Restaurant Business shared “50 Great Ideas” for restaurants, fast casual and QSRs to differentiate themselves, improve the customer experience and generally be more successful.The list features tactics from simple to complex, from practical to highly innovative, that restaurants have implemented to give themselves an edge. The list merits a few minutes of your time and is certain to spark some creativity and get you thinking about steps to take in 2020 to advance your restaurant business and keep diners coming back for more.
At a more strategic level, when we evaluated the list, we saw 4 key categories of action that point to fundamental priorities for successful restaurants as they enter a new decade and a new era of diners and competition.
Use these categories to identify the aspects of your restaurant business that need the most attention and then brainstorm your own creative tactics to achieve the desired objective.
ENGAGEMENT – Whether it’s engaging diners through new offerings to meet ever-changing needs and lifestyles, or opening the lines of communication via social media, restaurants are experimenting with new ways to connect with diners. Diner engagement is critical to long-term success by making your restaurant stand out as a good solution to their dining needs. Whether accomplished through new offerings, interactive technologies or other tactics, engagement is key.
EXPERIENCE – The customer experience is the heart of loyalty and lifetime value. The dining experience can be heightened through interactive, through convenience, value-added service or connection based on the causes championed by the brand. In today’s day and age, consumers desire an emotional connection with brands. Restaurants can use a myriad of tools and tactics to deliver a meaningful, valuable experience to diners with every visit.
EMPLOYEES – A significant number of ideas on the list are dedicated to recruiting and retaining talent. In an economic climate where labor is tight and turnover is high, investments in training, supporting and retaining employees are critical to long-term success and the ability to deliver a great customer experience to diners. It’s important to be savvy about where human interaction is most valuable versus where automation can take over for speed and convenience. Cracking the code on attracting, retaining and leveraging talent is a priority moving into 2020.
EFFICIENCY – From automation in the back of the house to reduce wait times, to smaller, tech-filled kitchens, efficiency unlocks cost savings. With new technologies available, from robotics to interactive kiosks and IoT, restaurants have a plethora of technologies to choose from to automate and streamline processes. The tough part is effectively identifying where to apply those technologies for a strong ROI and most relevant results to the customer.
In 2020, we’ll be sharing more information here about the latest, greatest technologies and how they are being used in real-world scenarios. Check back for more great insights.