Here are some tasty facts for you to chew on:
- Off-premise restaurant sales are surging.
- 46% of diners are eating OUTSIDE of restaurants.
- Pickup is growing at 4x the rate of delivery!
In other words, if you’re not focusing on takeout and to-go, you should be.
We know, we know… this part of the restaurant business can be such a hassle. But the fact is, if you’re listening carefully, the guest has spoken. Restaurant takeout and to-go is not only here to stay, the demand for these services will continue to grow. Thanks to things like streaming services, consumers are more frequently enjoying entertainment at home instead of going out. Not to mention, takeout is both less costly and more convenient for those on-the-go, so it’s no wonder it’s on the rise.
Thankfully there’s now enough data around the restaurant industry to help you finally create a flawless takeout/to-go experience for you and your customers. And as you may have guessed, utilizing new technologies is at the heart of it.
In many cases it’s a matter of evolving/enhancing your current capabilities and knowledge. For example, one area demanding a great deal of attention is reducing pick-up wait times. According to this source, 95 percent of consumers indicated that having their order ready on time is the most important aspect of using an in-store pickup feature. We also know that customers who wait less than two minutes for their takeout order are four times more likely to return. Dedicating adequate resources to ensure that the pickup experience is as quick and smooth as possible for the customer should be a top priority for restaurants. Enter Flybuy Pickup.
In short, Flybuy automates the curbside delivery and in-store pickup processes for customers and employees by tracking customers as they drive to your location, enter the property, and park in the lot. If you do not have designated parking spots for curbside pickup, it’s no problem. Flybuy can transform your entire parking lot into serviceable spaces for orders on-the-go by creating virtual pickup zones. Armed with constant automated location updates, your team can prioritize and fulfill orders based specifically on arrival. This enables you to have orders ready and waiting as customers pull up, resulting in zero wait time. Even better, the customer does not have to lift a finger, as the entire process is automated, which creates a completely frictionless takeout/to-go experience.
There are some things you need to consider to make new technologies like Flybuy Pickup work successfully. Here are some bite-sized tips:
To make new technologies thrive in your restaurant, you must take time to train your staff. After all, they’ll be the ones on the front line using the new tech you implement and educating customers on how to opt in to the service.
Additionally, explain to your staff WHY this is going to help them. How will it make their job easier? How will they benefit from it? This, more than anything else, will get your team’s buy-in, which is critical to successfully integrating new technologies into your restaurant.
Know you don’t have to dive in headfirst when rolling out new technologies in your restaurant. It’s ok to take baby steps like introducing the new technology to a handful of stores before a complete rollout.
It can also be scary to jump into a new technology that must be integrated with your app. Flybuy has a “walk, crawl, run” program where you can first use the Flybuy app to do live testing with real customers before any sort of app integration.
In order to make sure any new technology succeeds in your restaurant – specifically technology intended to improve the customer experience – you must tell your customers about it.
First and foremost, it’s really important to let customers know something new is available that will both enhance their experience and benefit them moving forward. To do this, use various modes of communication – from in-store signage, to email blasts, to flyers.
Privacy is also a top-of-mind topic that’s important to customers. They are often willing to give away some information about themselves… if it benefits them. So asking for their location without telling them WHY is not a good tactic. However, if you tell them you would like to track their location in order to have their order ready and waiting for them at their time of arrival…bingo! Also, customers are more likely to share their location with the restaurant when location permissions are set to “only while using the app” vs “always allow.”
Don’t forget about incentives! Many restaurants offer freebies in exchange for using their new technology for the first time. Once a customer tries it and has a positive experience, they are very likely to use it again and again.
Before they know it, these additions become just a natural part of doing business with you. New technologies quickly go from being surprising to being expected. So be prepared to listen to what your customers want and act fast to embrace new technology, or you will quickly be left behind by your competitors.