Omnichannel started as a buzzword that was first used by the retail industry.
According to Tech Target, Omnichannel is a multichannel approach to sales that seeks to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience, whether they’re shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone, or in a brick-and-mortar store. The mission is to reach both new and different customers and create additional revenue streams through integrating various systems in an organised manner so that the flow from ordering to distribution is cohesive and orderly.
In the food business, omnichannel means providing multiple ways for customers to order, pay and receive their meals. This could be through:
- online using web-based browsers
- mobile apps
- third-party food delivery apps
- from click & collect stores
- through a QR code
- kiosk inside the restaurant
- traditional call-in orders
Here are three quick things one should know:
1. Technology can make or break a business
The increasing efficient uses of the internet, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, allows for various computer and mobile apps to help people find the closest branch of their favourite restaurant / fast food/ food truck. Location tracking has made leaps and bounds in assisting people in searching for venues. To a business, it enables them to be found and compete with much larger establishments. Yet, at the same time, it allows the people to choose just about any other venue. They can go quickly somewhere else unless they are hooked and keep coming back for something they genuinely enjoy, whether the food or the service.
Technology allows customers the following:
- Search for location
- peruse menu
- order food online
- book tables online
- track delivery orders
- rate businesses and leave feedback
- follow the business.
Technology indeed is at the heart of the omnichannel strategy.
But if the varied types of transactions coming in from different sources are not processed efficiently and consistently, this multiple platform setup can backfire.
There are various Point-of-Sale (POS) systems that businesses can look into to help smooth integration of systems to receive all orders, process payments and deliver them to customers promptly.
2. Peak hours are extra challenging than they usually are
Peak hours for every food business are the most challenging, and it is even more difficult for one who applies an omnichannel approach.
The customers are given the ability to order their favourite foods from any channel. The arrival of orders coming from these new channels will put pressure on a business’ operation. Particularly during peak hours.
If not managed, it could lead to staff getting overwhelmed. The management should consciously be on top of staff availability and training to avoid disorganised omnichannel orders.
Anytime Chefs has provided rapid staffing service to many food venues and restaurants in Perth and Western Australia. These businesses recognise the value of professional chefs who can easily fill in shifts and adapt quickly in the kitchen.
3. Customers will continue to have the exact expectations
A typical customer will assume that a business that offers a new approach is prepared for various outcomes. For the food industry, customers will continue to expect the same piping hot goodness of their order, even if they are delivered to them instead of them being in the venue themselves.
No matter the sales channel are used, businesses should have a solid strategy to satisfy the customers need for personalisation, convenience, consistency and speed.
Omnichannel strategies in the food and hospitality industry allow businesses to maintain and grow their customer base – from ordering, payment, delivery/pickup and nurturing customer relations. It is a multifaceted approach that demands more from the businesses in terms of staff training and efficiency of systems but, when done right, can provide more venues to obtain more sales.
That’s it for this week.
As always, Professional Chefs on Call at Anytime!
Ciao for now,