How catering and foodservice must adapt to serve a new customer experience in the 2020s


Customer experience and serving the best possible version of it has always been the central mission of the restaurant and foodservice industry. Although technology is changing drastically, some of the key elements of a great customer experience remain the same. The real question is how technology intersects with perceptions and expectations of what a great customer experience should be in restaurants and foodservice. What is the current state and what is it likely to be in the future?

To address this issue, industry leaders must constantly evaluate their restaurant management software and supporting technology solutions to meet current needs and adapt for the future. What does this mean in the 2020s? How should restaurant and foodservice businesses adapt technology to how recent times and trends have shaped how consumers interact with restaurant locations and brands? First, organizations need to adapt their technology to deliver experiences based on current perceptions and expectations.

An extension of the consumer lifestyle around technology

Ordering quick meals and eating in are not single, isolated events in people’s lives. They are part of the fabric of how people spend their time and manage their daily activities. It set the stage for what the customer experience in restaurants and foodservices should be like. It’s aligned with everything else in their life which helps shape their expectations of how things should work and how easy those things should be.

Technology has played a vital role in shaping consumer perceptions around all of this. By the mid-2010s, mobile device functionality, associated apps, and web-based platforms were becoming increasingly important for initiating engagement with brands across the business spectrum. Yet even still, technology is still only a means to an end. The reason technology is so powerful is because it helps brands align with this question of lifestyle and expectations, and the human responses it serves.

Restaurant and foodservice technology that matches emotional gains

To deliver an exceptional customer experience, savvy restaurateurs, franchise owners, and foodservice operators are focusing on how technology intersects with human sensitivities and positive emotional experiences. In support, here are some emotional technology-related benefits that define great customer experience in our current paradigm:

  • Freedom – process that customers can initiate wherever they are and with multiple options for placing orders and paying, with mobile devices at the center
  • Immediacy – ordering and payment methods that match the same ways customers manage other areas of their lives, with QR codes, web UI and associated UX that users are familiar with and do not require advanced levels of technical skill to get positive results
  • Respecting limits – Technologies such as easy table reservations, multiple order fulfillment options, and data-centric software-driven SMS notifications demonstrate attention to detail when it comes to respecting guests’ personal time. customers, emotional sensitivities and physical space – reduced waiting, more visible delivery and pick-up times, table availability through restaurant reservation systems, etc.
  • Trust – Convenience and speed mean low-stress experiences, along with the data security that comes with advanced in-app purchases, secure transactional environments, healthy and clean locations, and more.
  • Continuity and relationship – Meal plan insights in food service contexts that make account status more visible, loyalty programs and rewards integrations with restaurant POS engender a sense of connection and recognition for your customers as valuable individuals, which implies an invitation to repeat visits and long-term orders. term

The technology will change as we progress through the decade and beyond. Human needs and responses will remain. So the most sustainable approach when thinking about how to invest in technology solutions and platforms is to match functionality with how effectively your organization can deliver these kinds of emotional rewards to your customers.

Create healthy partnerships with technology experts

Clearly, while there are emotional constants that are tied to defining an exceptional customer experience, the means to serve them will change. To adapt, the underlying principle here is the ability to evolve technology to meet today’s expectations while leaving room to anticipate what is to come.

The best way to do this is to build healthy relationships with technology experts who know the industry, but also know how their solutions meet your customers’ expectations with the future of the industry in mind. There are several technology partnership options to consider. So how do you choose the right one for your organization?

We’ve created a resource dedicated to this question, which is designed to help you think through and create a solid framework for answering it with greater precision and clarity.

You can get your copy of our resource here.

About Infor

Infor is a global leader in industry-specific enterprise cloud software. We develop complete solutions for our target industries, including industrial manufacturing, distribution, healthcare, food and beverage, automotive, aerospace and defense and high technology. Infor’s business-critical applications and services are designed to deliver lasting business benefits with security and faster return on investment. More than 65,000 organizations in more than 175 countries rely on Infor’s 17,000 employees and deep industry expertise to help them weather market disruptions and achieve their business goals. As a Koch company, our financial strength, ownership structure and long-term vision enable us to foster long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with our customers, employees and partners. Visit

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