Digitalization of restaurants: How to use technology to benefit your business

Digitalization is imperative for entrepreneurs who want to have a competitive and sustainable business.

The digital market has also been transforming work relationships in the food sector – and the digitalization of restaurants is part of this wave. After all, with Brazilians' high adoption of mobile devices (according to IPEA, 67% of the population has access to the internet), businesses need to adapt to new demands.

Therefore, this is where the restaurant digitalization process appears as a solution for these businesses to reinvent themselves and meet the needs of the public, in addition to following health protocols during the Covid-19 pandemic.

But, have you ever stopped to think about how a restaurant can adapt its processes and services to the digital scenario?

Therefore, check out below a guide on the digitization process, its benefits and where to start.

Read too: iFood: support for restaurants and focus on digitalization

What is restaurant digitalization?

Using technology to benefit your business is no longer a differentiator, but rather a need to adapt to new consumer needs. Today, digitalization is an imperative for entrepreneurs who want to have a competitive and sustainable business.

In short, the digitalization of restaurants is a way to adapt your business to new consumption habits in the digital sphere.

The increase of 36% in delivery revenue at the beginning of the pandemic highlighted by research by the Brazilian Franchising Association in partnership with the consultancy Galunion in 2020, for example, shows how important it is, for example, to have a digital menu or access to data that allows an analysis of the public's preferences.

Read too: Check out what types of food are most ordered on iFood in 2021

Furthermore, digitalization allows the restaurant to adopt agile practices, such as new advertising formats, product delivery, digital menus and selection of dishes according to customer preferences, among other models that take the user experience into account.

Why invest in the digitalization of your restaurant?

Convenience and time savings are two desires of Brazilian consumers who use delivery, points out one study made by iFood and Box1824 in 2017. Since then, many actions have been taken to digitize restaurants – and satisfy consumers.

Therefore, here are some of the reasons why people order food on apps:

  • time saving;
  • not having to cook every day;
  • eat anywhere in the house, without worrying about keeping the kitchen organized;
  • easy access to promotions and typical foods;
  • payment online;
  • supply of dietary restrictions;
  • discovery of new gastronomic possibilities.

According to Panorama Mobile Time/Opinion Box survey on mobile commerce in Brazil, carried out in 2020, around 72% of people who have a smartphone have already ordered a meal using an app. The quarantine increased this proportion even further, which was 14 percentage points ahead of the previous year.

Finally, the market is booming and users are increasingly looking for ease and independence in their purchasing process.

Benefits of digitizing restaurants

According to research by Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV), 29% of small businesses adopted the sales online as a way out of the crisis triggered by the pandemic. Reviewing processes, therefore, has never been more essential to maintain competitiveness and profit from new technologies.

Furthermore, the internet makes it possible to create highly adaptable tools in a short space of time, often with few initial resources. When we look at the benefits of digitalizing restaurants, we see that agile service is one of them. Therefore, using automated processes is not synonymous with cold contact with the customer, but with assertiveness, from the message used to the scalability of the business.

Another benefit of digitizing restaurants is process efficiency, since automation reduces the number of errors (and, consequently, also reduces the costs of correcting them).

Finally, remember: the more satisfied your customer is, the more recommendations and positive reviews they will leave on your channels, improving your digital reputation. Therefore, the relationship with the consumer is a fundamental pillar to guarantee a practical and pleasant experience.

How to digitize restaurants

The first step to implementing digitalization is understanding that it does not need to be done all at once. It is not necessary to change all financial, operational, logistical, marketing processes, among others, overnight. However, it will be necessary to adapt them to a new reality, prioritizing what is most urgent until digitalization becomes complete.

These are the initial steps to guide this beginning:

Put the restaurant on a delivery app

Using delivery apps has a lower initial cost than hiring your own platform. Furthermore, it allows for a good geographic range of deliveries and facilitates the organization of delivery and logistics.

Create a digital menu

A digital menu brings agility to orders, as they can be placed via the app. Furthermore, the tool helps to minimize errors in service, which is carried out autonomously.

Focus on the customer experience

Take advantage of resources to innovate relationships with customers who are already in your base. In this sense, it is possible to create points programs based on the number of orders, loyalty cards or even marketing strategies with exclusive offers.

Furthermore, it is important to strengthen communication with your contacts by asking for feedback after placing an order. Another option is to collect contacts, with prior permission, to send personalized offers and celebrate commemorative dates linked to your business.

Make good use of social media

One of the most accessible ways to position your restaurant digitally is to get on social media. Therefore, make sure that all your business communication channels communicate important information, such as: contact, location, promotions and opening hours.

It is also crucial to be constant in your publications, at least once a day in Stories and at least three times a week in your feed to promote your products with attractive and appetizing images. Encourage customers to tag your social media accounts by posting a photo of the product or even checking in when they visit in person.

How iFood has contributed to the restaurant digitalization process

With digital advancement, many entrepreneurs need to readapt their ways of making a profit. iFood understands that not everyone was prepared for this amount of changes in a short period of time. With the restaurant digitalization process, doubts also emerged about how to take advantage of the integration of new technologies with the entrepreneurship.

Thinking about training the application's partners, iFood created the iFood Takes Off, an educational platform that brings together dynamic short courses aligned with the needs of restaurant owners, employees and delivery drivers. Around 240 thousand people have already been impacted by this initiative in partnership with SESI, Conquer and PROA.

Find out more about how iFood has contributed to the digitalization of restaurants clicking here!

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