Popmenu asked 374 restaurant owners/operators across the U.S. to identify the most time-consuming tasks they wish they could hire someone for. The top three answers? Managing marketing, answering phones and coordinating third-party deliveries. In this article, we’ll tell you how technology can serve as an extension of your team—working 24/7, 365 and empowering you to get back to what you love.
With a limited labor force, it can be difficult to attend to on-premise guests while answering the phone, often resulting in lost opportunities to help guests place an order or make a reservation. If you do have enough staff to answer the phones, it’s likely they’re inundated with diners looking for information that could have easily been found by looking online. That’s why many restaurateurs have implemented phone answering technology.
Phone answering systems, like Popmenu A.I. Answering, use A.I. technology to pull answers to common questions—like ‘where are you located’ and ‘what are your hours’—from restaurant’s website and Google Business Profile to automatically give guests the information they’re looking for. You can also include custom responses to questions, providing an opportunity to consistently promote events or dishes that your employees may forget about when helping guests. Answering technology can also send diners links to place an online order or make a reservation, earning some restaurants as much as $41k in three months through booked reservations.
Third-Party Order Aggregation
Third-party online ordering apps play a large role in helping restaurants capture online ordering revenue, but it can easily become overwhelming to manage multiple ordering platforms. This can cause delays when accepting orders and mistakes when inputting orders to your POS. Fortunately, third-party order aggregators can resolve these problems and more.
Tools like OrderNerd remove the headache of order management by bringing all of the third-party marketplaces into one app so restaurants can manage orders from a single tablet. They automatically accept and print orders while injecting them into specific POS systems, removing the human error that can come with balancing many platforms. Finally, third-party order aggregators can generate a single sales report, creating better insight into revenue from online ordering and making it easier to balance the books.
Your website can, and should, be used as a marketing tool. After all, since 90% of guests research a restaurant before dining, shouldn’t your website be easy to find? Technology can support your restaurant’s website and help drive it higher on search results pages.
Google ‘likes’ websites that are constantly updated, so dynamic, interactive online menus are one of the easiest ways to keep your website connected to relevant search queries. With an interactive menu, every dish gets a unique URL, expanding the number of pages guests can find when looking for food near them. Diners can also interact with dishes by liking them or leaving a review—all of which count as an update to the website which tells Google there is new and important information available on the page. To learn more about how having a website built for restaurants with search engines in mind can benefit your business, check out our client story with Master Pizza.
Email & Text
Email and text continue to be some of the best ways to connect with guests, as restaurants see an average email open rate of 20% and texts have an average open rate of 98%. However, sending personalized communications to a large list of diners is time-consuming and it can be difficult to know the perfect time to send the right message. That’s where smart messages can make a big difference for restaurant owners.
Smart messages use guests’ contact information and behavior on your website to send perfectly-timed messages. Asking guests to leave a review after an online order, sending them a special offer or birthday email, or notifying them that a dish they love has returned to the menu are just a few examples of how the tool connects diners to your restaurant without any lift from your team. Worried about being able to grow a list of contacts for smart messages to use? Check out our blog post on the best ways to grow and use a restaurant email list.
Considering nearly half of consumers have tried a restaurant for the first time because of a social media post, it’s clear why social media is a pivotal piece to a restaurant’s marketing strategy. But finding the time to share a picture of your food on Instagram just before lunch hour or remembering to post about an upcoming event on Facebook can be difficult while you’re busy running your restaurant. That’s where social media management tools can be helpful.
Social media tools let you decide when posts go up and what platforms they are shared on so you can schedule communications in advance. If the tech connects to your website, you can easily create content by sharing pictures of dishes with links to your menu or by highlighting upcoming events, pulling them directly from your calendar. Check out our guide covering social media best practices for restaurants to learn other ways to get more from your social channels.
While all of the technology mentioned above are available as point solutions, Popmenu is the only place where you can get everything in one platform, for one price. We built the platform using feedback from restaurant owners all over the country to create the ultimate suite of time-saving technology that handles all of your tedious day-to-day tasks, enabling you to get back to doing more of what you love. Interested in learning more? Schedule a demo today!