2022 was a year of growth and change in the restaurant industry. While some restaurant owners still found themselves navigating the post-COVID-19 world, others looked to continue their growth and success with an eye toward the future. In 2023, hospitality technology is a must for any restaurant to be successful. In fact, 75% of operators say that new technology implementation is their primary focus for the year ahead, and 45% have already adopted technology and plan to continue to use it to further business goals. The days of guest logs and paper floor plans are outdated and savvy operators know that streamlined technology is the way of the future.
Here are some of our predictions for the year 2023 in the restaurant industry.
Restaurants Will Focus on an Omnichannel Strategy to Keep their Seats Filled.
Over the next year, adopting an omnichannel strategy will be key for the future of the hospitality industry.
Omnichannel marketing is a method where businesses promote their products and services across a variety of channels such as the web, apps, social media, email and more. With this approach, you’re meeting the customer where they’re at, creating a more seamless booking experience.
For the hospitality industry in 2023, this will mean a greater shift towards all-in-one systems. Not only are all-in-one systems easier for an operator to manage but they make customer interaction across a variety of channels easier. By integrating platforms such as reservations, online ordering, review management, contactless payments and email marketing, restaurants can elevate and manage the guest experience in one place, leading to greater guest retention in the future.
Social Media Will Continue to Play an Important Role in Driving More Business for Restaurants.
By adopting an omnichannel approach, restaurateurs will be able to reach diners on the social channels they’re using to search and discover restaurants — Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.
For example, TikTok continues to have a major influence on restaurant-goers’ decisions on where to eat. It’s been reported that 38% of TikTok users across all generations have visited or ordered from a restaurant after seeing a TikTok video about it.
Social media channels are not only an important tool for restaurateurs to interact with their online audiences. They are also critical direct channels for inserting reservation booking links that can capture their audience while they are thinking about them at that moment. Since target demographics may vary by channel, being active on all channels and having a unique social strategy across channels is key to success. By directly owning their restaurant’s social media channels, operators are able to grow their businesses and drive more reservations.
Restaurants Will Leverage Tech To Overcome Labor Shortages.
In 2022, one of the biggest challenges operators faced was the ongoing labor shortage in the industry. With the average quit rate in the accommodation and food service industry at 9.1%, this challenge has not abated as we head into 2023. Short-staffed restaurants are depending on the quality of their service to outweigh their reduced people resources to help drive revenue and repeat business for their businesses.
Even though the labor shortage is top of the mind for staff, guests will expect top-of-the-line service no matter what. This opens the door for restaurants to utilize tech-based solutions to help with heavy lifting. Examples could include waitlist management or leveraging a restaurant CRM and guest profiles to make it easy for staff to know key information about a guest, such as a birthday or food allergy. By leveraging these technologies, valuable time and resources can be spent elsewhere.
Restaurants Will Continue To Do More with Less.
Looking ahead to 2023’s looming recession concerns, customers and guests will be cutting back on spending while restaurants continue to deal with rising operation, labor and food costs. With this in mind, there will be less money for operators to spend and budgeting will be tighter. Meanwhile, consumers’ expectations will be higher than ever as they look for quality over quantity in their dining out experiences. In order to meet the needs and expectations of guests while continuing to run their businesses and drive profitability, operators will need to look towards tech-based solutions to help them do more with less.
In the year ahead, we’ll begin to see the adoption of more automation — from digital waitlists to pre-paid upsells and experiences to marketing automation tools — helping streamline operations and making it easier for operators to execute the experiences their customers expect.
As part of this, it’s important that operators embrace AI and data science-driven tools to provide the best customer experiences possible. This technology will help them identify regulars, empower servers with insights that wow those guests, and bolster efforts to continue operating at high volumes while retaining customers and driving long-term loyalty.
One of the easiest ways for operators to have a successful 2023 is by looking toward the future of the industry. With thousands of customers across the globe already leveraging SevenRooms, it’s no surprise that many are playing key roles in setting these trends. Sign up today for a free demo of SevenRooms to see how our technology can help your business.