You can’t rely on people to have the money to buy houses. You probably couldn’t even force them to pay for membership in a gym to get fit. But you know the one they’ll willingly spend money on? It’s food. Because we can live without most things, but we can’t get hungry all the time.
Indeed, the food & beverage (F&B) industry has historically proven to be one of the most reliable industries in the world. Said to be growing at 5% a year, F&Bs have also proven to be resilient by incorporating new trends that younger generations of eaters are accustomed to.
Of course, it won’t come as a surprise that one of those “new trends” intersect a lot with the newest technologies of the day. Think about this for a moment: could we have enjoyed fried chicken in a fast food joint today if not for the mechanized advances of the last century?
Today, however, it’s absolutely necessary for F&Bs to incorporate automation processes in how they operate, partly because of increasing consumer demands, but more so because today’s consumers are now living in an “on-demand” era. Same with the music or movies that we can access at the tip of our fingers, hungry customers also expect the same for their food providers.
Thankfully, “automating” something as innately human as food is now easier than before, thanks to the digital advances we have made so far. Whether it’s to deliver products quicker or to reach more customers easily, these automation techniques below will surely help you in running your F&B empire in the making!
Online ordering is, without a doubt, one of the most common forms of automation that both large restaurants and mom-and-pops outlets have been using for some time now. Really, it shouldn’t be surprising that this took off: unlike taking orders through, say, a phone call or a text message where lapses in communication is almost always bound to happen, having customers choose what they order online and have it beamed back to them is a simple way of making them accountable through the choices they make.
While the easiest way to take online orders is through social media, you can have it automated through a website, if you have one.
While you can set up a website that should work precisely for the sake of taking orders, you might consider investing on a mobile app, if only for the fact that it gives your brand a direct pipeline to your customer’s smartphone once they get to downloading it.
Having a mobile app isn’t just for giving customers a platform for orders, of course; this would work as an effective marketing tool for you to broadcast any new products or deals you might have going on at the moment. If you’re planning to devise a rewards or loyalty program, doing so via a mobile app isn’t a bad way to do it.
One benefit of having a mobile app is how it also allows you to track customer behavior. This is business analytics, which you can also do if you prefer to do ordering on your website. Want to know what the most ordered product is? What time are your customers using the app to order food?
Automated POS System
The Point Of Sale (or POS) system is as old as the concept of selling itself… though, of course, it’s only in the modern times where it was given a term that defines this system. Basically, if you’ve ever paid for anything and was issued a receipt as proof that you bought something, then that’s the most basic example of a POS system anyone would have been familiar with.
Of course, POS systems have begun moving away from the cashier for the past twenty years, as evidenced by the self-checkout system and the price scanner. Even better, there are more innovative examples you can glean from any restaurants that are using their own automated POS systems!
Automated POS systems can work through little whiz-bang innovations, like the touch-sensitive e-menus on restaurants; or for when drawing up inventory and automatically connecting with your supplier to refresh it; or even for upselling other items or services by simply keeping track of what a customer ordered and then suggesting something that they might like.
So, what kind of automation do you want to see for your business? Email us and let us know what you want for your business.