One of the biggest shifts in customer behavior over the past few years has been the preference for take-out food. All the major national chains (Applebee’s, Chili’s, etc. etc.) have added drive-up service for their customers. And I’ve written on this blog about taking your restaurant’s food out, whether it be catering, drive-up service, or delivery as a way to diversify your revenue streams.
Consumers love using technology to make their lives faster and more convenient. The explosion of “smart” phones and text messaging in the past five years is a perfect example of how the masses have adopted a new technology because it streamlined how they communicate. The challenge for those of us in the food service industry has always been finding ways to leverage these technology trends to the benefit of business.
A new company has developed an easy way for restaurants to make their food more accessible: text message ordering. Zingle will give you a terminal that receives text message orders and prints them out for you as part of their service. They’ll also provide you with some customized marketing materials to promote your new service. The company charges a flat monthly rate for their service.
Text messaging is an unbelievably easy way for your customers to place orders, and from the looks of it, the service Zingle provides makes it easy for you to take orders via text. Quite a few franchises have already started taking advantage of the service, including Subway and regional coffee chains.
The benefits to quick service restaurants from a text ordering service are pretty obvious, but what about all the independent operators out there? For any independent that caters to younger customers, text ordering has got to be about as close to a no-brainer as you can get. Even if you don’t do carry-out, let customers place their orders before they arrive so you can turn tables faster during the rush and cater to your regulars in a more timely way.
As technology changes the way we communicate, the traditional model for restaurants has begun to change. Incorporating that technology into your operation not only makes things easier for your customer, it implants your brand in the evolving channels of communication where your customers are moving.