It’s been increasingly clear that technology is the way forward for small businesses. In the restaurant industry, technology has been approaching on several fronts. Tablet usage has become more commonplace as the benefits of using them are realized, and more restaurant owners are looking for ways to engage customers through social media — which today, is often one of the most powerful forms of local advertising.
La Cage aux Sports, a restaurant and sports bar chain based in Quebec, recently experimented with using a wireless local area network (WLAN) while also equipping their servers with new tablets. The goal was to improve efficiency and customer engagement. The restaurant, which has 53 locations across the province, saw results instantly.
The tablet helped servers not only be more available to customers during the meal, but also allowed for easier add-on proposals, as well as a faster check delivery once the meal was over. The result was not only faster table turnarounds, but an average check increase of about 10%. Food and drinks arrived to customers faster, as well.
“The WLAN solution and ET1 tablets in our restaurants helped us increase the overall customer satisfaction, cut the wait time for orders and increase staff efficiency,” esplained La Cage Aux Sports director of IT, Mathieu Laliberte.
Similarly, many restaurants are experimenting with ways to garner positive and insightful reviews on sites like Yelp and Google Local. Today, about 70% of people rarely or never use phone books to find a restaurant — Google search, and subsequently these sites, are often the first thing they turn to.
In Honolulu, brothers Tony and Ken Lau have realized this after the opening of their new Italian restaurant, Win-Spuntino. In spite of being in a hard-to-see location on the second floor of a shopping center, the restaurant is popular, and Ken Lau credits social media with that.
“All of our customers are from Yelp, Facebook or Instagram,” said Lau. Their restaurant has a 4.5 rating on Yelp so far — high praise from Yelp users, who are often fickle.