Consumer experience in the restaurant industry has undergone a dramatic change in the last decade. Technology advancement at each consumer step is revolutionizing the overall consumer experience. The technology changes we have seen in the last decade have not only helped large chains and fine dining restaurants but also the smaller restaurant shops. Cloud, PaymentTech, Analytics and Mobility are bringing fundamental changes through technology-driven disruptions.
Here are three companies that are representative of the evolution of the technology landscape at restaurants:
Taco Bell recently updated its mobile apps to support food customization, ordering and payment. The new mobile ordering apps work for in-store as well as drive-through purchases. Taco Bell intends to drive its business by speeding up the ordering process. Adding ordering to the mobile app is part of a broader corporate strategy by Taco Bell where it intends to increase system-wide sales to $14 billion by 2022 and open 2000 more restaurants.
Payment for the order can be completed using credit cards or Taco Bell cards before arriving at the particular Taco Bell location. The app would send you a notification once you are 500 feet away from the location. Here is an illustration highlighting the mobile ordering service:
This is like your dining concierge in a digital format. It comes as a mobile app and provides a curated list of partner restaurants. The app gives a very detailed description making it easier to decide on a place. Once the selection is made, the app sends out a request to book a table and texts back updates on the status of the booking request. Reserve has tied up with prominent players in the restaurant industry to provide a seamless payment experience. At the end of a meal, the check is automatically billed through the app. While billing in-app, it also takes into account the usual tipping preference and charges a flat fee of five dollars. Here is an illustration highlighting the way the app works:
It’s basically a mobile app which lets you book restaurants based in London. The app is currently available for iOS users only. The app provides the user with a curated shortlist of the desirable restaurants in London. It simply acts as the last minute booking app helping in finding available tables across restaurants. The app provides instant booking within seconds. Here are some screenshots from the app:
Prominent technology players and companies in the payments space are to make a mark in the restaurant space. Earlier, most players were focusing on using technology to serve one or two steps/processes of consumers’ restaurant experiences but now they are trying to integrate almost all of the steps into one app. The following exhibit highlights how players like PayPal, OpenTable and others are trying to integrate each and every step through their solutions.