The restaurant receipt - it's a standard part of the dining experience.
Yet, ask yourself - both as a restaurateur and a restaurant-goer - how often those receipts end up in the trash.
Can't those itemized slips of paper be used for a greater purpose? Yes. They can be.
The Receipt Revolution
To understand why the time to embrace the receipt revolution is now, one must first understand the changing ways of the restaurant checkout process.
Interactive, self-serve, customer-facing touchscreens have begun to improve efficiency by speeding up the order process and allow customers to review orders themselves before sending it through to the kitchen. If a mistake is made, customers see it in real time as opposed to afterwards on their printed receipts.
With fewer errors in the orders being placed, restaurant teams are executing at a faster rate, and overall guest satisfaction is increased through fewer mistakes and faster order turnaround times.
Online ordering systems can also reduce error, as customers are placing the orders themselves. This streamlines and expedites the entire experience. While customers take control and handle their own order and payment, restaurant employees can then focus on other maintenance tasks, such as cleaning the front of the store, restocking items, and proactively monitoring inventories in real-time.
The Modern Receipt
So now that you understand the reason for the receipt revolution, let's talk about what your restaurant can do with its receipts moving forwards.
- Should you go digital or continue to offer paper receipts?
- How can receipts help your marketing efforts?
- Could this revolution save money or increase your bottom line?
Here are five ways restaurants are using their receipts for a greater purpose.
1) Saving Money and Resources
Interactive touchscreens enable the use of digital receipts, which have a host of benefits. These receipts can be sent to customers via email or text, and appeal to ecoconscious customers because of reduced paper waste.
According to Safety Culture, the following are used to make receipts in the U.S. each year.
- 250 million gallons of oil
- 10 million trees
- 1 billion gallons of water
Not only does going digital reduce a restaurant’s carbon footprint, but it can also cut down on costs for managers, who often spend money on reams of paper that ultimately end up in the garbage.
Investing in POS software that enables digital receipts can save money over time by reducing paper and ink purchases. To add to that, 42% of consumers prefer digital receipts after a meal, so offering this option can help a restaurant cater to changing customer preferences.
2) Growing Loyalty
Whether receipts are delivered through email or text message, restaurants are capturing important contact information that can be used to increase brand loyalty, collect customer feedback, and increase the likelihood that someone will come back again.
For example, customers can be prompted to enroll in a loyalty or rewards program right at the point of sale when choosing their receipt delivery method. Rewards programs can be linked to an existing credit card, phone number, or email, so when future payments are made by that customer, points will be added to their account automatically. Once loyal customers have racked up a certain number of points, they’ll be offered exclusive deals, coupons, and perks.
3) Continuing the Conversation
With digital receipts, restaurateurs can communicate with their customers more strategically because they’ve captured and logged customers’ direct contact information.
For example, they can:
- Send customer satisfaction surveys to collect real-time feedback
- Connect diners directly to their social media pages
- Include calls-to-action to leave a review
- Keep up-to-date on upcoming promotions, menu changes, and limited-time offers.
The possibilities are endless and allow restaurant owners to keep in touch with diners, improve the experience based on their feedback, and ensure they come back again.
4) Plugging a Promotion
Through receipts - digital or print - restaurants can deliver brand-related content such as ongoing promotions, coupons, and announcements. This can help spread the news about more timely promotions, too.
For example, if a restaurant is running an upcoming holiday promotion, or a buy-two-get-one deal, they can include this information at the bottom of digital receipts so customers know the promotion is coming.
5) Offering Online Ordering Options
Domino’s has had 24 straight quarters of U.S. comparable sales growth due largely to digital ordering capabilities, proving to this restaurant and others that technology is having an impact.
Digital receipts can help direct more customers to a restaurant’s online platform by providing a link directly to it. This approach can help point customers to the right site so they’re able to find the correct menu and restaurant online.
By helping customers become multi-channel buyers, restaurants can open an entirely new sales channel that their diners may not have been previously unaware of.