Personalisation is changing the restaurant experience - don't get left behind | QSR Media | QSR news for Australia's quick service restaurant industry.
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Personalisation is changing the restaurant experience - don't get left behind

By Sandi Boyden

How do you offer the personal touch of a barista who knows your coffee order before you walk into the cafe, but in a fast food chain with 1,000 outlets?

The answer is that you get smart about using the customer data that is being generated in increasing amounts via restaurant apps, online ordering, kiosks and point of sale systems.

Take the humble drive thru for instance. Since the debut of digital signs in drive thru lanes, fast food restaurants have been changing their menus based on the season, the time of day and the current specials they are promoting.

But the industry has the potential to go a step further. Imagine having a menu tailored to your tastes and featuring all of your favourite items.

No longer do you face a mad scramble to navigate the menu while cars idle behind you. With vehicle profiling technology that powers EyeCue™, a restaurant could also determine if there are multiple occupants in a car, prioritising family menu options on the displays when that vehicle pulls up to order.

The same personalisation revolution is underway in the world of smartphone apps, which have become a particular focus of the fast food industry in recent years. The McDonald’s app allows diners to redeem offers, take part in promotions and get early notification of new products and specials.

Using a QR code in the app, you can walk up to a restaurant kiosk and scan the code, redeeming an offer without going anywhere near the counter. Again, personalisation based on orders made and offers redeemed via the app, allows McDonald’s to tailor the experience to individual customers.

Some restaurant smartphone apps use geolocation to determine a diner’s distance from an outlet, so that the food can be prepared for pick-up as soon as they walk through the door.

The outcome of these innovations is convenience and faster service for customers, as well as greater efficiency and increased sales for restaurants through improved customer loyalty. Tapping into the “big data” generated by millions of customer transactions across a restaurant chain also allows consistency across outlets.

You shouldn’t have to go to your favourite fast food joint because you know you’ll get better service and fresher fries there. Every outlet in that fast food chain should be delivering the same high level of service and quality.

At Fingermark™, we are seeing the huge potential of using data to improve the customer experience in the restaurant industry. No customer likes waiting. The Eyecue™ drive thru solution collates various sources of data to enable better decisions to be made in real time, improving speed of service for customers so they can get on with their day.

The rise of cloud-based data analytics platforms allows restaurant chains to combine customer and operational information with weather and traffic data to better manage their supply chain and meet customer demand. That clever use of data is what has fueled the rise of Uber Eats, one of the world’s largest food delivery services.

We are just in the early stages of the personalisation revolution in the QSR industry. The airlines and banks were arguably quicker in realising the power of data. The end to end, data-driven systems we specialise in at Fingermark™ are now essential infrastructure for restaurant chains.

All over the world, restaurants have translated the old catchphrase “I’ll have my usual”, into the digital realm, protecting the privacy of customers while using their volunteered data to exceed their expectations.

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