(May 5/17) To stand out in today’s competitive environment, Canadian restaurant operators are turning to technology in a big way. From building stronger connections with guests, to providing them with more payment options, here are the top technology trends according to the Restaurant Outlook Survey for Q1 2017, conducted by Restaurants Canada.

 

Getting social with customers

An overwhelming 78% of restaurateurs use social media to build awareness. Social channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are great ways to show off your menu items and promote specials, especially to new customers who don’t know your restaurant. It also allows you to engage with guests (and potential guests) on a different level.

 

There’s an app for loyalty?

Restaurant survival often rests on customer loyalty. Over a quarter of operators provide loyalty programs through POS and apps. Many apps can boost customer retention, and integrate well into social media campaigns. For example, apps can allow guests to redeem points, or receive free or discounted menu items on their birthday – good ways to build a relationship and loyalty.

 

Convenience delivered to your door

The quest for convenience has boosted growth in delivery services through apps like UberEATS and Foodora. According to the survey, 24% of full-service restaurants and 20% of quick-service restaurants use these delivery services.

 

Texting and tablets for table-service

One in five table-service restaurants text notifications when a customer’s reserved table is ready. Only one in 10 offer tableside ordering from a tablet.

 

Mobile money

Currently, only a small share of operators accept payments from stored wallets (e.g. PayPal, Apple Pay) and by mobile phone. However, more operators plan to start accepting mobile payments and orders. According to the survey, over the next 12 months:

  • 40% of quick-service restaurants and 23% of full-service restaurants will add payment via mobile phone apps;
  • 26% of QSRs and 21% of FSRs will start accepting payment from stored wallets; and
  • 26% of QSRs and 15% of FSRs will accept orders by mobile phone apps.

 

See the full survey

Find out how foodservice operators are using technology today, and what they’re looking for to improve their business.  Get the full Restaurant Outlook Survey. (Login required)

Technology-trends

By Chris Elliott, Senior Economist

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