Digitization And Restaurant Reservations

April 22, 2019

Digitization And Restaurant Reservations

Food culture and restaurant today has the touch of technology that is though not adding to the taste but is making the cuisine experience a whole lot scrumptious and sweeter. Restaurant reservation and food delivery have undergone an online revolution.

Consumers today want to witness their tables being booked or their food being delivered first hand. 47% of restaurant consumers prefer online reservation over other means of reservation like phone calls, or in person booking.

A product of the recent decade, digital inclusion has changed the paradigms of restaurant-guest relationship. The inventory involved now offers hands-on services merely at the click of a button.
Some of the most used digital elements that are a part of the digital restaurant and food delivery elements are as follows:

Chatbots: An Overview

Chatbots are redefining customer experience in every industry. However, they are playing an essential role in the restaurant industry, maintaining the decorum of hospitality while infusing the fast pace of bookings and quick responses.

What Can A Chatbot Do For You?

  • With chatbots, the customer does not have to wait in line to secure a table but key in the number of attendees, and time preference and they are good to go.
  • Can be programmed to carry out the plethora of tasks, right from answering queries to final feedbacks.
  • All the redundant tasks can be executed in zero downtime, without additional resources.
  • Lead generation via customized content or responding to questions.

A survey conducted in Denmark once highlighted the lack of responsiveness and customer support by some of the top restaurants. Here, 70% of restaurants do not respond, 25% choose to delay by a week and 5% restaurants take more than 12 hours to get back with a query. Only eating joints were prompt in their responses, that too, they took 2 hours. Chatbots can negate this tardiness when it comes to customer engagement.

Social Media Presence

Customers who engage with businesses on social media spend 20 to 40% more money on those businesses than on others. When OpenTable opened its doors in 1999, there was a strong gust digital wind in the restaurant market.

However, today, social media platforms are more engaging, and to be at par with them, restaurants need to establish their presence in maximum platforms to be visible and talk to the millennial tongue.

The Social Media Impact

  • The Starry Affair: Star ratings or ratings in general on social media platforms are the sequences based on which customers approach the place.
  • Pose for Instagram: Platforms like Instagram and Facebook offer an excellent space for restaurants to showcase their presence, ambiance, and food, as well as an open platform for feedbacks and appreciation.
  • The Influencer Effect: This has given rise to a custom population of Influencers, who, with their following can bring business to any restaurant.

The Right Website

To secure more reservations, restaurants should make themselves approachable to the customers. By building a target-oriented website, you can streamline the preference pipeline for your guests, directing them to your business.

  • A good website is a one-stop destination for the customers looking for information regarding the restaurant.
  • Creates a good impression regarding the restaurant.
  • Build the trust factor

The site should also be equipped with the online booking engine, up to date information and the links to social media so that visitors and potential guests can engage in positive customer experience.

The Specialist Presence

Being a part of the billion-dollar industry, restaurants need to be a part of the food hotspot of the community. This helps them:

  • Stay in touch with old and new food enthusiasts and reach out to passive customers as well.
  • Be in view of the top industrial members who resort to such platforms for an update

Some of the food hotspots are

  • Zomato
  • Swiggy
  • Grubhub
  • Deliveroo
  • Just Eat
  • Door Dash
  • Uber Eats

In addition to the aggregator platforms, several blogs, YouTube channels, and many others are the potential nurturers of everything food. Being a part of this community via great content can help amplify the restaurant presence among the sector enthusiasts. Some of the most popular food pages on social media are:

  • Buzzfeedtasty – 30.19 million followers
  • Nusr_et: 20.64 millions followers
  • Starbucks: 17.43 million followers
  • foodys: 10.52 million followers
  • soyummy: 8.99 million followers
  • proper_tasty: 8.96 million followers

Making the Right Content

In the previous section, we spoke about being a part of the specialist community via content. How does content help gather eyeballs? In the particular case of the restaurant industry, the cuisine market is bursting with new ideas, trends and making a global impact.
Pick the Right Ingredients

  • There is no dearth of topics to choose from to create engaging content. Blogs, Instagram pages, and YouTubes are the perfect platforms.
  • Create customer-centric content and not marketing valuation. For instance, while making video content, focus on the food and practices rather than the restaurant. This is the subtle marketing.
  • Engage your customers right from the beginning. For instance, if you are talking about food science, tell them about the concept, how to avail the used resources, and several other nitty-gritty.

By understanding the target audience and getting the right feel of the current industrial trends, the content crafted can garner the much-required attention.

Facebook Ordering

This is one of the most resourceful avenues for restaurants to build their sales.
The Facebook Advantage

  • Facebook has close to 1 billion users which means more clientele.
  • It has an integrated ordering system which negates the inventory to build an ordering app from scratch.
  • Many restaurants have embedded Messenger chatbots with their reservation funnel. This helps to use the technical backing of Facebook without creating an in-house from scratch.
  • Facebook is continually updating, and so is your restaurant business.

Google Listing

With more than 5 billion searches conducted each day, it is a cardinal sin to avoid Google as a part of your marketing armour.
How You Can Leverage Google To Grow Your Business?

  • Page Verification: Verify your business on the Google My Business page and add your name to the business listing.
  • Confirm Contact and Business Details: Ensure the information entered like the address, contact number and working hours are accurate and mentioned.
  • The Right Category: Since there are a plethora of searches and categories, specifying the right group for your restaurant is very important. If you are an Italian restaurant, specify it or if you offer Chinese cuisine, make sure that your information clearly states that.
  • Interaction: Google offers customers to rate and review. This allows you to interact with those providing reviews and using this platform to engage with existing as well as potential customers by resolving their query if any.

Tips To Increase Online Reservation & Lead Generation

Here are some important tips to make a note of:

1. Do Not Forget The Reservation Button On The Website

Yes, we know that the website should be aesthetically pleasing and have the images echoing the ambiance of your restaurant. However, one should not forget the main agenda of generating leads. This brings us to the imperativeness of a Reservation Button on each page of the website.

  • Ensure a CTA at the end of the page
  • Make the website clutter free so that the visitor can find the reservation button easily

2. A Responsive Website

The key to interacting with the customers is to engage them, and without an interactive yet transparent website, it is an impossible feat. More than 70% percent of digital users use smartphones and tabs to visit websites. Ensure that these websites are responsive.

3. A Clear Call-To-Action

In the clutter of making a website pretty and responsive, it is essential that the CTA button doesn’t get lost in the maze. Ambiguity on the website will kill the customer interest and have a downward impact on lead generation.

The Final Takeaway

2019 has a vast potential to explore the blend of the restaurant of social media which will be better than before. Some of the trends to look forward to being:

  • Reviews will be the king
  • Response time will make or break the deal
  • Customer care is now via social media
  • Google will be the next social network platform 

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