Customers’ top 5 hospitality frustrations and the tech that can fix them

In a cost-of-living crisis, consumers want their pounds and pennies to work hard for them, and so expectations are raised when it comes to going out for a drink or a meal. We wanted to find out what the top frustrations are for consumers when it comes to hospitality visits, to help our customers identify the issues and work out how to solve them – or prevent them from happening in the first place.

Our most recent GO Technology survey in partnership with CGA by NIQ, found that, when asked what the top five bugbears are, the following reasons came out on top:

  1. A long wait for food and drink (91%)
  2. Hot food served cold (91%)
  3. Broken promises on a special deal/loyalty discount (88%)
  4. Food served at different times (87%)
  5. Waiting for their table to become available (86%)

The good news is that there are many ways tech can help operators tackle these issues and other common issues – read on to find out more…

Implement a range of digital ordering and payment methods

Waiting a long time for food and drink to arrive is one of consumers’ biggest bug bears but using tech to bring ordering and payment to customers is a great, simple solution to combat this frustration.

Providing the option for customers to order via an app online. or having handheld ordering devices for staff to take customer orders on, can help speed up service and make your operations much more efficient. Not only do these alternative ordering methods remove the need for customers to wait to be served in the case of apps or online ordering, but staff are not required to walk back to the main POS to re-key order information in,  which saves time and reduces the risk of mistakes being made.

Leverage digital kitchen management tools

Having a digital kitchen management system helps streamline processes for front- and back-of-house staff which will result in a better experience for the customer – and reduce the risk of hot food turning up cold or food being served at different times.

With kitchen management systems like Zonal’s Kitchen iQ, every order is automatically passed through to the kitchen for fulfilment and electronically displayed on a screen, showing each member of the team what to work on and what their next task will be. The order status is also available to front-of-house staff, allowing them to update customers if necessary. Tracking and managing orders in this way can also help teams manage their workload, as well as reduce and even avoid bottlenecks. For businesses with multiple sales channels, such as delivery or click and collect, kitchen management tech can also provide kitchen staff with complete sight of which channels an order has come from to ensure they pick up orders at the right time.

With a streamlined back-of-house, you’ll also be improving speed of service, enabling you to turn tables faster.

Prioritise digital loyalty schemes

We know that consumers don’t want promises broken, especially if it involves promotions, offers and rewards they believe they are entitled to. With 88% of people finding missing out on these frustrating, adopting a digital loyalty scheme which makes it easier for customers to accrue and use points and rewards, and  for staff to process reward redemptions, will be a great way of avoiding this issue.

With a digital loyalty scheme in place, operators can also make sure that they are targeting their customer-base with rewards and offers that are likely to resonate with them, encouraging them to visit and increase spend per head. When integrated with other tech in the business, operators can combine their loyalty data with  data from across the wider business, to build a better understanding of what they spend their money on, and then create tailored rewards based on this to further drive their loyalty scheme’s effectiveness.

Remove wait times for customers with table management tech

Having a table management system linked to online bookings empowers operators to better manage table covers throughout service. The right system should allow operators full control of their covers, showing a table’s in-session meal stages to manage waiting lists and walk-ins, as well as which will be the next available table based on group size.

The tech can even arm operators with valuable insight such as average table turn times depending on group sizes – helping them to remove some of the guesswork during planning so that customers are never left waiting for their table to become free. In the event that they are left waiting, it provides operators a chance to fix this by communicating when exactly their table will become free or offering them a complimentary drink whilst they wait.

What’s more, this tech can also provide the opportunity for operators to open-up tables for rebooking at the earliest opportunity to ensure tables aren’t sat empty for long.

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