With all of the news floating around with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus coming out, there are a lot of features to know about. As technology changes, restaurants need to keep pace with technology to make sure their marketing efforts are making it as easy as possible for customers to keep enjoying the same great brand experience. Here is a list of a few benefits to restaurants using Apple Pay.
Apple Pay is working towards making everyone’s lives easier. You can pay whenever you want, and you won’t have to wait for waiter or waitress to come to your table, walk back to get the check, come back to take payment, and walk back with your change. Depending on the speed of some service, it could help your restaurant turn more tables, get more covers, and generate more revenue. While adoption may be slow, your wait staff won’t have to worry because tips won’t be forgotten.
While Apple Pay is still in its infancy, some companies like Panera, Starbucks, and McDonald’s are early adopters, and more companies will soon join. If your bar or restaurant is setup to allow your customers easy access to payment, this could be a great addition to make you stand out from the crowd. For those restaurants that have self-serve beer, why not make it easier for your iPhone customers to use Apple Pay?
2. Integrates with OpenTable
OpenTable is in talks with Apple Pay to make integration that much easier. While “Pay With OpenTable” is only currently available in New York and San Francisco, Apple Pay is looking to introduce the service sometime later in the fall.
With this new integration, Apple and OpenTable are looking to make the dining experience even more seamless.
With a network connecting over 12 million diners each month to over 30,000 restaurants worldwide, the integration with OpenTable only makes sense. It is a widely trusted reservation system that continues to gain worldwide usage. The more your restaurant can integrate with OpenTable, the more phone calls and reservations you’ll get, and the more revenue you can bring through the door. This is yet another way to help customers find your restaurant.
3. Dining Diary
With the integration of OpenTable, there are talks of a “Dining Diary” being included in the release. That means customers can track what they paid for and potentially integrate with services like MyFitnessPal or the Heath app on iOS 8. If the Dining Diary is something that we’ll see, it could mean even better health tracking and a great step forward in the wearable market.
Just think, as a customer, you soon might be able to pay for your food purchases with your Apple Watch, have that data input directly into a health tracking app, and track your health after a big meal!
4. Gets Customers Coming Back
Convenience means happier customers. Dining diary means customers could keep track of their favorite meals. Remember that great meal you had at Flat Iron Philly but can’t remember what it was? Dining Diary could help your customers remember, and bring them back for their favorite dishes. Remember when we talked about Chef’s Feed, the app that shows chefs’ reviews of their favorites around town? There are integration points across all outlets so your customers can continue to come back.
5. Better Data Means Better Business Decisions
The potential for Apple Pay’s success could lead to better customer data for restaurant owners. Even better for customers, their data is secure since a physical credit card isn’t required for purchase, so there’s less of a concern for security breaches.
If Apple Pay is going to take off and NFC technology can make it into your restaurant, it could include the ability to have better data on your restaurant’s most popular dishes, number of return visitors (and how many times they have those dishes), and which waiter or waitress gets the most tips (a little friendly competition), and more. More data means better decision making to help you provide better service and dishes that customers love.
With all of the recent iPhone 6 purchases, there could be the potential for better demographic data for improved and more targeted restaurant marketing efforts.
6. Marketing Opportunities
The possibilities are endless…imagine the ability to market to past customers on their phone with weekly dining or happy hour specials, to send a text to your regular restaurant customers telling them about new specials and new menu additions.
It’s not just about mobile payments, either. Utilizing services like Ajungo to convert your restaurant website’s traffic into foot-traffic, and connecting that website visitor social data to actual customer data will mean even more accurate and focused marketing efforts to build your business and increase covers.
A word to the wise – NFC within the new iPhone only works with Apple Pay…for now. There are other apps that work on Android phones (we can’t forget about them), like Google Wallet and PayPal, but Apple Pay seems to have created some great integration points to make restaurant marketing much more efficient, and to create better customer experiences.
After having announced that Apple has opened some development to open source (like the keyboard), it seems pretty likely that they’ll open NFC as well so that it can be used with more apps than just Apple Pay.
If you’re interested in making sure your restaurant website is setup and optimized for the way people are searching, email or call us today to find out how we can help.