There are few innovations that are currently being rolled out in fine dining space such as booking seats in advance and managing good set of content on the restaurant website. But what about the experience once the customer reaches the restaurant ? What kind of experience that can really wow the customer ?
1.Interactive UI for exploring the menu using tablets
Visualizing the dish
Whenever i visit a new restaurant and browse through the menu , i find dishes whose names are very difficult to comprehend and come to a conclusion as to what this dish is all about. It is always a good idea to provide actual pictures on how the dish would look like giving an idea whether it is served dry or curry etc.
Is that quantity enough for 2 or 4 ?
While ordering food , am not also not sure about the quantity that will be served as it differs from place to place and also depending on cost. This will make me conscious not to order too much. So what could be done is that a picture when taken with the actual quantity in a proper bowl will add value so that we can order food based on the quantity . It will also give a chance to people to order more than one dish since they are sure about the quantity. In some instances , i have ordered food and found the quantity to be less but would not order anything else due to time constraints. This could help in this aspect.
Place Order or Call Waiter from tablet interface
A tablet with a neat UI can be provided in each table .The whole menu can be made available in tablet interface with even an option to order food. This could mean you can directly order the food even without engaging the waiter. Easier option ! This awesome idea is neatly executed by Sree Annapoorna at Fun Republic Mall in Coimbatore,Tamil Nadu. For more details , check out the link.
There are few other occasions where the service at restaurant is not good. You occupy the table but no one would come to take the order or help you to get some more water , an extra spoon etc. You had to call the waiter who is at the other end busy .For problems like this , you provide an option to call the waiter in the tablet . This is an easier option rather that helps you to concentrate on food and your conversations rather than trying to locate the waiter.
A short video of the ipad enabled interface for food ordering
Managing Food Inventories better
In some instances , people take a good amount of time to decide on the dishes only to find that it is not available that particular day or got over in last one hour or so that gives customer pain to re-shuffle the whole order. If food inventory maintenance is integrated well , then based on the availability of dishes , the tablet interface can get updated automatically to reflect the latest status.
2. Devising Feedback mechanism
Every restaurant when started newly take a lot of feedback. But over a period of time , it can lose track and provide awful experience to customers. So the question is how to get feedback on regular basis and make the feedback be more specific rather than generic with regard to food that you had ?
If there is a tablet interface as discussed before, the same order placed earlier could be shown to rate each dish.This will be easier to track the quality of food and also helps to keep track of performance by the chefs regularly.
3.Connecting with customer through Social Media
In many cases,once a customer dines and moves out of a restaurant , the relationship is lost unless other wise the food is very good and customer wants to come back. But there are few ways to stay in touch with customer.
Get the customer to like the facebook or twitter brand pages for restaurant so that they can be regularly connected to the restaurant and get the latest updates/offers and specials from restaurant. To encourage customers to like these pages, provide some complimentary drinks or free meal passes to encourage them visit more often.
4.Free wi-fi to browse
Wi-fi can be made available so that customers with smartphones can browse and in absence of tablet can even view the menu easily. Also a QR code or NFC chip can be used that can directly open the brand pages for the customer.
Customer history can be created with the menu ordered previously and same could be made view-able so that the new orders can be placed accordingly.
Let me know your experiences while dining in a restaurant and what kind of instances certainly wowed you!