eBEYONDS recently conducted an awareness session for the executive committee of the Hotels Association of Sri Lanka. The session covered the current digital trends in the restaurant industry, and why hotel restaurants should be focusing on reaping the benefits of the investment done primarily while increasing revenue, cutting down costs, and increasing efficiency.
The awareness session featured a discussion on how Sri Lankan restaurants spend copiously on ambiance, machinery, equipment and trained human resources, but hardly look at the return on investment. Digital tools and solutions are no longer a fad but a necessity as access to the internet and social media provides information to everyone. Not being present in the digitalscape means you miss out and give competition the advantage.
In the perspective of restaurant marketing, diners go through a journey which consists of 4 stages. Attract, Capture, Close, and Retain. Digital tools and solutions are a necessity to guide the diner through these stages in a streamlined manner.
Further discussions led to discussions regarding the importance of implementing a mobile-centric approach. A highly responsive interactive website should ideally have a mobile version as information sharing happens on the go on smart devices. Convenience is the key in this digital age and information should always be easily accessible to potential customers.
One way of achieving this would be a dynamic digital menu which could facilitate seeking information on food easier. Additionally, having food recommendations and ingredients is ideal not just for transparency but for the possibility of cross-selling and upselling certain dish combinations too.
The ability to select your food and pay online would also have added convenience to both the restaurant and the diner. The possibility of reserving a table and having the food ready prior to arrival will also certainly be a very sought out feature by diners as it saves a lot of time. The restaurant would benefit by way of streamlining orders and reserving time slots so that seats could be sold more than twice over for a main meal.
When it comes to Hotels and Resorts, guests may not always be in their rooms They would be using facilities like the pool, play areas, lobby, beach side cabanas if it’s a beach side property and so on. They would certainly appreciate the possibility to order refreshments and drinks to their respective locations. A mobile application could suit these types of needs perfectly.
The utilization of digital media in the hotel sector to promote their restaurants is not very prominent. But in order to acquire the return on investment for the restaurants, hotels should start doing so. This was the general consensus within the executive committee at the conclusion of the presentation. eBEYONDS will continue to provide the utmost support to the restaurant industry to face digital disruption successfully.