2015 was a big year in tech, and by the looks of it, 2016 is shaping up to be just as noteworthy.
While almost every area of trade, from ecommerce to retail, has gone through major changes this year, tech has been revolutionizing the restaurant industry in ways that restauranteurs have likely already felt.
So far, 2016 has seen a massive increase in mobile app usage for ordering and finding restaurants, an increase in loyalty and rewards programs, and even a federal liability shift. It’s a changing world, and more and more, technology drives those changes.
As we look ahead to the rest of 2016, we’ll take you on a tour of some of the top technological innovations that are already having significant effects on restaurants.
A substantial change in 2015 was the successful completion of the EMV liability shift. One of the most effective ways to safeguard against card theft is the use of EMV-enabled chip cards.
Unfortunately, horror stories are already coming out about how EMV chip cards negatively impact consumer experiences. Some payment gateways and checkout systems are difficult to use because they cause frequent delays or hiccups.
However, anyone who swipes a debit or credit card has a responsibility to help prevent stolen and counterfeit card use. To date, one of the strongest PoS systems for use with EMV includes AccuPOS POS software. AccuPOS provides sensible, easy-to-install EMV terminals and lightning-fast verifications.
Watch Out for Servy
In part because of the growing power of customers’ opinions, many savvy restauranteurs are aggressively trying to tackle customer service problems before the restaurants net bad reviews.
One useful tool for minimizing negative feedback is the Servy app. On Servy, crowd-sourced customers can evaluate restaurants by filling out customized forms.
Unlike most other mystery shopper opportunities, Servy only costs between $5 and $30.
Did you know that customers who visit a restaurant on mobile increase their likelihood of visiting in person by 70%? And that’s just the tip of the iceberg where mobile ordering is concerned.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Consumers who use mobile ordering apps are likely to spend more money because they take their time selecting options” quote=”Consumers who use mobile ordering apps are also likely to spend more money because they can take their time selecting options.”]
Restaurants that have access to mobile-friendly ordering systems are consequently apt to net more overall sales. Smartphone engagement is part of the reason why mobile ordering apps of a variety of iterations are sweeping the country. Our pick for the one to watch is Eat24, which partners directly with Yelp.
Yelp itself is an important part of this conversation. Because Yelp allows users to rate local businesses, it’s a convenient way for consumers to vet restaurants and bars. A poor reputation on Yelp can be a business killer, and successful marketing on Yelp can dramatically expand a restaurant’s potential clientele.
Homebase Is Revolutionizing Scheduling
If you hate employee messaging, tip reporting, and shift tracking, then you need Homebase! This clever app and website is a stripped-down, easy-to-learn way to manage those logistics digitally. What’s more, it’s absolutely free.
Another advantage is that Homebase integrates with almost all available PoS systems, from Square to Revel. Business owners and managers can view staff schedules at any time, and the app allows easy shift trading between employees.
Tech developments aren’t just helping restaurants turn a profit more easily. They’re enabling consumers to find what they love, helping managers to keep track of details, improving marketing opportunities, and protecting people from fraud.
While 2015 was a big shake-up year in restaurant tech, owners should keep an eye on the emerging trends of 2016. This year just might blow its predecessor out of the water.
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