New technologies are an essential part of catering, even more so with the digital transformation that our sector is experiencing. Over the years, new tools and technological innovations have reinforced and modified the dynamics of restaurant management . “The digitization of all players in the sector is only a matter of time,” says Marcos Alves, co-founder of TheFork, referring to the technological evolution of our profession.
In your opinion, what is the biggest impact of technology on restaurants?
An infinite source of reservations
Online booking is undoubtedly one of the main advances in our sector. Being able to constantly find customers on the Internet has been a big change for restaurateurs, who can now focus on other objectives, such as loyalty and personalization for example. Now, they can leave it to an app to capture customers’ attention. This is a subject that particularly concerns us, as it has been our No. 1 objective since we started TheFork adventure in 2007. 12 years later, our online booking app has been downloaded 19 million times in all our markets: Europe, Latin America and Oceania. This figure shows us users’ appreciation regarding this application, which offers many features and has a positive impact on restaurants .
Apps aren’t the only source of bookings these days. Indeed, social media such as Google, Instagram or Facebook also allow Internet users to book a table in the restaurant of their choice in a few clicks . This is possible thanks to the partnerships concluded by TheFork to simplify the booking process as much as possible.
An infinite source of information
All eyes are on big data. Big data refers to the gigantic volumes of data processed by companies as well as the way in which this data is exploited to revolutionize their markets. In catering, big data mainly makes it possible to know, analyze and use customer information to improve the restaurant’s profitability and optimize marketing results to adapt the strategy.
Digital reservation and opinion platforms, social networks and more specialized technologies make it possible to record a lot of information, such as: the dishes most often ordered, the most strategic times, the types of menus most often reserved , the average amount of bills depending on the season, preferences, variations, etc. This information is very important because it allows you to make better decisions for your restaurant . Thus, you can modulate your investments, define your marketing actions, better organize your services and make an accurate forecast of your daily occupancy rate. This is great progress!
TheFork invites associated restorers to take advantage of many tools such as the database on TheFork Manager. The database allows you to save a lot of information with each reservation. This way, you have information about your customers before they even walk through the door of your restaurant. You can surprise them with a tailored experience that will keep them coming back .
Better time management
Time is a very important variable in catering and in customers’ daily lives. Many new technologies aim to save time, to better manage it. For example, some apps allow customers to order while on their way to the restaurant . The key: real time savings and the possibility for the restaurant to better manage orders. Other applications allow you to pay directly and quickly with your smartphone , which shortens the process. We can also mention the digital menu, which allows customers to consult the gastronomic offer, interact intuitively with the menu, and order directly without waiting for the waiter to arrive. It is also a time and effort saver.
On the other hand, management software aims to help restaurateurs save time organizing tables and services. As a result, they can react more effectively to possible changes.