How to Make the Most of Digital Receipts in the Restaurant Industry6 min read
Moving towards digital receipts or e-receipts bridges the gap between online and offline service provision. As a result, many representatives of the retail industry have embraced the opportunity.
One of the main reasons is that paper receipts are wasteful and unsustainable. Approximately 90 percent of paper receipts end up in the trash. Most people will discard them immediately after collection. In addition, receipts aren’t meant to last a long time due to the fact they’re usually printed on low-quality paper.
In the U.S. alone, 12.4 million trees are cut down each year for the creation of paper-based receipts. The process generates 1.5 billion pounds of waste and four billion pounds of CO2. Paper-based receipts also tend to be coated with BPA chemicals, boosting their environmental unfriendliness even further.
Because of these facts, many company owners are asking themselves whether paper receipts will become a thing of the past. With e-receipts becoming more prominent, the answer is definitely yes.
Experiments with digital receipts started way back in 2005 when Apple initiated gradual adoption. Ever since numerous retailers have joined in. Debenhams and Topshop started using digital receipts in 2015. Tesco joined one year later.
Customers are pushing companies to ensure a paperless experience. Many industries are responding, including the restaurant field. E-receipts are becoming more common in restaurants and they deliver the same benefits that they bring to the retail industry.
If you’re looking for a way to adopt e-receipts in your restaurant business, here are a few of the key implementation measures to keep in mind.
The Benefits of Digital Receipts for Restauranteurs
Making any change in your restaurant should be justified. You will have to assess the benefits of e-receipts in advance. Do these outweigh the cost of implementation? Let’s take a look:
- You will save money from paper and stationery supplies required for printing
- Digital receipts are easy to send and easy to categorize for tax and financial report purposes
- Customer data is much easier to generate and retrieve this way
- New technologies make it possible for restauranteurs to feature promotional messages or feature loyalty perks within the receipt
- As a result, customer satisfaction and loyalty will be easy to increase and maintain at high levels
- Digital receipts allow for dynamic content creation, which means they can be personalized for every individual customer
Getting Started with Digital Receipt Introduction
As you can see, the benefits are way too many to neglect the importance of e-receipts. So what does it take to introduce digital receipts in your restaurant?
For a start, look for a product that’s specifically designed for the needs of the restaurant industry. While there are dozens of vendors out there, many offer a generic service that’s not tailored to the individual needs of your business.
Choosing the right restaurant POS solution and training your staff to effectively utilize all of the features will make for a solid first step towards digitalizing all important aspects of providing quality customer service. Make sure everyone understands e-receipt data and the manner in which receipts can be personalized for each customer.
Without a high level of awareness, you’ll find yourself incapable of collecting the data that matters the most and offering customer retention perks that will yield the best results.
And finally, whether you have a small local restaurant or a national fast-food chain, you have to test the system before rolling it out. Pilot testing provides an opportunity to integrate new technology into your operational processes. You also get an opportunity to tweak the workflow and address some of the issues standing in the way of proper adoption.
Start slow, keep it simple and once the technology is fully rolled out and integrated, you can begin exploring the more advanced characteristics of digital receipts.
Loyalty Programs and Customer Retention through Digital Receipts
As already mentioned, the content of e-receipts can be personalized to address the needs of different groups of customers.
The digital receipt is a powerful marketing tool. You can begin with basic personalization to enforce your brand and your restaurant values. Some of the essentials to feature on digital receipts include:
Once you’re done with these basic marketing and personalization efforts, you can progress to the loyalty program. Loyalty programs keep clients coming back to your restaurant. In addition, evidence suggests that loyalty programs get customers spending more.
A simple redeemable reward featured at the bottom of the e-receipts is a nice way to stir clients into action. You can also have personalized offers for your loyal clients. A complimentary appetizer, free delivery, and other exclusive perks can incentivize repeat business.
The e-receipt is the customer’s unique identifier. This means you know who they are and how they interact with your business. As a result, you’ll have all of the data required to offer the right incentive and to reward the clients who have stuck around.
Get Feedback from Clients
Digital receipts give you a chance to collect important data about your customers. On top of that, you can ask for feedback through the e-form, helping you find the answers to specific questions.
To continue the conversation with clients once they’ve interacted with your restaurant, you can:
- Post a link to a short survey
- Collect real-time feedback via email
- Ask your clients to leave a short review on a social media channel of preference
- Feature direct hyperlinks to new menu offerings or services, collecting information about how these are perceived before a rollout occurs
- Offer the right incentive for the completion of a survey or the provision of feedback
- Ask for feedback without having negative reviews being published online (which gives you a chance to address criticism, ensure customer satisfaction and maintain a stellar online brand)
- Give clients the flexibility to determine what method of communication suits them best (email, text message, social media, etc.)
Getting feedback from your clients isn’t always easy, especially if the process is cumbersome. Making things simple and readily available within a few clicks will increase the likelihood of your clients interacting and providing essential information.
Digital receipts are affordable, environmentally friendly and much more convenient for both restauranteurs and their clients.
Paper is becoming more and more obsolete. In addition, a standard receipt cannot accomplish a fraction of the things you can do when you go digital.
Every single digital receipt is an opportunity to keep clients coming back to your restaurant. Data collection, incentives, loyalty programs, brief updates and even a short humorous message featured at the bottom of the receipt can establish the emotional connection required to ensure client satisfaction.
As a restaurant tries to bridge the gap between paper and digital, adopting a hybrid approach would be best. Give your staff and your clients some time to get accustomed to the change. Having both possibilities available at the very beginning ensures flexibility – something that all clients like and appreciate.