Casual Dining foot traffic is steadily declining — How do I combat that as a restaurant owner?

Restaurant owners who deliver a “casual dining” experience must now rethink the way that they cater to their customers. If the customer is always right, then we need to be paying close attention to his or her habits while delivering convenience don’t we?

Foot traffic at Casual Dining restaurants is consistently on the decline, and as a restaurant owner your survival as a business is contingent upon your reaction to that harsh fact. How you respond to the decline in foot traffic can sustain your business for years to come or bury you and leave you behind as the world modernizes. A smart, forward thinking response can position your brand favorably within the ever-evolving digital age we are all currently embedded in. For this reason, many forward thinking restaurant brands have a growing appetite for Branded Chatbots and Personalization.

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*People Report, Human Capital Intelligence

TGI Fridays is a prime example of one of those forward thinking restaurant brands. TGIF’s product manager for digital platforms, James Washington, stated that technology is an area that they will be strategically investing very heavily this year. One goal at the very top of their agenda is improving the brand’s conversational ordering strategy, which is deeply connected to having a clear understanding of customers’ behavioral habits and preferences

Fridays, who have more than 500 locations across the US, believe that they have achieved that understanding. They are implementing both digital and data-centered strategies to demonstrate how much they really do understand the mind of their customer. “We look at lots of data signals, like purchase history or what time someone goes into a location,” Washington said. “We know Fridays may not always be top-of-mind, but when someone’s hungry we know what they like to eat, and if we can engage with a guest at the optimal time, we can differentiate.”

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*Restaurant Technology Study

It is not only understanding the right time to engage with the customer, but also where. For this reason, TGIF’s has offered an omni-channel experience that allows for ordering directly from the messaging channels that people are using during their free time. The idea is to be able to order food just as easily as you would message a friend, except you get to choose where you are sending the message, putting the customer first.

As Washington explained, “We used to have one campaign running in one channel and another campaign running in a different channel and no cross-channel understanding between them on an individualized basis so that we could optimize and speak to people in their preferred channel,” Washington said.

“We want to lead the charge in the restaurant space, but we also want to constantly evolve with the likes of Amazon and Uber,” Washington said. “That’s our big picture.”

Say2eat’s technology is democratizing this proven technology to anyone by enabling restaurants to have their own brand in the front and to stay on top of technological advances such as Domino’s in ordering food.

To see Say2eat’s technology in action, click HERE (link to schedule a demo).

Say2eat’s white label solution enables chains and restaurants to create personalized consumer engagements that lead to desired business outcomes.

We are a one-stop-shop for empowering your digital strategy, by providing a seamless solution across all voice and message applications (e.g. Facebook Messenger, SMS, iMessage, Amazon Echo, Google Home, etc.). By implementing core technologies and transforming business operations to scale global loyalty, our omni-channel commerce creates a smart, brand customized and conversational user experience. This leaves brands with an everlasting impression of convenience, efficiency and ease of use that promotes consumer loyalty and retention.

To receive additional updates about Say2eat, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn or visit our website at say2eat.com.

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Say2eat makes ordering food as easy as texting a friend or asking Alexa to play a song.

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