Although user experience may be most identifiable with software and technology, considering a user's needs and desires to design the ultimate experience is as relevant to your restaurant as it is to a website or mobile app. In fact, getting a guest to walk through the door is just the first step. Just like getting someone to click on a website is no guarantee that they are going to stay on the site, buy something or return at a future date, getting a guest through the doors of your restaurant is no guarantee of how they will behave once they sit down or after they leave. In the restaurant business as in the digital world, it all comes down to user experience.
How In-Restaurant UX and Customer Data Affect Your Bottom Line
The tools for measuring what a guest wants and what they will refuse to settle for may be more sophisticated than ever, but dining out remains one of the most basic and human-centered experiences. There are a number of factors that go into a guest's experience beyond what is on the menu and the cost of the meal.
It's no secret. Guests have more choices than ever. While your establishment may enjoy a four-star rating on Yelp, some experiences can affect the guest and negatively impact check. For example, if a group of friends were planning a reunion over dinner and drinks weeks in advance, only to have the waiter remove the menus after they ordered the first drink and rush them out the door, the experience will have not met their expectations, no matter how good the one margarita was. And you may have lost out on PPA if they chose to have drinks and dessert somewhere else.
UX Strategies to Increase PPA
Anticipating customer need is always a good place to start. For example, if a party had to wait to be seated or it is especially hot out, getting them drinks as quickly as possible (within five minutes if possible) should be a priority for the server.
Another critical factor in guest experience is the menu. In addition to listing food and beverage options, is it well designed and easy to navigate? Nothing is more frustrating for diners than a complicated and confusing menu. The menu is an important extension of your brand, and should reflect that to your customers.
Effective in-restaurant UX considers all of the seemingly disparate factors that give your guests what they want, keep them ordering, and convince them to return to your restaurant again and again.
In addition, a good UX strategy will help you to identify where your restaurant is falling short, obstacles to a good customer experience, and overall areas and practices that may be lowering your PPA and costing you repeat business by way of guest dissatisfaction.
While many elements create the guest's user experience, you can focus on a merchandising strategy that will help boost your PPA and also contribute positively to your guest's dining journey. In casual dining, there are 4 key areas to focus on when developing your POP strategy:
Think of good in-restaurant UX in terms of the traditional elements of good old-fashioned customer service:
Interested in designing an in-restaurant UX for your brand? Contact us today and get the CheckUp, the guest-centric way to build PPA.