According to a recent survey, around five billion people are using mobile phones, customers’ wants to network and connect with their favorite restaurants. Beacon technology has entered the restaurant market. And, beacons in restaurants is about to transform the entire industry. For a few years from now, the term “beacon” is circulated among tech enthusiasts. Earlier, very limited entrepreneurs were actively using beacon. However, a lot of other industries, including restaurants, have started exploring beacon. For those who are not aware about beacon technology for restaurant, here is some brief about it.
Andrew Levi, Blue Calypso has provided this explanation in a concise and easily understandable manner:
“Beacons can be placed anywhere in a restaurant or nearby location and rely on a smart phone’s Bluetooth connection to transmit information directly to a mobile app that’s listening for their signal. These devices are highly cost effective. The mobile solutions provider companies who specialize in providing software programs purchase these devices to manage the delivery of messages. The customer must first download an app, either a universal or branded one that will listen for the beacon’s signal. Once the beacon is initially connected and the customer opts-in to receive information, the beacon will automatically begin pinging the smart phone. Messages are delivered each time a connected smartphone passes by a beacon, regardless if the app is open or not” (Andrew Levi, 2016).
Beacons will help restaurant to enhance interaction with customers with the use of beacon. Moreover, places like malls, airlines and stadiums are using beacon to ease their operations. And now, restaurants have also joined the bandwagon.
Beacon-based Proximity Restaurant Marketing
What exactly is proximity marketing for restaurants?
Proximity marketing refers to communicating with customers at the right place, the right time and with appropriate and personalised messages, on their smartphones. Be it greeting at the entry points, special offers in the store aisles, or getting feedback on a new product. This all is pretty simple with beacons in restaurants.
How does proximity marketing work (using beacons)?
We will look into an example of a restaurant to see how marketing works using beacons.
- Beacons are deployed at the restaurant front with ongoing offers.
- These BLE beacons transmit signals in its range. BLE signals are a combination of numbers and characters.
- Any Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, in the transmitting range, detect the signals.
- Then, the smartphone sends the ID number attached to the signal to the cloud server.
- Accordingly, the server checks the action assigned to that ID number and responds. It could be a notification about a discount, or offers, a feedback form or just a greeting!
- These notifications will then drive customers to a relevant form, a web page or a markdown card (a Beaconstac card creative which works as a substitute for a website).
Further, we will discuss in detail about how beacons can help restaurants to enhance dining experience with customer:
How Restaurants Can Use Beacon for Convenience of Customers
Beacons will allow customers to make mobile payment:
Most people have got a mobile phone these days; many consumers are becoming aware of handy mobile payment options. With change in technology and changing consumer behavior, consumers expect the same features from their favorite restaurants.
In fact, according to a recent study by Latitude,” an international research consultancy, 61% of people agrees that they have a better opinion of brands that offer a good mobile experience”.
With the help of beacon, customers will choose your restaurant instead of competitors.
Lessen wait time for customers
Beacons will make sure that customers get a quick service. You can begin by letting your customers order ahead. However, a number of mobile commerce apps such as Q app have successfully integrated order-ahead capabilities into their apps. This, in turn, helps restaurants to increase their average order value by cutting down on waiting time. Because, the moment a customer walks down the restaurant, beacons help notify managers, without the guest doing anything.
According to a recent study by Technomic, a research firm in the food service industry, casual dining restaurants, a segment that generally generates around $160 billion every year, saw a mere rise of just 2% last year.
Rewards for customer
Beacon will help to drive meetings and engagements by easily interlacing your customers wants and preferences by offering rewards. Since the past few years, the popularity of loyalty programs for the customers staying loyal to the brand is continuously rising.
For example:- Mook, a German restaurant group, recently integrated iBeacon technology within their existing mobile app. It will reward their customers for spending time at the restaurant.
Enhance dining and clubbing experience
Nowadays, surplus of offers and deals strafe the customers. Beacons are, for sure, the next trend for restaurant industry. Beacons in restaurants deliver hyper contextualized content to users based on their location. Hence, they provide an extremely personalized experience to consumers and enhance their engagement with the brand. Further, gamification acts as an important business strategy to drive customer engagements. In the case of events, beacons help restaurants to strengthen connections with their customers by giving them offers and rewards for doing specific actions.
Recently, iBeacon technology was used to enhance conventional downtown pub crawl night out. The venues in lower New York, installed beacons to allow party crawlers to use the Beacon Crawl app. The Beacon Crwal app detect beacons, answer the challenges, and gain special rewards like drinks, foods and similar such advantages.
Push notifications regarding offers
The main use of beacons in restaurants is to provide important push notifications to customers. Also, they have to keep in mind to not bury customers with notifications, as this would result in or uninstalling an app. The important aspect here is to have a proper understanding of the value offered to customers. And, also convey them in best possible way.
Better insights into restaurant traffic
With the help of Beacons in restaurants, one can collect huge amounts of data. Such data include customer dwell time at beacons within a specified time and date range. These can be the most busiest hours throughout the whole week, the amount of customers served etc., and make enhancement on better allocation of staff and services
Deliver custom menus and pricing to valued customers
One innovative way to personalize customers dining experience is to station beacons in such a way which will provide menus according to customer’s previous order and history. Top of it, restaurants can offer coupons who visits frequently. Also, restaurants can offer discounts for the first-time customers to encourage them to come back often.
With the help of Beacons, restaurants have the ability to engage customers in a better way through a real-world experience. At the same time, they are also able to understand, analyse, and take necessary actions with regards to consumers needs and interests.