Why Artificial Intelligence makes ordering easier

By | July 5, 2022 | Uncategorized

As customers’ tastes lean increasingly digital, brands can take action now to capitalize on ease of use.  That means not only making the ordering and reviewing process easier but enabling the process to intelligently adapt to the customer.

The solution: a smart order-and-delivery process, which can be facilitated through artificial intelligence (AI). Paytronix called this Artificial Intelligence to Individual Action, or AI to IASM.

Paytronix has integrated AI into all its products to make the customer experience easier and more intelligent. Using one of the largest datasets of consumer transactions in the industry, Paytronix has one of the strongest models with deeper insights that drive individual action through artificial intelligence, referred to as AI to IASM.  You can set out to create great guest experiences and run new campaigns, confident that decision engines are using insights and making recommendations that have worked for years.

Paytronix has published The Order & Delivery Report 2022, which details this trend and the data surrounding it. This blog and the ones that follow will highlight findings from that report, as well as sheds new light on recently acquired data.

Sentiment Analysis

For instance, what if your technology could bring a more in-depth understanding to your reviews? Consider the role that sentiment plays. The rating an establishment receives and the words that accompany that rating may actually tell two different stories.

Paytronix data shows that 15% of orders with a rating of 4.5 or better actually have a negative sentiment and could benefit from action, while 3-star reviews most frequently contain negative sentiment.

Sentiment analysis, which can be accomplished using AI, is one tool that can help. Sentiment analysis enables the store manager to identify negative reviews that otherwise would have been missed and act quickly to recover the situation. This is important because sentiment scores are nearly as accurate a predictor of whether a patron will return as the ratings themselves. And as the below examples show, high ratings can hide poor customer experience.

Intelligent Menu Design

Another exciting implication of AI is the potential to influence customer ordering choices through smart menu design and recommendations.

Some establishments have long or complex menus, causing customers to gloss over some options or potential add-on items. Understanding where to place options on the menu and when to suggest an additional item can make a big difference in the order total.

Multivariant menu testing can determine how to help customers make sense of large menus in a way that’s beneficial for restaurants and c-stores. Working with Paytronix, National Coney Island — well-known for their large, detailed menu with plenty of options for everyone — utilized multivariant menu testing to determine if AI to IASM could reduce customer frictions with the menu.

The results were eye-opening, delivering an additional 3.5% conversion rate and $300 monthly sales lift per store.

Intelligent Menu Recommendations

Another example of helpful AI to IASM is intelligent recommendations. Recommendations are not a new feature: “Would you like fries with that?” has been a staple for a long time. But adding intelligent recommendations to digital orders provides customers a superior ordering experience while increasing revenue.

Uno Pizzeria & Grill is running a trial of intelligent recommendations, and early results have been encouraging. Uno reported that guests were twice as likely to accept the AI’s recommendations over ones manually programmed by staff. This produced a 1-3% lift on average checks from intelligent recommendation orders in comparison to no-recommendation orders, increasing Uno’s orders by between $100 and $150 per store per month.

Conclusion

There is no denying the ongoing challenge to the hospitality industry. In the wake of a global pandemic that brought the loss of over 6 million people worldwide and wreaked economic havoc, restaurants and c-stores are now wrestling with supply chain and labor disruptions amid a customer experience revolution. The world has not stopped changing, and, to succeed, the hospitality industry must embrace our new circumstances.

What is clear is that the customer experience of the future will be different than it was in 2019, before the pandemic. C-stores and restaurants will need to use technology to cater to guests wherever they are and give those guests the flexibility to receive their food through different channels. Payment must be effortless, with preferred selections front and center. And the experience of the future will enable guests to be heard when things don’t go right. AI can do all of this while removing frictions from the experience. Indeed, the future of guest experience is bright.

Why a great response to a bad review could save a customer relationship

By | July 5, 2022 | Uncategorized

The risk of poor reviews may cause some establishments to shy away from digital ordering. While this is a legitimate concern, there are proven strategies restaurants and c-stores can implement to bounce back from a poor review and solidify customer loyalty.

Paytronix has published The Order & Delivery Report 2022, which details this trend and the data surrounding it. This blog and the ones that follow will highlight findings from that report, as well as sheds new light on recently acquired data.

What’s in a review?

It’s important to consider the potential implications of a review. Not surprisingly, customers who give the restaurant or c-store a rating of 4.9 or higher are most likely to return. While 1-star ratings may not be the most pleasant to receive, they’re not necessarily indicative of a customer’s behavior, as customers who leave 1-star ratings are as likely to return as those who leave a 2.4-star rating. Customers leaving a 1-star review may be acting in the heat of the moment or reacting without consideration, or may even be leaving simple reviews to speed through the process. Reviews with more nuance are typically written with more scrutiny.

The best indicator of whether a patron will return is if they received exemplary food, service, and value. Customers who give 5-star reviews in those particular categories are the most likely to revisit, and the three categories correlate with likelihood to return almost exactly.

However, as the ratings drop, value becomes more important than both food and service. At 1- and 2- star ratings, customers are more forgiving of poor food and service experiences than they are if they feel their dollar was not well-spent. Customers require high marks across the board to give an establishment a top rating, but they will be satisfied knowing they got their money’s worth even if the food and service are marginal.

Saving a customer relationship

A poor review should be viewed as an invitation, not a dismissal. Our data indicates restaurant and c-store operators can provide positive guest experiences in the wake of a bad review. To salvage the guest relationship after a less-than-stellar review, offering a coupon may be the best move a restaurant or c-store can make. Not only does it improve the chance a guest will return, but the marketing investment for this type of incentive makes sense. Time is of the essence when a customer has a poor experience. The Paytronix FEEDbackSM tool relays customer reviews to the store manager immediately. The store manager can then change a quality control issue and send a guest recovery coupon and message right away. By implementing a guest recovery coupon strategy for online ordering, restaurants and c-stores can win back up to 13% of customers who left a 1-star review.

Moreover, the coupon results in an average increase in Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) of $9.20 – a 4x return – meaning that as long as a restaurant or c-store’s profit margins are greater than 25% (as we know from experience most are), then the coupon is more than worth its cost.

No one wants to see a 1-star review. But with a planned coupon strategy and the right technology to put control in the front-line manager’s hands, brands can flip the script and help turn negative reviews into profitable customers.

The Three Things Every Small Restaurant Group Needs 

Customer behavior is always changing – and to keep up, all restaurants need to be able to provide a top-of-the-line guest experience.  Whether your guests come into your locations or order online, they should have the ability to engage with loyalty programs, purchase and redeem gift cards, and place their orders with ease.  While national chains have a lot of resources at their disposal, using the right technology can level the playing field and help independent restaurants and small restaurant groups compete. 

As a provider of enterprise-class customer experience products to restaurants large and small, here are the 3 “must-haves” Paytronix recommends to keep your independent brand competitive: 

  1. Online Ordering: Since 2020, the number of restaurant customers looking to place food orders digitally has skyrocketed.  While some customers are looking forward to getting back to restaurants and gathering and dining with friends and family in person, many have permanently embraced the convenience of ordering and dining at home. 
     
    With Paytronix Order & Delivery, restaurants can streamline their online ordering operations, to make it easier for your staff to focus on what matters most.  As online ordering rose in popularity, many restaurants raced to partner with brands like Door Dash and Uber Eats to capture more orders, but were left with three or four tablets with orders coming in, and needing to manually enter those orders into the POS. HandoffSM brings all of the orders from third parties like Door Dash and Uber Eats and integrates right to your POS, reducing human error and freeing up staff to wait on in-house guests. 

    Once your customer receives their order – how does your management team know they’ve enjoyed their meal? On-site guests can talk to their server, and managers can make a situation right on the spot, but off-premise customers often don’t have any way to express themselves except to leave a bad review or decide not to return again.  With FEEDbackSM your restaurant managers can save a guest relationship right away by getting instant responses from customers, and enabling the manager to respond to negative experiences with discounts and offers at the touch of a button. 
  1. Loyalty: Loyalty programs do more than foster goodwill between you and your guests. They provide a valuable communication channel and help to grow your customer’s lifetime value. Built with the busy operator in mind, Paytronix delivers personalized, targeted, email messages in real-time so you can drive traffic every day. 

    The Paytronix platform also adds a layer of artificial intelligence to your campaigns by predicting future behavior, enabling highly productive segmentation, and making on-the-spot recommendations to increase spend and order frequency.  

    Regular customers are what drive business – but what happens when one of your regulars hasn’t been in for a while. How can you reach out to them and tempt them with a special offer or promotion to bring them back to your locations? A win-back campaign does just that, by identifying your customers who have missed an expected visit and sending them an offer to come back and remember what they love about your restaurant before they’re gone for good.  

    Check out this story of a brand who used a Win-Back Campaign to reengage with wayward loyalty members…with a 10.9x return! 
  1. Gift Cards: Restaurant gift cards are a popular way for your customers to share their love of your brand, whether for the holidays, a special event, or as a thank you and modern gift card programs include the ability to purchase and send a virtual gift card online as well as on site.  

    And for those customers who receive a gift card, making it as easy as possible for them to redeem their card creates a positive experience that they’re sure to remember.  Providing the option for both online and on-site redemption with an online ordering integration means that these customers can celebrate the way they choose. 

    By using loyalty, online order & delivery, and AI-driven insights with one platform, you have all the data you need to motivate your guests to buy more often and more frequently and a program with the flexibility to grow as you do. 

Interested in learning more? Get a demo with the team to learn more about what Paytronix can do for your brand. 

Delivery customers are different: Getting to know your most valuable customer segment who will never enter your restaurant.

Although customer tastes are trending toward takeout, delivery customers remain a critical segment to embrace. That’s because one key learning from the last two years is that delivery customers are different, and in a good way. Paytronix has published The Order & Delivery Report 2022, which details this trend and the data surrounding it. This blog and the ones that follow will highlight findings from that report, as well as sheds new light on recently acquired data.

Delivery guests order more, tip more, and are more loyal.

While both takeout and delivery subtotals increased roughly 15% in the wake of the pandemic, delivery subtotals have consistently remained about 12.5% higher, contributing substantially to restaurants and c-stores’ bottom lines.

Moreover, delivery customers tip better and more frequently. The data below shows that for much of 2021, the average delivery tip was 12.5% of the subtotal, more than double takeout order tips. And 2021 takeout orders included a tip just 37% of the time compared to nearly 73% of delivery orders. These trends held steady throughout 2021, indicating an existential and fundamental difference between the two groups.

Delivery guests are also more loyal and order repeatedly from the brands they love. Approximately a third of orders from delivery customers are from guests who order multiple times a month, while takeout customers tend to be more sporadic, with only about a quarter of orders coming from customers who order multiple times a month. Since pickup customers order less frequently, brands should strive to be memorable. A special experience for pickup customers can do a lot to make a customer feel appreciated.

Delivery guests are more likely to love or hate their order…but not as much in between

Delivery guests are more likely leave either very high or very low ratings. This is likely because, while the population of guests who order delivery is more loyal, there is a higher likelihood for order mistakes to occur when delivery is added to the mix. Delivery gets pretty much the same score as takeout, except for the categories of Service and Food, which tend to be the feedback questions most impacted when there is a slow delivery or missing item. This error is compounded by the difficulty of correcting mistakes off-premises. Delivery customers also understand they are valuable, and they demand great food and service to stay.

While there’s no question delivery is operationally difficult, when it goes right, it goes really right. These customers are generous and loyal, and it’s worth making changes to your order and delivery process to accommodate them.