omni-experience in restaurantsThe restaurant industry is seeing an emerging trend toward offering customers an omni-experience that involves multiple touchpoints (e.g., digital, in-person, etc.) and a higher-than-ever level of engagement with the brand. This trend is driving change in the restaurant industry in a variety of ways:

1. Giving customers the option to skip lines by ordering ahead. The ability to reserve a table, order menu items, and receive service without standing in a long line is a hallmark of the restaurant omni-experience. With online ordering capabilities and mobile apps, restaurants can give their customers the ability to browse menus, place orders and complete payment transactions at their convenience and have their tables and their orders ready when they want. Restaurants that seat on a first-come, first-served basis can also include a feature that lets customers put their names on a waiting list prior to arriving and check on wait times from any location or mobile device.

2. Leveraging Software-as-a-Subscription (SaaS) plans. Providing customers with the best omni-experience necessitates that restaurants have the most up-to-date technology. When enrolled in a SaaS plan, Restaurants are provided with the most up-to-date POS software. This ensures access to the latest innovative features and functionalities with zero additional software cost. These new features and functionalities provided through SaaS, will enable restaurants to enjoy enhanced staff and operating efficiencies, leading to better customer experiences.

3. Harnessing tools for customer and employee feedback. Restaurants need customers’ feedback to help meet expectations about the restaurant, its fare, and its service. Savvy restaurant operators are using social media sites as well as review sites and customer surveys to gain insights into what customers want.

Smart restaurateurs have also begun to conduct employee surveys as part of their omni-experience strategy. These surveys are for input based on employees’ observations of whether customers appear to be satisfied with a restaurant’s food and service and solicit suggestions for improvement. They also delve into employees’ own level of job satisfaction, which can impact the quality of service and overall atmosphere of the restaurant.

4. Using mobile point of sale (POS) technology. Mobile POS technology provides restaurants with the ability to increase efficiency and enhance service and customer engagement. Mobile POS allows wait staff to take orders on mobile devices right at the table or, in establishments with counter service, as people wait in line to help speed service. These orders can then be transmitted directly to the kitchen, helping shave minutes off prep time.

Customer engagement is also an essential element of the omni-experience, and mobile POS technology paves the way for heightened interaction with guests. Instead of verbally describing menu options or reciting a list of menu items from memory, servers can show diners images loaded onto tablet POS devices. The time mobile POS saves can enable wait staff to spend more time with customers, and mobile POS can also provide information on the customer and their past orders to help make relevant upsell suggestions or link the server to the POS system where they can find information on menu items and promotions.

5. Implementing POS software that facilitates pickup and delivery. Today’s restaurants are responding to customer demand for pick-up and delivery, as well as the expectation that these processes will take place as quickly, painlessly, and seamlessly as possible.

To meet these demands, savvy restaurateurs are choosing POS software with features including caller ID, the order recall and last order, dispatching by delivery zone, route planning and online maps, and mobile payment processing capabilities.

To stay competitive, your business must provide customer experiences your target market wants, as well as the food it craves. Evaluate how your restaurant is keeping up with the times and how well your current technology allows you to deliver the caliber of omni-experience your customers are looking for.