The Importance of Integration between Technologies Used in a Restaurant
There’s no doubt that technology plays an important part in a restaurant’s success. In fact, 95% of restaurateurs say that technology improves their restaurant’s efficiency according to the 2017 Restaurant Technology Report. As a result many software companies have shifted their focus to the restaurant industry and are providing solutions that promise to improve various parts of this industry from enhancing the customer experience to streamlining business operations. Some examples of these tools are online ordering platforms, loyalty programs, delivery services, and Customer Relation Management (CRM) systems.
To make the best use of these tools, you need to ensure that these separate systems can talk to each other. Otherwise, you would end up wasting a lot of time consolidating them manually which not only is going to cost you money but also creates room for errors. In order to connect these tools to each other, a central system is required that can integrate with other software solutions seamlessly. A Point of Sale (POS) System can be this central system. Therefore, when choosing a POS system for your restaurant, you need to consider its capabilities and whether it is easy to integrate with.
We have chosen 4 of the most popular technologies that restaurants use and explain why it’s important for them to be integrated with other technologies you use at your restaurant especially your POS system.
Online ordering is one of the most popular features that restaurants want to offer their customers since it improves customers experience and the restaurant's operations at the same time. Whether you offer online ordering on your website, mobile app or though a third party platform, you want the ordering process to be seamless for your customers and staff. In order for this to happen, you need to choose an online ordering tool that can integrate with your POS system. When your online ordering service is seamlessly integrated with your POS system, the process of placing and receiving an order should be exactly the same as when a customer orders food at your physical location. However, if your online ordering service is not integrated with your POS system, you would have to receive the orders on a separate hardware and manually enter them in your POS system which is time consuming and can lead to errors.
The use of delivery companies such as Uber Eats and DoorDash has skyrocketed in the recent years as it allows restaurants to offer delivery services without having to hire staff to do this while giving them exposure to more customers who use these services. However, in order to receive orders on these platforms, you need to have a separate hardware (usually a tablet) for each. Not only they take up valuable counter or kitchen space but someone has to monitor and process orders coming in from these platforms separately. There are software solutions that consolidate orders coming in from these platforms and enter them into POS systems to help with this problem. However, it is still not possible to integrate these platforms with POS systems directly.
Rewards and Loyalty Programs
Rewards and loyalty programs are great tools to give customers an incentive to come back and eventually become loyal customers. In order to get your customers to sign up for your rewards and loyalty program, you have to make it as easy and convenient as possible to use. Your rewards and loyalty program needs to be integrated with your POS and any online or mobile ordering platform that you use so that your customers can collect, check and redeem their points whether they order in your restaurant or online. The integration also allows you to seamlessly keep track of rewards, discounts and free items given to your customers.
Customer Relation Management (CRM) Systems
Restaurant CRM systems are a great tool to organize the information restaurants collect from their customers in one place to use for marketing campaigns. Restaurants collect information from customers when they receive online orders, orders for delivery, reservation requests, and also when customers sign up for their rewards and loyalty programs. This information is very valuable for marketing. It can be used to stay in touch with customers to let them know about important updates and events and sending them promotions and discounts. However, you don’t want to create extra work for yourself by having to enter this information into your CRM system manually. Therefore, you need to use a CRM that can be integrated with other solutions that you use so that customer information collected through these platforms can be entered into your CRM system automatically.
Stacking up on different solutions and hoping that they improve your restaurant’s efficiency is not going to work unless these solutions are somehow connected to each other. Therefore, when choosing technology solutions for your restaurant, you need to consider how they are going work with other technologies that you are already using. We understand the importance of integration between technology solutions used at restaurants and for that reason our priority has been to create a mobile app platform that can be integrated with other solutions. For a list of service providers that Craver app is integrated with, visit our integrations page.