In the last few decades, a plethora of major industries has seen an influx of revenue. This can be credited to a handful of factors, such as the need to digitalize and the technological innovations that have rendered past methodologies obsolete.
The restaurant industry, like all the other industries, was also subject to this subtle phase shift. For the first time in American history, the restaurant industry was able to overtake several sectors in terms of revenue generated. A study dictated that the former clocked in at $55B, $3B more than what Americans spend on groceries.
Generally speaking, no one really saw this coming. Intuition and common sense dictated that the restaurant industry has peaked and won’t be overtaking any major industry shortly. However, by integrating digital models in their marketing, the unprecedented occurred.
Digital marketing and personalized is what makes the experience truly unique for an individual. To bank on this opportunity, it is speculated that some restaurants delegate up to 90% of their budget on digital marketing and similar agendas.
What do the numbers say?
As of yet, there is overwhelming support of the claim above. The current growth rate, just short of exponential, has resulted in a turnover for the industry. Mentioned below are the few statistical increments that have been recorded over a few years.
- Due to targeted communication and feedback, revenue growth was measured at about 10% to 30%.
- For 15% of the companies that can digitalize their brand successfully in the next five years, studies dictate that a revenue shift of $800B is possible.
- By increasing customer retention rate, a testament to digital personalization, restaurants can increase their profit margin from anywhere from 20% to 90%.
None of this should be news to us. The target audiences in this day and age are the same individuals who have been subject to data and algorithms since day 1. No one truly distinguishes one place from another; the only factor that counts now is a personalized digital experience that can truly set everything apart.
A recent study by Accenture found that about 41% of people switch from one brand to another due to a general lack of trust and personalization. This led to a loss of about $756B. Put, the only way to not get left behind is to digitalize your product.
A Case Study
As mentioned above, no one predicted this route for the restaurant industry. In 2017, in an event referred to as the Retail apocalypse¸ 21 retail brands died out due to loss of business.
The culprit was targeted as a lack of digitalization by the brand. Recognizing this fault early on, there were a few businesses that integrated this strategy into their early module.
In the past five years, the brand mentioned above was able to increase its revenue by 20%. The only thing that they did was to digitalize and personalize the user experience. This increased conversion rate and built customer loyalty since their digital user interface were to keep track of and gave users incentive!
Another brand is also on the way to digitization. Though the idea can come off as ludicrous and might be paving the way for automation (as opposed to human labor), it’s still a step forward in the right direction. This brand will focus primarily on an AI-based bartender who will offer users personalized drinks; all operated from a smartphone.
Is this the only way forward?
Even though the mathematics corroborates the embedment of digitalization in successful business strategies, not all brands are eager to make this move just yet.
This is primarily cited to the fact that doing so requires a heavy investment which doesn’t necessarily guarantee a definite return. Things such as real-time data capture, data-drive operations, and unifications might sound good on paper but are quite hard and time-consuming to tackle if you want to stay operative during the procedure.
Likewise, the process also requires expanding into a new line of work. Generally speaking, restaurants need to outsource their digital marketing portfolio to third parties. Given the prevalence of digitalization, this makes the industry quite tricky to deal with. In most cases, it’s a hit or miss. And some people aren’t willing to take that risk just yet.
To accelerate the process, experts often debate on how the Customer Data Platform, often referred to as the CDP, can make the process as mentioned above easier and faster. The general gist that this offers owners is a complete customer profile that they can use to customize and personalize user content.
Using other digital software like restaurant management and reservation systems can also help restaurants push their business forward through digitalization.