By Maxwell Harding, Founder and CEO of Dynamify (www.dynamify.com)
With the cost of living continuing to skyrocket and food price inflation at a record high, this year consumers will increasingly focus their spending where they are likely to garner some type of benefit. As a result, loyalty programmes will play a hugely important role in attracting and retaining customers in 2023.
Through the use of EPoS systems or white-labelling apps, operators can leverage these benefits to the fullest extent by providing customers with ‘rewards’ and ‘giveaways’ that feel unique to them. This is thanks to the software’s ability to analyse each individual’s purchase history and then promote specific meals and drinks to meet the preference of each customer. This will enable operators to not only stay competitive, but also improve customer service over time, retain customer data for targeted marketing campaigns, and introduce loyalty and reward programmes on an ad hoc basis.
When it comes to the future of EPoS systems, we are already seeing loyalty schemes growing in popularity. We can expect to see a rise in subscription-based schemes – like Leon Coffee Club and Deliveroo Plus – and sustainability-focused loyalty programs – such as giving points for eco-friendly purchases and planting trees.
At the same time, these capabilities also positively benefit hospitality staff by providing frictionless, convenient, and time-saving transactions for customers. This in turn reduces pressure on staffing during labour shortages that have persisted over the course of 2022 and into 2023, allowing staff to focus on higher value-adding tasks such as interacting with customers and enhancing their experience. This personability element is an important factor when a customer is evaluating whether to return to a restaurant.
What’s more, businesses might not realise that EPoS offers restaurants the benefit of non-anonymised basket-level data that can help them make better decisions – such as what products to sell, to what clientele, and at what time, to point at just a few. As of today, the only challenge that still exists in this area is the immaturity of the digital ordering market, which has meant the production of poor solutions, giving good ones a bad reputation. Therefore, further education is needed to combat this.
The next few years will be absolutely crucial in the evolution of the EPoS system, with any probability of EPoS being solely self-service channels (app and kiosks) along with the concept of cashiers and queueing reduced even further. As customers’ expectations evolve and demand for quick, convenient, and time-saving transactions grows, we’ll likely see more operators go fully digital in 2023.
Further, as disruptions to the supply chain continue, inventory management will remain vital to businesses, but gradually give way to ‘information transparency’. To comply with Natasha’s Law, these transparencies include allergen information, nutrition/calorie content, in the wake of the new calorie labelling legislation, and carbon footprint, as conscious consumerism continues to pave the way.