technology

When restaurant technology goes wrong

So much technology has emerged to make life easier for restaurateurs, but often once you’ve embraced innovation, it becomes something you rely on. What happens when those tools fail, there’s a glitch, or they don’t do what they are supposed to do? Technology is not foolproof, so operators need a strategy to address any issues that arise to avoid negative guest experiences and damaging their brand.

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Know the tech

Studies show that 41 per cent of digital brands do not know how customers are using their apps. Glitches can happen but if you are not familiar enough with the platform your best guests are using (and how they are using it), you risk not being able to identify the source or find a solution before you lose business. Determine which customers are being affected by the issue and then set about finding a fix for the specific concern to provide the service they need.

Integrate your systems

Often, as operators update their tech tools, it looks like a patchwork of varying solutions that may not always operate seamlessly together. From loyalty apps to mobile ordering platforms to on-site kiosks, there are many tools that restaurants can implement to simplify the lives of their customers and staff, but that can be confusing and frustrating if they aren’t operating efficiently together.  Building a tech stack that’s interconnected not only allows the systems to work together, but also means that operators can customize the tech to their needs to address budget, service, and efficiency. Integrated systems also offer an opportunity to create a consistent brand, cross-market from platform to platform, and may even elevate value in your customers’ eyes.

React quickly

Arm your team with the information they need when things go awry. For example, if your online ordering is down, it’s likely your phones will start ringing. Communicate the issue to your staff so they can be ready to handle complaints and equipped for the increased phone calls to deliver on your guest expectations. Technology is designed to add efficiency and reduce stress on labour, but operators need to be prepared to rely on their human teams, should there be an issue. “If you’re implementing these technologies, be sure that there are ways of human intervention,” advises Rich Shank, senior principal and VP of innovation at Technomic. Troubleshooting and customer service go hand in hand, so prepare your teams in the best way you can to mitigate the damage when an issue arises.

Technology has evolved to help restaurateurs better serve their guests and simplify their day-to-day lives while raising revenues. However, getting to know the tools, working together, and training your team will simplify solutions when things don’t go as planned.