moment. Like other online platforms (e.g. retailers such as clothes shops with delivery services) restaurants can now give customers the near-instant service they want ordering food and drink.
Retailers have already experimented with letting shoppers skip queues in places like supermarkets and pay for their goods in bulk via smartphone technology. Now many restaurants are following the same direction.
Consumers too are driving the trend. Half of one survey’s respondents said they want to pay for self-served goods via a hospitality mobile app.
This is a different approach to self-ordering kiosks in restaurants — another customer trend to keep an eye on, promoting both speed and convenience. Yet a self-order kiosk still causes queues, being a system that provides a touch-screen for one person at a time.
With an alternative system in place, however, the power to order and pay is in the customer’s very hands.
Carbonara App provides a free mobile ordering system for alcoholic beverages that
- Speeds up order delivery
- Encourages guest enjoyment
- Earns more money for restaurants
It is a system that also helps restaurant guests look forward to the meal ahead, ensuring their return later in the day.
There are multiple pre order benefits associated with this system. For example, a restaurant can help keep their tables full, encouraging guests to arrive back at an expected time. Customers no longer have to wait 30—45 minutes in a queue for a seat at a table. This trend, creating a virtual experience out of ordering, improves the guest satisfaction.
It reduces staff workloads too.
2. Staff Satisfaction
Today’s generations considering customer experience trends in restaurants strongly associate staff satisfaction levels with their own. This is because happy employees are more likely to deliver a better overall experience for customers.
In a world of digital natives, restaurant customers can now see what past employees have to say about working for a restaurant. The Financial Times has noted this shift in knowledge, finding that customers will source information from “websites like Glassdoor to see what existing and previous staff have said”.
Focusing on staff satisfaction is not just about inviting customers indoors — it’s also about staff retention. A low staff turnover is good for your business, helping to ensure that your team builds up a sense of communal spirit and commitment to the customer experience.
Improving the staff experience can be as simple as staging a staff survey and/or incorporating easy-to-use restaurant software, as intuitive as a social media app, using smartphones.
Health and safety has always proved a vital concern in the hospitality industry — and rightly so. For obvious reasons, this has increased in recent years, and customers expect full and comprehensive checks, to feel sure-footed whenever they first enter a venue.
Good customer service in restaurants needs to provide full, accurate, and comprehensive health compliance. Being in the spotlight, today’s restaurants need to:
- Communicate the health and safety measures they have in place
- Create confidence in control procedures
- Clear any doubts about possible health and safety faults in their venue
4. Data Security
In our current world data and computer security is an everyday concern. We live in a technological landscape that needs to ensure it adheres to best practices concerning data security. In short, it is the law.
Today’s restaurant customers like to ensure they’re being protected. This applies to everything they interact with on the internet.
So, when using technology, restaurants naturally generate mountains of data. Customer details, menu options, purchases all generate information.
Accordingly, each generation is increasingly interested in data security — especially among young people. In the UK alone, there are over 230,000 young people enrolled in cyber education initiatives every year. As time goes on, concerns over data security will increase. Next year’s customers will have a more sophisticated knowledge of tech than last year.
Thankfully, apps today have got restaurants covered. A free restaurant reservation system protects both restaurants and their customers, adhering to international General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws.
Embracing Customer Experience Trends Today
Trends typically come and go in every industry, but some remain for good. Take table booking technology. Introduced over twenty years ago, restaurants have enjoyed the benefits of its services boosting efficiency indoors. Nowadays they can embrace operational technology for no cost at all.
Saving your team from any disruption, a free restaurant app offers a proven way to cut down on
- Customer waiting times
- Table no-show rates
- Delays on table ordering and service delivery
Redefine your restaurant’s operations for free. Carbonara App provides everything restaurants and their teams need, all in their back pocket. Get ready to enjoy all the benefits of a free smartphone app!
Never fall behind customer experience trends restaurants again. Some of Carbonara App’s users are already enjoying all the free benefits of the app right now — plus, they’re improving their services. This Sardinian restaurant’s recipe for reservation success proves any hospitality venue can use the app and reap the benefits.