August,29/2019

Innovative Ways Today's Restaurants Accommodate Guests

Businesses are striving to provide personalized guest experiences as it’s becoming more and more expected by restaurant and bar goers today. McDonald’s even spent $300 million on acquiring the “decision logic” tech company, Dynamic Yield—which specializes in suggesting offers to people based on previous purchases. It was their biggest acquisition in 20 years and it’s definitely a sign of where the burger giant’s priorities are.

Of course, most restaurants aren’t going to invest millions of dollars in high-tech acquisitions any time soon—but that’s not stopping both independents and chains alike from focusing on personalizing their guest experiences. All it takes is some creativity and passion for outside-the-box thinking to come up with some pretty brilliant ways to accommodate guests.

Today we’re looking at just a few interesting and innovative ways that restaurants are accommodating guests’ needs and personalizing their experiences.

1. Sustainability

The food and beverage industry’s (literally) dirty secret is no longer undisclosed—there is a lot of waste in restaurants. 11.4 million tons of food waste is produced annually from the restaurant industry, according to a report by ReFED.

With the growing environmental concerns of today, consumers are making it clearer than ever that they value businesses that take strides to lessen their impact on the climate crises. From cardboard straws to bringing your own reusable container, many of us have heard of the incremental changes some businesses are adapting—but what if people just ate garbage?

Believe it or not, that was the concept behind one New York City popup in 2015. It was called “wastED” and its large variety of menu items were composed entirely creative uses for food waste.

One journalist from the publication Salon visited and enjoyed “salad salvaged from a large-scale food processor; bagels and lox made from the dark part of salmon, with seasonings scooped from the bottom of an everything bagel bin; fried skate-wing cartilage; a meaty fish collar; and…a burger crafted from the pulp left over from a cold-pressed juice shop.”

While wastED may have worked more as an artistic statement than a viable restaurant concept, it did manage to highlight people’s environmental consciousness in the industry in an engaging way.

2. Personalized Video Greetings

Video screens can all-too-often be under-used in restaurants, even in this age where digital video is dominating the entertainment and advertising space. It’s common to see TVs in a venue, but so many are doing the same, boring thing: muted network programming.

Savvy restaurateurs who are highly focused on guest experience have stopped wasting their screens and found ways to exceed customer expectations with them. With the right software, they’re able to create a personal greeting to whomever has come in. Whether they’re celebrating a birthday or the business just wants to thank them for visiting, Control Play allows for a quick message to be typed in and scroll across the screens used at the venue.

It’s almost a surreal feeling when you don’t expect it. One moment you’re seated at a table with friends, then you notice your names scrolling across the screens in your section. But these little moments matter, especially in an age when personalization is such a key element to guest experience.

3. Instagram Kits

Social media has become an increasingly integral part of any restaurant marketing strategy. One highly effective method in these efforts is to have customers, in a sense, brag about the fact that they’re engaging with your brand. When someone takes a picture of their dinner to post on Twitter or Instagram, for example, this is known as “User Generated Content,” or UGC.

One restaurant based out of London England embraces UGC so fully that they actually provide “Instagram Kits” to their customers. Upon entry, guests can receive tools to get the best shot of their food possible, including a portable LED light, tripod, and multi-device charger among others.

The result is that they’re not only receiving a free ad boost from their guests’ social media pages, but they’re also seen as modern, trendy, and relevant to young adult guest experiences.

 

Innovation is a key factor in maintaining your business. Figuring out what your guests love and catering to it can help your efforts of creating personalized experiences they won’t forget.

If you’ve decided your venue could use an upgrade to differentiate the experience from the competition, Control Play can help. Interested in personalized messaging, custom playlists, music videos, and/or dynamic digital signage? Talk with one of our Business Development Executives today!

 

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Kevin Avram

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