As a savvy Pittsburgh restaurant owner, you’ve got to keep the customer in mind at all times. Although you and your staff understand why wait times can easily add up and the kitchen backs up, all your customers care about is getting in their seats and getting their drinks and hot meals. Think about your own experiences as a customer in a restaurant. You probably don’t like to wait around in a crowded lobby, either, right?
Here’s how you can use the latest and greatest technology in the restaurant business to think like your customers and stay ahead of wait times and unhappy crowds while maximizing your profit.
Technology Is on Your Side
Like it or not, technology is changing nearly every aspect of our daily lives, and waiting in line for a restaurant is certainly one of them. So why not use these smartphone applications to your advantage and fill empty tables while keeping your customers happy and coming back? As an added bonus, many of these apps will also list your restaurant under various categories so that those looking for your “type” of food or drink can easily find you and instantly book a reservation.
If you have been thinking about signing up with such a service, take a look at some of the most popular options out there and see which ones might be worth investing in.
1. Open Table
OpenTable lets guests reserve their spot in line at your restaurant from wherever they’re currently located. Those who are nearby and looking for a new spot for food and drinks can also search for your restaurant based on location, as well as particular types of fare that they’re looking for.
As an added bonus, OpenTable rewards diners with points that they can use toward their next meal out.
Similar to OpenTable, Nowait, which has recently been acquired by Yelp, lets guests make reservations at your restaurant from their smartphone or tablet. On the management side of the app, you’ll have access to important data about your customers and their dining habits, as well as receive helpful guest feedback about their overall experience.
3. Zomato (formerly Urbanspoon)
Zomato, is an app that allows potential customers to search for restaurants that offer a particular type of food or drink in a chosen location. Registering your business with this service can help you to draw in more customers that you might not otherwise attract.
With the current trend to eat smarter and healthier, Tastefull can help you to attract new customers based on their unique dietary needs. This app can be an excellent investment if your restaurant features vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free menu items.
5. Happy Hour Finder
Happy Hour Finder does just what it says: lets customers find the nearest Happy Hours, wherever they are. As you well know, liquor, beer, and wine sales account for a large portion of every bar and restaurant owner’s profits, so getting the word out about your Happy Hours and weekly specials can be huge for any business.
The Bottom Line
Even if you don’t consider yourself “tech savvy,” your business can easily benefit from taking a little time to research and invest in one or more of these applications. Of course, you’ll always have the restaurant-goers who will do things the old-fashioned way and patiently wait for a table, but with today’s fast-paced, instant-gratification mentality, the number of guests who are willing to do this is quickly dwindling.
Instead of turning off customers by long waits and backed-up service, stay ahead of the game by investing in the latest restaurant technology that will benefit both your customers and your bottom line.