6 hacks to optimize restaurant digital tech

Digital sales are expected to increase by more than 9 percent in the next five years according to a Forrester report. Driving the upward trajectory are consumer preferences for on-demand, mobile and self-service technology.

Last year, 244 million Americans browsed or completed transactions through digital platforms, proving that the digital world is not merely the playground of younger generations — there is buy-in from all age groups.

Despite the ubiquitous consumer demand for convenient and time-saving online tools, not all categories are maximizing the potential of digital solutions to increase their bottom lines.

In the restaurant industry, after years of trailing faster traditional retail, brands are accelerating the adaptation of innovative technologies to operate more effectively, generate new revenue and enhance the experiences of their guests. This shift presents restaurants with exciting opportunities to grow their businesses, but also foreseeable challenges that they must overcome to optimize profitability.

Following are six hacks learned from ecommerce and customized and validated across digitally leading restaurant brands.

1.    Offer optimal digital experiences: 
Since the advent of mainstream mobile technology, brands have been experimenting with ways to optimize consumer engagement through portable devices. The result has been a staggering increase in the total digital usage by consumers. The 2015 U.S. Mobile App Report by comScore found that mobile apps are responsible for 90 percent of online engagement growth.

High mobile engagement provides brands with access to a high volume of consumer data to further optimize the user experience. This means borrowing from ecommerce retailers’ playbook by routinely testing digital tools and making timely adjustments that go unnoticed to the user.

Recently, Tillster ran a test with a large QSR client. We have spent the last year optimizing and testing delivery times, cadence and content in order to increase open rates for email, now running north of 30 percent. In our last quarter, guests who opened an email converted at twice the rate of others, with no decrease in average check, whether a coupon was used or not. Understanding what matters and making it personal has resulted in engaged users who are voting with their wallet.