From novelty to necessity: how user experience (UX) is giving the eating out customer experience (CX) a radical facelift

The first time most people heard or even thought about the integration of technology with restaurant customer experience was probably when they read reviews about Inamo. Famous as much for its quirky interactive tabletops as much as its black cod, Inamo was a pioneer of technology as part of the overall customer experience. The Inamo experience is certainly fun, but now we are seeing signs that the integration of technology into the dining out experience has gone from novelty to necessity.

restaurant customers

Big moves from the big players

It’s becoming increasingly clear that all the major food and drink players are taking technology very seriously indeed. Both McDonalds and Starbucks have famously announced initiatives to introduce order ahead technology, and the latter even announced this month that it would be making its flagship store in Seattle mobile order ahead only.

You might be thinking ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’, but that would be the wrong approach. Smartphones have been with us for about a decade and today’s consumers are accustomed to technology interfacing with almost every aspect of their lives – from how they organise and curate their social lives to the way they buy their razors. Think about some of your most positive customer experiences over the last month. Whether those experiences are courtesy of Amazon Prime or Spotify Premium, the likelihood is that they are profoundly entwined with UX.

Use technology to update your customer experience 

What has happened is that as technology has become an integral part of normal everyday lives, user interface has become a critical part of customer experience. UX has become an integral part of CX.

With the success of food delivery technology companies like Deliveroo, there has been a lot of talk about the trend of people staying at home, with some suggesting that there is a secular trend of people preferring to eat at home rather than eat out. Our view is there is a much more nuanced and interesting lesson to be learned here. If the wealth of Instagram photos of beautifully arranged plates and happy groups of friends is to be believed, it seems unlikely that our love of eating out has diminished in the slightest. People still love eating out, but cafes and restaurants need to do more to bring the UX into their CX.

restaurant customer experience

Get help from the experts

Our experience of launching Ordoo and rolling it out across the UK is that speciality and independent cafes and restaurants have woken up to the need to integrate technology as a core part of their customer experience.

Ordoo Founder and CEO, Tom Dewhurst comments:

“What we have noticed – and this is really exciting – from our discussions with restaurateurs and cafe owners is that there is a real sense of opportunity here. They’re a naturally entrepreneurial demographic, always looking for the most incredible ways to improve their customers’ experiences. They don’t want to get left behind either by the food delivery eat at home trend, or by other venue owners stealing a march on them.”

Find out more about Ordoo here.