Archive for the “Restaurant Industry” Category

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.

Order and delivery is changing! Here’s how guest ordering shifted from 2020-2022.

The COVID-19 pandemic was extremely disruptive to the restaurant and c-store industries. Consumer behaviors toward dining and restaurants shifted quickly at the pandemic’s onset in early 2020, and even as pandemic restrictions begin to ease, consumers don’t appear keen to revert to their old ways. .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 the Paytronix Order & Delivery Report 2022, as well as shed new light on recently acquired data.

Certain habits appear to have changed permanently. Customers clearly want to place orders digitally, a technology trend that picked up steam just as the pandemic took hold. Third-party ordering services have become a restaurant and c-store fixture, and savvy brands have both embraced these technologies as well as tools that allow them to simplify operations.

A Shift in Ordering Behavior

While on-premises ordering is resuming, it is still far below pre-pandemic levels. In the meantime, digital ordering continues to prove a rewarding investment for restaurants and c-stores, thanks in part to how easy it is to complete a digital order today. Paytronix data shows that digital ordering will continue to exist alongside in-store options, perhaps for good.

The graph below tells the story of 25 brands who operated continuously during the pandemic. The first graph represents their in-store sales while the green shows digital orders. In-store sales remained down 42% from their peak in January 2020; digital orders were up 113% during that same time period.

Digital vs in-store orders, 2020-2022

The nature of digital orders has changed as well. While delivery was king before and during the height of the pandemic, more recent data indicates that takeout orders now dominate online orders, with numbers even higher than they were pre-pandemic. Takeout jumped from approximately 35% of orders in January 2020 to a majority in March of 2022, a trend that appears to be increasing. Meanwhile, curbside pickup, which received a lot of attention during the early days of the pandemic, has all but disappeared.

The rise of takeout and the decrease of delivery and curbside orders

Adapting to third party delivery

Now that it’s clear these third-party services have staying power, vendors are taking back control with tools such as Paytronix HandoffSM, a system that takes orders from third-party marketplaces and automatically inserts them into a point-of-sale system, eliminating the need for “tablet farms”. It also allows restaurants and c-stores to make changes to their online menu and propagate those changes to all third-party delivery services. This gives brands the flexibility to customize offerings and pricing, as well as ensure that the services have the most current menu.

While there are clear advantages to partnering with third-party delivery services, there have been some growing pains as well. During the height of the pandemic, it was normal for a restaurant
or c-store to have multiple tablets cluttering their order counter to accommodate the various services they were utilizing, a system that could quickly become confusing and overwhelming, contributing to the stress of burned out and overwhelmed staff.

Third-party delivery will continue to be a viable channel in the future. Even if restaurants and c-stores are successful at converting third-party delivery customers to first-party delivery customers, third-party services will continue to play an important role in a customer acquisition strategy. Success in today’s “new normal,” means embracing new sales channels, and new technology.

Paytronix Congratulates Regina Jerome on Her Hospitality Technology Lifetime Achievement Award

Today, the Top Women in Restaurant Technology Awards program honored Regina Jerome, Senior Vice President of Information Technology at Uno Pizzeria & Grill, as one of a select number of outstanding women from both restaurants and technology suppliers who are reimagining restaurant processes and operations while demonstrating excellence in leadership, inventiveness, and skill. As a longtime partner of Uno Pizzeria & Grill and a close collaborator with Regina, the entre Paytronix team celebrates this honor. 

Regina has been active in restaurants ever since she was a head waiter 32 years ago.  She’s served as a leader in every step of the restaurant IT chain at well known brands such as Bertucci’s and Legal Sea Food, and as Senior Vice President of Information Technology at Uno Pizzeria & Grill where she led the transformation of their tech stack.   

Want to learn about the transformation of Uno’s Tech Stack straight from Regina? Listen to our partner webinar with The Spoon. 

Since launching Paytronix Order & Delivery, Uno Pizzeria & Grill has taken more than 58,000 orders across its 100 restaurants. The brand has also consistently seen the totals for online checks be 10% larger than those placed on-site. 

What Regina Jerome accomplished at Uno Pizzeria & Grill in 18 months would have taken five years somewhere else. Her deep understanding of restaurant systems, her ability to integrate those systems, and her focus on collecting and analyzing system data so that Uno can make better decisions have made a big impact on the brand.  Regina’s Hospitality Technology Lifetime Achievement Award is well-earned, and the whole Paytronix team celebrates with Regina.   

Congratulations!