How the Right Tech Solutions Can Attract Customers to Your Restaurant or Bar

Written by Dan Star

As a restaurant or bar owner, attracting more customers to your business is key. Did you know that the right tech solution could be the answer? 

Innovations in technology have paved the path to easier and more efficient interaction with customers for many businesses. Your restaurant or bar doesn’t need to be the exception. 

The right technology can, and will, attract customers to your restaurant or bar. The keyword here is right. Finding the best technology for your business to attract customers is the most important factor in this equation. 

At Groove Technology Solutions, we know just how much the right tech solution can impact a business and increase its attraction to customers. What is the right tech, however? How can technology solutions be used to better your bottom line? We’ve compiled some of the best ways to incorporate tech and what it does for your restaurant and customers.

Can Technology Really Increase Customer Interest?

Before you go the whole hog on a revamped technology integration for your restaurant or bar, you may ask if this is really something that is going to increase customer interest. The short answer is yes! With advancements in technology, many customers have naturally become accustomed to a certain level of service from a location before they even start a dining experience.

While some technology is used for entertainment, the majority of integration is based on the customer’s need for agency and efficiency in their experience. Finding ways to make the dining experience more interactive and fluid for customers can ensure they have a good time with good food that they can share with friends.

Another way technology can affect you is with ratings and reviews from customers. However, while these are always a matter of concern and something to keep an eye on, it’s imperative that the restaurant or bar customer has a good time on site to prevent bad reviews. Just as a bad experience gets a bad review, a good experience can have your customers glowing online!

Now that we know technology can help attract customers to your business, what is the right tech for your restaurant or bar? What would delight your customers, and what do they expect? There are a few key systems that will help you get your restaurant interest from older and newer generations of diners. 

Touch Screen Technology

Designed for interactivity, touch screen technology can take your dining experience to the next level. This can take many forms within a business, from tablets at the table to kiosks in the front before your guests even sit. It increases the agency of your guests and can have a number of benefits for the restaurant itself. 

Having touchscreens can cut down on overtaxing of your employees as they run from one table to the next to get orders. If you integrate a POS system in your touch screens, it can also reduce the need for cash transactions or removing employees from the floor to handle payments. Finally, using a tablet can be more hygienic as opposed to using old menus!

Integrating touchscreen technology can help you cut down on costs as well as increase your customer interactivity. This means, after the initial cost, you can see ROI quickly, recouping the cost from installation and your customer satisfaction. How can you use this technology in your restaurant or bar?

Seated Ordering & Self Ordering Stations

Self-ordering allows the customer to come in, be seated, and take control of their dining experience first-hand. The two best ways to go about integrating this is at the area at the front through self-ordering kiosks or at the table with touch screen menus and ordering systems. Your restaurant does not need both, allowing you to choose the system that will best fit you.

Many restaurants, such as Panera and Wendys, are moving toward the self-ordering kiosk, allowing customers to choose and pay for their food once they walk in. Some of these early adopters claim that, with a kiosk system, they actually see higher-priced tickets from customers. It’s not stated whether this is due to customer interaction or a cleverly placed upsell system.

The cost factor can be a bit of a drawback, however. Installation and upkeep can get costly depending on the system you choose, so is it worth it? All in all, yes! According to Toasttab, they have received reports that 54% of millennials believe these systems actually improve their guest experience overall. 

Server Tablet Menu

Not ready to eliminate servers from the sale process just yet? Servers play a key role in upselling, customer interaction, and perception of the restaurant. With restaurants and bars being a consistently growing industry, removing them entirely from the point of sale may not be the best for all.

That doesn’t mean you cannot incorporate touch screen technology into the server experience, however. Many restaurants that still rely on a server as the face of their establishment have integrated tablet technology into the experience for point of sale and menu options. This eliminates the need for printed menus and offers a more hygienic ordering solution.

Instead of having to wipe down all of the menus after every use instead, your server can just maintain one tablet and wipe it down after every interaction, a simple task that can be handled on the go. What do diners say about tablets? Well, 61% of diners say that this method improved their experience!

POS Systems

Point of sale systems have come a long way since the cash registers of old. Now, with the advancement of technology, there are so many different ways to capture a purchase, from card readers to complete online transactions. It’s no wonder that, according to MarketMan, the market value of POS terminals is predicted to soar by 2022. 

With the increase in interest for a better dining experience, have you considered updating your POS? With touchscreen systems, you allow your diners to either pay with a few interactive questions or all by themselves at their ordering station. This makes for a far more fluid dining experience!

On the business end of the restaurant, a more modern POS system allows for more streamlined activity. Instead of having a server take an order, deliver the order, receive payment, and process payment, the client handles it all on their own. You can also integrate different systems to allow diners to leave reviews, increasing your brand reputation.

TV & Display Screens

Restaurants are supposed to be a dining experience, not an entertainment experience, right? What if we told you that a restaurant could be both? In fact, 35% of restaurant owners reported to RestaurantBusiness saying that adding TV or displays could add a high-energy atmosphere to their environment. 

Adding TVs does not only include just your standard channels anymore, however. Since their inception, display screens and TVs have been updated in their usage to include many different ways to entertain or engage consumers in many industries. Why not have these systems go to work for your restaurant or bar?

Need help envisioning how you could incorporate these solutions into your restaurant? Never fear: there are a few top ways to use TVs and display screens seamlessly within your business day to day. 

Entertainment Factor

While some restaurant owners say adding a TV can help, there still seem to be many restaurant owners who do not feel the same way. For a long time, a TV with DirectTV or channel selection seemed to be a staple of more bars than diners due to the more laid back and entertainment-focused environment.

When it comes to TV or no TV, you may be surprised to learn that no TV can impact customers staying in your restaurant. As reported by GloriaFood, 57% of millennials choose food delivery over going out so they can enjoy movies and TV shows at home. That is over half of an entire generation that could be dining in.

Why not bring the at-home viewing experience into your restaurant and bar so that customers can stay? While a TV in every booth may not be feasible, catching up on the most popular shows and having a TV play them allows people to sit in longer, allowing for more opportunity on upsells! 

Ease of Ordering Display Menus

Along with updating self-ordering kiosks, many drive-thrus and inside ordering restaurants are opting for Display Screen Menus for their diners to review. Gone are the insert menus of old or the slide letters to indicate what your restaurant’s serving. With these systems come many benefits over old-style menu systems.

  • More legible than older systems, such as inserts, handwritten menus, or slide letter systems.
  • With a simple edit through your menu interface, you can update specials and costs on the fly!
  • Your customers can see all the options, allowing them to customize their order to their liking. This increases customer satisfaction!
  • Clearer reading means faster ordering. Having your options laid out like this makes the waiting process decrease.

Having an easy-to-read and edit interface allows your restaurant staff and your customers to expedite the sales process, going through the line faster. This means more time to process inbound sales and increased revenue from more customers. When you sell out of an item, it takes no time at all to remove it from the menu too!

The biggest draw, however, is the upsell and custom ordering options. The 2020 Drive-Thru study reports that digital menu boards may increase yearly store sales per unit by $16,000! This can also hold true for in-store use as diners can see what is popular that might catch their eye and add it on during their transaction.

Digital Signage

Digital signage is the hottest marketing trend for restaurants and bars, whether stationary or on the go. These systems use display screens and interface programs to let you, the restaurant owner, do it all. From display menus to even creating your own restaurant TV channel, you can connect with your diners and increase the energy of their experience.

The great thing about digital signage is that you can integrate as many screens as you want and simply run the programs off a wired or wireless connection. This means that it’s truly customizable, allowing you to build your brand and system to your brand’s needs. However, where it truly goes above and beyond is advertising.

Do you have a local business your restaurant has partnered with? Have extra room on your digital signage that you’re not sure what to do with? You can use your digital signage to increase revenue by renting spots out to local businesses that your restaurant will then promote. You can even advertise local events that your business may be attending.

Not only does this provide an advertising opportunity, but it can humanize your restaurant or bar to your diners. They can see that you’re a part of your local community and that you care. This creates a connection and can foster returning customers. Returning customers means building trust and, therefore, more revenue.  

Wi-Fi and Internet Options

The world runs on Wi-Fi nowadays. It has become such an integral part of our lives that people expect to find it everywhere and actively look for restaurants that have it. When choosing between restaurants, 41% of diners say that a deciding factor is free Wi-Fi. Why do diners need internet ability while eating?

For some of them, it’s the entertainment value. Posting on social media or checking up on their favorite subjects while waiting to eat can actually distract them from the wait, giving them a better dining experience. For many, during the current climate, it may be to find a way to work while eating. 

Whatever the reason it’s needed for, getting Wi-Fi in your restaurant or bar can increase traffic to your location, even before word of mouth spreads that you have it. Simply alerting potential customers online can make your restaurant the place to be when someone needs food and the internet. 

While it can increase revenue due to repeat customers, new diners, and possible working needs, there are a few drawbacks. It’s imperative that you consider security as a part of your Wi-Fi to prevent possible issues from people who have less than honorable intentions for using your internet connection. A reliable internet provider is just the first step.

Make Sure You Get a Reliable Service

Word of mouth is great when people are bringing diners and customers to you. However, on the opposite side, it can also drive people away. Allowing Wi-Fi in your restaurant or bar is a great way to increase traffic. However, if you have bad Wi-Fi, it can have the opposite effect of what you intend.

People are quick to frown upon locations that claim to have free Wi-Fi, but not a reliable connection. When choosing an internet provider, consider more than just the cost of the system, but the overall reviews of the Wi-Fi provided versus the cost. Some brands will have a low, low cost, but with it comes low, low connectivity.

Contact the local service provider to see what deals they will offer you and if they offer quotes to review. With all of the details, you can make the best decision for your bar or restaurant. Just viewing online may not provide the entirety of the program that you’re looking into.

With a reliable connection, diners will flock to your doors. Make sure you take your time. While it may seem like an imperative, there’s a lot to consider when integrating Wi-Fi into your establishment. Getting the best deal, connectivity, and security for your patrons are your top priorities. 

Get the Right Tech Solutions from Groove Technology Solutions 

These right tech solutions are on the rise in the restaurant and bar industry. Incorporating them into your restaurant can increase your customers’ experiences and your revenue. While initial costs may seem high, you can expect a fast return on investment as your customers glow about your restaurant or bar’s modern amenities. 

For over a decade, Groove Technology Solutions has been providing the right technology solutions for hospitality-based industries, such as restaurants and bars. We work to provide you with quality systems that will help your business flourish. Our solutions-oriented team comprises professionals who seek to provide you with the best for your needs.

Not only do we provide DirectTV for commercial establishments, but a number of other technologies, including digital signage and Wi-Fi solutions. When you choose us, we listen to your budget, concerns, and needs, building a program that keeps solutions in mind that will work for you. Our team provides you with excellent, friendly service, which sets us apart from the rest. 

Not sure if we provide service in your area? Groove Technology Solutions provides service across all 50 states to provide the best service. With the goal of providing the best technology and service for every client, we’re always available to get started on your service. Request a quote today by contacting our friendly technicians regarding your restaurant or bar technology needs.