Sponsored by Koala
Inflation is at a 40-year high and is expected to stay high in 2023. Customers and brands are looking to see how they can make their dollars go as far as possible. The emphasis on value and deals is higher than ever – and for restaurant brands, their tech stack could be an answer to problems of the employment crisis, retaining customers, providing deals that customers want, and more.
A very hungry yet busy business woman goes online to place her lunch order for delivery. She goes to Pokeworks (one of her favorites) and can go through the experience in less than a minute. How so quickly? Because when she logged on to place her order, her delivery address was saved from her previous order – one click. Then, her most recent order showed up at the top of the page, so she added that to her cart without having to customize to her exact preferences – one click. Finally, as she went to checkout, her favorite drink (a Hawaiian Sun Strawberry-Guava Nectar) was shown as an add-on, and she included that too – one click. When she checked out, her in card information was stored from previous use – one click.
F-O-U-R- clicks retain a customer. Since this experience for the customer has been so simple, it will become part of her routine. She will choose this experience over another restaurant experience simply because it is so simple. How do restaurant brands get to a place where they can offer their customers this ease and peace of mind?
Koala created an industry-leading platform that unites the customer experience across multiple channels, both on-premises and off-premises, with a single back-end program and easily customizable front-end interfaces. The best part -- the brand stays true to its mission of democratizing restaurant tech at an affordable rate, while providing continuous optimizations for no extra cost.
"What's important to today's customer is convenience and personalization," explains Brett Spiegel, Co-founder, and Chief Operating Officer for Koala. "We have created a personalized best-in-class ordering experience for restaurant brands that drives revenue and increases guest satisfaction."
Koala optimized their experience with the stored delivery address feature when a customer logs on, reducing the clicks to start a delivery order down to one. Customer delivery addresses are automatically saved and presented at the start of the flow for quick access. Sessions with this feature have more than 9% more conversions.
Then as a customer goes through their online ordering journey, they can quickly add their products and have a visually pleasing experience. Once a customer checks out, they are presented with a personalized add-on section designed to increase check size and guest satisfaction by tailoring recommendations for up-sell suggestions.
Koala introduced machine learning to its cross-sell rules engine to improve the quality and speed of optimization for product recommendations. At the core of the feature is an affinity mapping engine that tracks sales of popular items, cross-references it against specific menu items that are most often purchased together, then applies those recommendations to everyone’s existing order experience. The algorithm analyzes ordering data every 24 hours and automatically adjusts the rules, creating dynamic product pairings on the fly. The result is a digital recommendation tool that outperforms traditional if/then ordering systems by a ratio of 3 to 1. After launching machine learning, WaBa Grill's average order value was up 2.5%.
If this is a customer's first digital order with the brand, Koala built an advanced delivery search feature to streamline pain points in the delivery workflow. Now, when customers go online to order food for either pickup or delivery, the auto-complete feature eliminates dozens of clicks as they type in their address. The enhanced user-friendly experience led to a 7% increase in successful delivery searches, meaning more users can efficiently and successfully go through the ordering funnel leading to more restaurant orders.
Koala pushed out more than 200 updates in 2021; many focused on UX improvements.
"As we continue to invest and evolve the platform, restaurant brands can expect many more enhancements that push overall performance, revenue and guest satisfaction," concluded Spiegel.
For more information about the Koala restaurant platform, please visit www.koala.io.