As the hospitality industry continues to adapt to changing consumer behavior, mobile interactions have become increasingly important, especially as trends such as curbside service and buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) continue to gain traction. As a result, hospitality brands have had to turn to new and innovative technology solutions to improve the customer experience at the point of sale.
In fact, consumers are comfortable with and expect to be able to use technology to order, pay and earn points and awards at restaurants. Following are some of the mobile trends that will continue to push the industry toward a more mobile and customer-centric future.
Increased mobile POS adoption
There is an accelerated trend towards using tablets and other mobile devices for processing payments and taking orders. This approach not only speeds up the ordering process, but it also allows businesses to collect customer data and feedback that can be used to improve their offerings. As more employees use these mobile devices, the potential for gathering data and using it to improve business practices increases.
Moreover, the adoption of cloud-based mobile POS systems and technology is on the rise. Businesses can use these systems to store and analyze transaction data, gain insights into customer behavior and preferences, and track the performance of services and offerings. These systems are faster and more accurate and powerful than ever, making it easier for businesses to identify patterns and make informed decisions.
Delivery and pick-up demand
When restaurant closures and outdoor-only seating were mandated during the pandemic, consumers became accustomed to contactless and self-service delivery and pick-up options. These mobile solutions helped restaurants grow their service offerings and customer base. For instance, contactless pickup not only made things safter during the height of the pandemic, but also easier for customers – they could place an order in advance and a clearly-labeled receipt on a bag made it easier for them to identify their order and be in and out of somewhere in a matter of seconds.
This trend will continue to grow as we navigate a post-pandemic world. Restaurants that were holding out on these services would be well served to look at offering delivery and pick-up options through partnerships with delivery companies or by using their own staff.
Sustainability is another trend that will become increasingly important in 2023 and beyond, as customers become more concerned with the environment. Food service businesses can leverage smart kitchen appliances and systems to help reduce waste and improve efficiency, while also working with POS technology and service providers that have robust plans in place.
In addition, it’s good to have a pulse on the POS technology and service providers you’re working with, to ensure environmental benefits are top of mind. Aligning with partners and companies that have robust plans and commitments in place – such as paper procurement policies – can be beneficial for the long haul.
The customer experience still reigns supreme for the hospitality industry, and no matter the technology solution, an improved user experience is still the most important thing. Ultimately, restaurants need to offer a complete experience for guests, taking control of the customer journey, and consequently, the technology that drives it. This means carefully shaping an experience from start to finish and making it one that both aligns with, and surpasses, their expectations.
Whether a new mobile check-out kiosk that empowers customers to take control of the pace of their dining experience, or new delivery system that provides ease and flexibility for customers, integrating technology that is easy to learn and easy to use will always be the trend – 2023 or 2073.