Casual dining is under the knife, and thus far, it’s not looking good. According to a recent article from Business Insider, millennials are to blame for the recent decline in sales for casual dining restaurants like Applebee’s, Ruby Tuesday, and Buffalo Wild Wings. Millennials love for delivery and at-home dining has created a “uniquely challenging market,” as Buffalo Wild Wing’s CEO, Sally Smith, says in the BI article. Is their hope for this sector of the industry?
As seen in many industries today, the millennial lifestyle can make or break your business. Unfortunately for casual dining restaurants, their operational setup is no longer as appealing to the generation expected to carry and use $200 billion in spending power. Millennials have pretty different expectations for business interactions than past generations.
Today, millennials want life to operate like their smartphones: quick, efficient, and effective. They want business interactions that cater to their needs when they want and how they want. For restaurants, the key question to ask is: How is my restaurant adapting to these desires so that sales don’t slump into non-existence?
Thankfully, as millennials’ desires are rapidly evolving, so is technology. With artificial intelligence and automation, restaurants have the opportunity to exceed millennial expectations, improve operations, and boost sales. Performing operations quicker with greater efficiency and effectiveness not only meets millennials’ needs, it also benefits the restaurant’s overall operations and ability to profit. So, what are the technologies available to your casual dining establishment that could revive your ability to impress millennials and make money?
At SYNQ3 Restaurant Solutions, our team has developed an advanced artificial-intelligence, omni-channel ordering tool, VIA (Virtual Intelligent Assistant), which addresses millennials’ apathy toward casual dining in significant ways. Primarily, VIA meets millennials where they’re at when they’re hungry and makes the ordering experience fit snuggly with their needs in that moment. For example, are they driving from one meeting to the next and need a meal fast? Why rule your restaurant out against QSRs because of current operations when you could have the meal they actually want?
With VIA, the busy millennial can call your casual dining restaurant as they’re already headed your way; VIA will take the call; and, using guest data, VIA will ask returning customers if they’d like to repeat their last order, and if they want something different, VIA will receive their new order and offer an upsell. So, while VIA is quickly and precisely handling the order, your employees can focus on providing the best service for the guests in front of them in the restaurant, and they can focus on creating your dishes with greater attention, excellence, and speed. We help minimize divided attention and inefficiencies.
After the order is received, the guest will either zip through a special drive-thru; park in a pick-up spot and have their order brought to them as geolocation technology notifies your employees that the guest has arrived; or, they can run inside to a rapid pick-up location, depending on which ordering model you choose for your restaurant.
In today’s market, you can’t limit your restaurant to old ways of operating. Jump outside the box, leap past the restaurants currently leading the restaurant technology space, and adapt to what will wow millennials and all restaurant guests. VIA is not only an exciting opportunity for many restaurants, it’s also a remarkably feasible way to boost profits and save casual dining.