Data Evolution & Customer Experience

Conquering Convenience & Consumer Experience

Convenience, customization and quick delivery have conquered consumers expectations in the digital age. Holiday shopping has shifted from long lines and crowded malls to a comfy couch and one click on a smart phone. Packages arrive within days, sometimes even hours, of ordering. Consumers needs have evolved, and their expectations in the food industry are no exception.

In an effort to meet heightened customer needs, the food service industry has found itself in the middle of a digital evolution. PoS systems are appearing in almost every QSR, offering a smart and custom way to process orders. Clover PoS systems make managing food service run smoothly by not only taking orders and accepting payments, but also organizing inventory and managing team members.

Beyond the PoS: Mobile Ordering Apps

As we head deeper into the digital evolution, a PoS system alone is not enough to stay ahead of the technology curve. In 2017, 960 million restaurant visits were paid for with a mobile app. This shows an impressive 50% increase compared to 2016.

QSRs can deepen relationships and customer loyalty by integrating custom branded restaurant apps and websites with PoS systems. A seamless and efficient execution of the brand and its products can benefit both the customers and the company. These new additions in tech create opportunities to connect with and gather data about consumers in a way that has not been possible in the past.  

Consumer Convenience

Hazlnut app

It is not difficult to identify why consumers are adopting apps for their favorite lunch time spots. Apps allow them to order and pay without standing in line, and often find their order ready for pick-up by the time they arrive. Customers also enjoy in-app features that remember previous orders and allow order customization. Understandably, they want more convenient food and a more efficient use of their time.

However, convenience is not the only driving factor in app usage. Many apps offer to opportunity to receive exclusive coupons, loyalty points and notifications of special promotions. Rewarding customers for in-app ordering leads to increased allegiance and positive association.

Marketing Benefits

While QSRs are rising to the technical age to retain customers, PoS and well-branded apps create opportunities for the companies themselves as well. With mobile food ordering apps, restaurants can now sit directly in the hands of consumers, creating a much more intimate marketing delivery. Push notifications can alert users of promotions and specials, or even remind them of their favorite order as lunch time nears.

Once a consumer decides to open the app and order, there is new opportunity for up-selling through custom ordering and prompted add-ons. Apps are often connected to the user’s credit card, creating less hesitation in spending and instead raising ticket averages with just a few clicks.

Data Collection and Efficiency 

mobile ordering

Restaurant ordering technology has opened the door to a wave of data. By analyzing who, when and how often consumers are ordering companies can prepare better than ever before. This data allows them to forecast when they should order certain inventory and to what extent they certain ingredients should be stocked. This optimizes kitchen operations – leading to lower waste of ingredients and cash.

A Digital Evolution

Companies should not fear technology taking away from the personal experience their brand has to offer. Rather, it is time to celebrate the opportunity to add a secondary positive experience for the consumer, and a wealth new tools and data for the business. Optimize your business with an integrated PoS, website and branded app today by Scheduling a Demo with Hazlnut. 

Ready to take your business to the next level? Schedule a demo today

 

The Future of Mobile Ordering for Small Business Owners

Boost Your Business with Mobile Ordering

It’s no secret: starting your own small business takes a lot of bravado. Small business owners are the visionaries – the hard-working risk-takers that are willing to do what it takes to transform their passion into a paycheck. Part of being a successful business owner is staying open-minded and keeping up with the latest trends to satisfy customers’ needs. In a world where consumers have become accustomed to instant gratification and ease-of-use in ordering online, food ordering apps for restaurants are quickly becoming a new consumer standard. 

We Want it Now: Meeting a Growing Demand in a Millennial Market

food ordering apps for restaurants

As consumers become more familiar with online ordering in both retail and culinary trends, food ordering apps for restaurants are quickly becoming the new standard. Business Insider Intelligence Reports find that orders placed by smartphone and mobile apps will become a $38 billion industry by 2020. In just two years, it is projected that these orders will comprise 11 percent of all quick-service restaurants sales.

Now more than ever, millennials are enjoying their meals from home. In fact, when millennials order from restaurants, they’re dining in just 42 percent of what they used to. Data show that millennials are utilizing takeout services 40 percent of the time, and delivery 19 percent of the time, according to a recent study performed by Restaurant Business. As a small business, it is essential to target this growing demographic of diners who seek convenience and quality. 

Branding Wins Big on Mobile

By creating a recognizable, branded ordering app for your business, you are able to insert yourself right where young consumers spend their time: on their mobile phones. The busy modern consumer demands streamlined purchasing, the ability to shop without long lines and an efficient purchasing experience. Food ordering is no different.

By developing a food ordering app for your restaurant, you will require fewer staff to take payment and fill orders. The use of an app can also work to limit long lines and wait times, meaning that you can service more customers per hour and increase your revenue

 

Create Loyalty 

customer loyalty

Not only does the use of a mobile ordering app increase efficiency and productivity, it provides business owners with the ability to connect with their consumers on an intimate level. Loyalty programs can be attached to your ordering app to increase engagement with existing customers, strengthening the bond between business and consumer.

Hazlnut works to create systems that feature the branding elements that attracted your consumers in the first place. These systems work seamlessly with PoS systems like Clover, to allow for mobile ordering while increasing loyalty and providing marketing opportunities.

When creating your unique ordering app with Hazlnut, it’s important to consider your brand’s goals and to tailor your loyalty program accordingly. Thinking about what action you would like your consumers to take will work to promote behaviors that are right for your business. Creating a loyalty system that’s in-brand and features rewards and instructions that are simple and easy to understand will be the most enticing to consumers.  

Ready to take your business to the next level? Schedule a demo today

Restaurants in the Digital Age

Restaurants in the Digital Age

Using Mobile Strategy to Increase Sales

These days, having a digital strategy can make or break a restaurant. While this isn’t always the case, some of the recent studies do seem to confirm where the industry is heading.

At a time when everyone has an app and the internet of things is slowly creeping into every aspect of our lives, some of the larger chains are seeing lots of year over year success with online and mobile ordering. For example:


restaurants digital age

A recent report from NRN, 26% of all Panera Bread Co. sales now come directly from digital ordering. In addition to mobile ordering, they have also installed kiosks which have helped increased same-store sales by 11.5% over the last two years.


Taco Bell has seen the average check size increase by 30% with mobile ordering and is continuing to invest heavily in this area. According to Andy McCraw, digital innovation product manager at Taco Bell, “The majority of our web traffic is mobile-based, so it’s critical that those users have a great experience.” Taco Bell has 3.7 million app downloads, according to the company.


After rolling out mobile ordering, Starbucks quickly discovered that it was not equipped to handle the exponential increase in orders . For this reason, they are now piloting mobile order and pay-only at their Seattle location.


Although, mobile ordering isn’t the end-all be-all for restaurants yet, there is no substitute for good old-fashioned customer service and tasty food. Patrons still actually care about the overall dining experience. That goes from viewing a restaurants website to dining in for lunch.

Yet, the success of some of these restaurants is a good indication that digital ordering should be considered as one of the biggest shifts in the industry since the invention of the drive-thru. Patrons today are much busier and they don’t eat inside as much as they used to. The convenience of pulling out one’s smartphone and placing a quick to-go order will be a requirement for a successful restaurant in 2018 and beyond.

Are You Being Left Behind?

Are You Being Left Behind?

Top 5 Reasons Restaurants Need a Mobile Ordering App

As technology keeps improving and becomes increasingly more ubiquitous, restaurants are turning more frequently to mobile applications (iOS and Android) to enhance the customer experience. Restaurants are creating mobile apps that track loyalty and make menus available.

According to a recent statistic from the Pew Research Center, 40% of U.S. adults have ordered food online. This trend is projected to go even higher in the near future. By 2020, 70% of all foot traffic will be outside of the restaurant. That’s a staggering number.

As technology becomes more powerful, the cost for small businesses to adopt such technologies is becoming increasingly less expensive. Restaurant owners can (now more than ever) take advantage of mobile trends to increase revenues and improve the customer experience.

If that isn’t enough to decide if mobile ordering makes sense, here are a few more reasons to consider:

1. Improved customer experience

With a mobile ordering app, customers have the flexibility to order when they want and where they want. This leads to shorter lines and improves efficiency with the customer buying cycle. Employees will spend less time on the phone taking orders and more time with guests dining in the restaurant.

2. Larger average check size

When customers place orders through their phones, check sizes increase 23% on average compared to their in-store counterparts. Why is this? Seeing a menu in digital form is a lot easier to digest. Not only this the ordering process is much smoother and flows in a much more natural progression. One of the main reasons check sizes are larger, on average, is because ordering apps never forget to upsell the customer. Maybe they wanted that guacamole after all!

3. Increased take-out revenue

Not only are check sizes increasing, but take-out revenue grows on average by 30%. Some restaurants have even seen their take-out revenues double.

4. Customers are connected now more than ever

A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that 8 out of 10 Americans shop online on the web or through their smartphone. In addition, 51% shop exclusively on their phones. This number is only projected to increase as customers become more connected.

5. Improves the ordering process and reduces mistakes

Also, the ability to see and build orders in a mobile app also helps reduce human errors. This in turn increases order accuracy and improves the customers overall satisfaction.

 

5 Key Trends in Mobile Ordering

5 Key Trends in Mobile Ordering

Millennials + Smartphone Apps 

While mobile ordering may seem like a new trend, it’s been fermenting for some time. What once started as order-by-fax is now done almost exclusively by smartphone apps. Most people enjoy the convenience of being able to order at any time, skipping the lines upon arrival, and millennials, especially, have grown up with the internet and apps being as ubiquitous as the fax machine once was.

To get an idea of where the industry is headed, here are some recent statistics about the growing demand of mobile ordering:

94% of millennials already use their smartphone in restaurants, bars, and coffee shops

Millennials are the most connected generation and you would be hard pressed to find one who isn’t connected in some way.So why not put all of that energy to good use at your restaurant? According to a report by Oracle Hospitality, a mere 6% said they would not use their smartphones in a food related establishment.


56% of millennials want to be able to order from their smartphone

According to the same report56% of millennials want to be able to order from their phone and 38% have already ordered takeout/deliver.

This is a trend that continues to climb as technology makes mobile ordering that much more convenient and when available, they will use it.


Millennials eat out 23% more per week than non-millennials

While millennials do eat out way more than baby boomers and Gen-Xers, they are also a healthy bunch who prefer local and fresh restaurants over fast food joints.

And while this demographic visits fast food restaurants more than any other, they won’t recommend it to a friend. Instead, they prefer fast casual much more.


Mobile Ordering is Expected to Become a $38 Billion Industry by 2020

Mobile payments are not only gaining popularity in the retail sector, restaurants (QSR specifically) are also building mobile ordering platforms as a way to increase sales and build stronger relationships with their customers.

While this technology is still relatively new, it is growing and is predicted to become a $38 billion industry by 2020, accounting for 10.7% of total QSR industry sales.


30% Increase in Order Value When Ordered via Mobile

mobile restaurant ordering trends

Some of the bigger chains are seeing enormous ROI when implementing a mobile ordering platform.

For example, Taco Bell sees 30% higher average order values on mobile compared to in-store. In addition, Starbucks is seeing 10% of all purchases increasing company sales.