The Dream E-Commerce Infrastructure For Restaurants
31st January 2023
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This blog is part one of a three-part series where we aim to support you in building the dream e-commerce infrastructure in your hospitality business.
The Dream E-Commerce Infrastructure For Restaurants
Restaurants have had to install technology to service an ever-changing customer journey in recent years.
During the pandemic, to operate, restaurants had to react, so they brought new ways of reaching customers.
Installing online shops, Order & Pay at Table & gift vouchers to enable online income.
Restaurant groups may have purchased three, four, five, or more technology solutions during this time which can create a disjointed experience when moving from one platform to another for the guest.
It is also challenging for both operations and marketing departments to manage.
This is a common problem that many brands face, especially in the restaurant industry. The best solution to this problem is to have a single, integrated platform that services your e-commerce solution.
How to integrate E-Commerce into your hospitality business.
We recommend taking these next steps as you build your dream e-commerce infrastructure.
- Stand on the shoulders of giants. Look at what the industry leaders are using & the competitive benefits they have.
- Next, you’ll need stakeholder or senior leadership buy-in. So how do you go about obtaining that buy-in?
- Create a presentation. Highlight the benefits that will enhance both revenue and operations.
- Lead with the data. Consider what both finance & operations will expect as a return on investment.
- Find quick wins. New revenue streams that need little operational intervention, such as gift vouchers or an online shop.
- Think about event ticketing. Events give you structure & time to plan what events you want to do and how your brand can influence the events. A simple way to introduce new guests and a new revenue stream.
- Stay in touch – Provide evidence along the way and ensure you are hitting your goals.
- Plan for roll out – Consider the operational barriers you may have to overcome. Then, get Operational buy-in and hold hands until the conclusion.
While easy to write about this e-commerce infrastructure, what does this look like for your brand? Well, we are here to help.
We created the below diagram to help Marketers build a case for e-commerce. It is intended for you to show your peers, leadership team, Board of Directors or key stakeholders to enable them to better understand how e-commerce fits within a restaurant. You can download a PDF of the diagram from the top of the article.
Your restaurant exists to serve your guests.
Your digital infrastructure exists to ensure your guests can have the same experience but in a digital footprint.
So let’s break down the dream digital infrastructure to help you understand the benefits.
It is essential to ensure your EPOS and CRM systems are integrated with your e-commerce products to allow for more streamlined operations.
Integrating these systems allows for real-time data sharing and eliminates manual data entry, which can lead to errors.
This improves accuracy and enables staff to make more informed decisions.
Additionally, it allows for better tracking of your customer spend history, which can then be used to personalise the customer experience.
Finally, integration can save costs by reducing the need for extra hardware or software.
Your website is so much more than a virtual shop window.
Your website can enable table bookings, event bookings, collection & delivery, the sale of gift vouchers & of course, your online shop.
Think of these touch points as data buckets, all in one place and all adding to building detail around customer spending habits.
This enables you to build personalisation for every one of your customers.
It is also vital to understand that if you don’t have an online shop, don’t run events, or offer gift vouchers you are leaving money on the table.
Technology is an enabler and can elevate your business with new revenue streams and new opportunities.
Capturing data within your physical restaurant is also crucial.
Here we can capture and activate rich data that will bring your loyal customers back again and again.
Customers can now engage with different touch points. Ordering & paying for their food through Kiosks, ordering and paying at table, or paying at table.
The opportunity for capturing actual customer spend data using Order & Pay at Table can drive long-term loyalty.
So what kind of outcomes of building your new dream e-commerce infrastructure can you expect?
Well, here are just five of the levers you can pull as a marketer.
- New revenue streams – such as Ticketed events, online shop, gift vouchers & e-commerce products
- New opportunities to develop your brand – DJ nights, wine dinners, pasta-making classes, new guests connecting with your brand
- Manageable setup via one provider – A smoother customer journey and streamlined operations.
- Collect actual customer spending data -Understanding your customers will drive both trial & frequency
- A long-term CRM strategy – Understanding your guest, their spending behaviour & driving loyalty that sticks.
Ultimately the hospitality market is saturated and highly competitive. Therefore, your marketing efforts must focus on new opportunities to generate revenue, improve your customer experience, and drive loyalty.
Hopefully, this article has provided insight into how to achieve the above and manage it practically, and profitably.
You just need your dream e-commerce infrastructure, all in one place.