Welcome to First Bite, a Nation’s Restaurant News podcast, your daily source of news from NRN.
Today, we’re talking about the future of restaurants: a future where your digital footprint is more crucial than your physical entryway, where customers expect online hospitality to be just as (if not more) easy to use and as convenient as in-person dining, and where every operator knows more than just your name. Essentially, restaurants must be “everything everywhere all at once” to customers who have become used to an on-demand economy, thanks to tech giants like Amazon, Google and even Netflix.
It might sound harsh, but the days of mom-and-pop restaurant operators being able to rely on word of mouth for marketing and resisting digital investment because they “are food experts, not tech/social media experts” are over.
While at first experts predicted that the end of the COVID-19 pandemic would bring about the end of the traditional restaurant experience as we know it, with dining-in becoming the new dining-out, this proved not to be the case. Instead, customers keep wanting more from restaurants. They want operators to offer everything: classic dine-in, easy and flexible online ordering and delivery, and personalized experiences like customizable rewards based on their purchasing habits and subscription programs. They want the omnichannel experience, which has been the hospitality buzzword of 2022.
Senior editor Joanna Fantozzi joins us to talk about what technology experts think digital innovation inside the restaurant of the future might look like.
Plus, catch up on all the top news of the day with our daily news recap at the beginning of each episode.