Going to a restaurant isn’t solely about eating; it’s an experience. It’s about spending quality time with friends and family or commemorating special occasions.
For many people some restaurants become the focal point of long lasting traditions, from celebrating anniversaries and birthdays, to catching up with longstanding friendship groups, restaurants can oftentimes feel like a home from home.
Jon Knight, Chief Executive, Leisure and Concessions at The Restaurant Group, says, “I think everyone’s life’s changed over the last 12 months and I think with the cost of living crisis and prices rising all the time, I think it’s incumbent on us as hospitality operators to make sure that when customers do come in to our restaurants, that we give them the treat they so richly deserve, that we listen to them, we serve them great food, we give them great service, all in an environment that’s relaxed and friendly.”
But as the cost of living and interest rates continue to rise, it’s having a direct impact on consumers’ disposable income, and the hospitality industry is feeling the strain.
Restaurants across the UK are having to balance the highest ever inflation rates since 1981, with a significant decrease in customer spending, along with ever increasing energy costs. According to The Caterer, in the last quarter of 2022, “504 restaurant companies entered insolvency, an 11% rise compared to the previous quarter. The last three quarters have all been the worst on record for UK restaurant company insolvencies, with 396, 453 and 504 insolvencies, respectively.”
Leveraging digital innovations for restaurant success
If restaurants want a chance of surviving this challenging period, digital innovation in customer service is a tool they must have in their arsenal.
By leveraging digital solutions, including customer experience management software, reputation management services and providing immersible digital experiences at every table, restaurants can adapt to the changing economic landscape, boost efficiency, and deliver exceptional customer service.
The restaurants who not only succeed but thrive in this digital transformation will be those who understand their customers’ wants and needs through the use of data analytics and deliver personalised experiences moving forward.
And we’re seeing this across the board – a report by Square revealed that restaurants are, ‘redefining the scope of their operations, to give diners reason to engage with them. They’re becoming multi-hyphenate businesses.’
Their research had also shown that their desire to diversify isn’t driven by one specific cause and effect, but several. 44% of respondents stated that they were diversifying to keep up with competitors, and 40% admitted they were doing so to meet customer interest.
Using customer feedback to drive continuous improvement
The saying goes, “The first step in exceeding your customer’s expectations is to know those expectations.” and it’s true. If restaurant brands want to deliver an exceptional dining experience, they need to understand their strengths and weaknesses at every level of their operation and use this to improve.
When restaurants harness the power of customer data and analysis, they have a wealth of valuable insights at their fingertips. From customer preferences, to behaviours and patterns, right down to meal performance and service times, they can make data-driven decisions that results in improved operational efficiency, enhanced customer satisfaction and ultimately puts them ahead in a highly competitive industry.
Digital transformation with Yumpingo
Collecting and analysing this goldmine of insight doesn’t have to disrupt operations either. In fact, it can be done through a turnkey solution that helps restaurant brands make impactful decisions across the company, relentlessly raising the bar.
At Yumpingo, we’ve been empowering hospitality teams to make high-impact, intuitive decisions with certainty since 2016.
Through our intuitive customer experience management platform, we capture customer sentiment on all on-premise, delivery, and off-premise orders via a QR code, post-dine email, or Yumpingo device, making the most of every customer interaction.
This is done through short, succinct surveys that enable us to gather feedback at scale. Our customer experience management platform integrates with the restaurant’s Point of Sale, ensuring transparent data sharing across every level of the business, from front of house, straight through to head office. This insight is then transformed into Smart Actions that instruct teams on the specific measures to take to solve critical food, drink, and service execution issues.
Empowering global brands
After Hickory’s Smokehouse partnered with us, their online reputation scores climbed from 4.3 to 4.7 stars, and their net Net Promoter Score (NPS) increased by 14 points, resulting in 11% more happy guests.
In tandem, the restaurant chain had seen a direct link between NPS and sales growth. Yumpingo gave them the confidence and data needed to improve their customer journey, menus, and training, all aligning with customer expectations. Check out more of our case studies here.
The future of customer experience
The restaurant industry has witnessed a significant shift, with establishments redefining the scope of their operations and implementing multiple touch points. To keep up with competitors and meet customer interests, diversification and digitalisation has become a crucial strategy. However, the true power lies in understanding and exceeding customer expectations.
In this era of digital transformation, restaurants must seize the opportunity to embrace innovation, leverage data, and provide exceptional experiences.
By partnering with Yumpingo and embracing customer experience management, they can navigate the challenging landscape, exceed expectations, and emerge as industry leaders. Together, we can redefine the future of the restaurant industry and deliver extraordinary dining experiences for years to come.
Get in touch with Yumpingo today to see how we can help you start implementing a customer experience management platform into your business to help you better embrace digitisation in the hospitality industry.