Getting customers through the door of a bar or restaurant is one thing. Providing an unforgettable experience and inspiring them to keep returning is another. This can be done through effective interaction and a rewarding system, both of which can be improved more and more by modern technology.

The apps available to business owners and their customers are numerous and diverse, ranging from marketing and loyalty to booking software. Here are some examples of important hospitality services and how best to provide them.


Customer Service

Smartphones are used more than any other device to get things done, from searching for options to placing orders. This applies to the food and bar industries too. Businesses should be ready to invest in digital technologies that will make their services easy and pleasant to interact with.

GO Technology’s report for Zonal and CGA reveals two interesting facts. Out of 5,000 people surveyed, 52% prefer to book a table via smartphone and 70% would rather make that reservation directly through a restaurant’s website.

This highlights several consumer demands in terms of customer service. A website with an efficient booking system and an appealing, user-friendly mobile presence are essential. Both of these goals can be accomplished in a variety of ways, depending on the nature of a given business.

Once again, the best strategy for learning what it takes is to explore brands that have succeeded in this department. Take Domino’s Pizza, for example, its presence reaching beyond an online domain to a handy and rewarding app on Google Play.

On top of offering quick ordering services, the brand is original and approachable when interacting with its audience through Instagram and YouTube videos. This improves the likelihood of people actually using any of the brand’s services.

Targeted Marketing

Every brand is – or should be – designed for a specific audience. Not only that, but its marketing strategy needs to be tailored to what each segment of this audience finds appealing. For example, users of Betway Casino are drawn to the brand’s provision of over 450 slots games, live roulette and more, as well as their compatibility with any mobile device. The audience targeted is interested in gaming and mobile efficiency.

In the same way, a bar has to organise its online presence and marketing strategies in order to catch the attention and custom of particular people. Many solutions are invented every day to help with this complicated job.

Adverts on Google or Facebook, a major tool in the current marketing industry, can be presented to users that meet certain qualities, such as people aged 25-35 interested in cocktails or bar reviews. Additionally, Live Beacon is a provider of Apple’s iBeacon technology that broadcasts adverts to mobile devices that are merely nearby. A bar could have two or three such transmitters around the building to show a different advert to visitors within the radius of each.

Each social media platform can be treated as a different kind of audience that needs to be approached carefully to ensure traffic. Doing this efficiently and with as little stress as possible is a matter of downloading one of many social management apps. Buffer can schedule individual tailored posts for the bar’s profile on Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn and beyond.


Loyalty Schemes

When it comes to food and drink businesses, there is little that makes loyal customers happier than special promotions and discounts. Setting up a traditional card-based rewards system is always an option, but digital solutions could provide more. The Lolly app, already known for covering every step of the purchase process, now also offers loyalty features in the form of redeemable points and stamps.

At the end of the day, however, what matters is what a business offers in return for collecting all these points. Customers should feel excited and grateful, not disappointed, towards their discounts and prizes. Generosity and originality are key to organising suitable rewards for loyal customers.

A simple example is Nando’s Card, which has members collect a chilli for each purchase. The difference from other loyalty programmes is that, once a reward is claimed, the customer’s points are not reset. All they do is keep growing.

As another successful loyalty scheme, Starbucks has additional features for special members. The rewards card or app is first loaded with money to be used for purchases and the more of these are made per month, the greater the perks. 50 transactions in 12 months unlocks Gold rewards, which include free drinks, syrups, non-dairy alternatives and whipped cream toppings. A range of delicacies to make members even happier with the brand.

Customers appreciate efficiency, politeness and appreciation above all other qualities. Modern technology, whether through a smartphone, computer or simple card, can support every brand’s needs. Businesses within the food and drink sector already provide highly marketable products, but making smart use of solutions and strategies can boost their image and custom even further.

Previous Salcombe Distilling Co unveils first rum
Next Relaunch for Essex nightclub Sugar Hut