Is Mobile Technology Worth the Effort For Restaurants?

Your Source for Restaurant Marketing & Retail Marketing Best Practices

Posted by Robin Johnston on Jul 19, 2018 7:00:00 AM
Robin Johnston

Is mobile technology worth the money and time for restaurant owners to invest in? Well, consider a 2018 Pew Research Survey that shows 94% of adults aged 18-29 in the United States own a smartphone. In addition, 89% of smartphone users are 30-49. If you are going to reach them, you must reach them through the device they use the most: their smartphone. The same survey showed that 49% of Millennials prefer a digital restaurant receipt to a paper receipt. That age group is the most opinionated, adept, and engaged group of mobile users anywhere. Here are six reasons why mobile technology is worth the effort for restaurant owners. 

Increase Customer Satisfaction

Mobile devices provide flexibility, one of the more significant benefits. Mobile ordering, for instance, can make the ordering experience simpler for your customers, and it might even make the lines shorter and increase efficiency in your business. Mobile ordering also reduces human errors, another plus which can increase guest satisfaction. Hosts and servers will also spend less time on the phone. 

One restaurant using this technology for its benefit is Subway, which allows users to choose and pay for their meal before they leave their home or office and pick it up without any wait at the restaurant. The chain now has shorter lines and wait times in its stores. Starbucks also uses mobile technology ordering and has seen results similar to Subway. In fact, as of July of last year, mobile ordering and payment account for 20% Starbucks' transactions or about $9 million every week.

Customers Who Use Loyalty Programs Spend More Money 

Surveys have shown that customers who use traditional loyalty programs total about 12%, but when they had the chance to pay from a smartphone, that increased to 18-28%. When customers had the additional option to order online, that number increased to 15-35%. 

One restaurant that has used mobile technology successfully is Earl of Sandwich. Their customers spend an average of 22% more when using the restaurant's mobile technology.

One business that has used a loyalty program successfully is Chili's. Its program is completely digital. The chain provides personalized offers to customers based on their purchases. Chili's offers challenges to customers so they can gain points, which allow them to try a new menu item. In addition, it has small kiosks at its tables, so customers can participate in the program while dining, thus earning points. 

Target Customers In Your Area 

It is now possible to use mobile technology on previous customers' mobile devices to use their GPS settings to let you know when they are in your area, or the area of another one of your restaurants if you have multiple locations. You can send out relevant information about your specials or items you know that customer has purchased before to encourage them to visit your location. 

Collect Customer Data 

When you know how often a customer visits a location, where it is, and what the customer purchases, you can follow-up with targeted email campaigns that will engage the customer and get them to come back. Almost 75% of email marketers optimize email for mobile devices and many focus on subscriber personalization. 

This technology will allow you to connect and engage with these customers through a simple tap on their smartphone.

WiFi technology allows you to easily collect this customer data using a WiFi captive portal. These campaigns will benefit both your business and your customer. Plus, if you collect your customers' demographic data, the information about where they live, their ages, and gender will help you get a good idea of which people will most likely want to buy certain items. 

WiFi technology is the best way to get data on a large sample size of your actual customers, allowing you to create highly effective marketing campaigns to help you increase customer spend and frequency.

 

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Tags: restaurant marketing, restaurant analytics

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