Technology Isn’t Destroying Engagement

There has been much discussion surrounding whether the introduction of technology in restaurants is actually positive. Many claim that using tablets or computers when taking orders lessens the need for human interaction and removes the traditional authenticity of eating out as a form of social escapism. However there are many who disagree and it doesn’t take long to find numerous people championing technology within the industry.

After all the research and work we have done for those working within restaurants, QSRs and fast-casual dining, it is difficult not to see how technology and IT solutions enhance their working environment.

In this day and age, almost all eateries will have an electronic POS. Gone are the days of noisy cash drawers and difficult calculations. EPOS provides a quick and easy service that fully favours the industry, easing working life for all involved with no disruption to human interaction.

While self-serve machines and ordering through tablets may appear as though it removes the human interaction aspect of dining out, we thoroughly disagree. Collecting information about the customer within a digital database allows us to listen, grow and learn what the customer really wants.

By analysing behavioural data, restaurant owners can engage with their customers on a deeper level than ever before. Being able to predict or prioritise customer needs means that they feel like they’re receiving a personalised service every time they dine. While good servers of old may remember regular customers eating habits, it would be near impossible to have new and relevant data at their fingertips – no matter how good their memory is!

Not only do we get to learn more about the customer but the customer can now find out more about the restaurant. With the use of mobile apps and websites, they have nutritional information, calories and values at their fingertips. They have more details than ever about the restaurant, the food it serves and the people behind it.

This means that without even having to meet, consumer and restaurant know more about each other than previously possible. And while this may sound counterproductive (why speak to the customer if we can already predict what they’re going to order?) we believe it opens the door to varying levels of engagement and interaction between customer and restaurant.

A two-way feedback stream is only one major benefit. Getting to know what items work, what doesn’t and why allows the restaurant to create a space within which the customer is already engaged before they even step through the door.

Technology is quickly becoming integral to human existence and many continue to lambaste it as ruining the authenticity of human engagement. This isn’t necessarily true. Certainly, it is changing the way we interact with one another and altering how we engage but to shun it completely in a world in which technology is becoming so intrinsic would be madness.

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