New High Street Technology

The big chains have been colonising the high street for years, each offering a standardised menu and a uniform customer experience. Recently though, a counter trend has emerged, bringing a renewed sense of hope to a troubled high street that seemed to have lost its way.

Research recently released from the LDC showed that cafes are now the most popular type of leisure business in London and that the number of cake makers and coffee bars has increased 51% and 31% respectively across the country. Specialist restaurants were also seen to be on the rise. You can actually see the trend when you look around your local high street and note the increased diversity of eating and drinking venues.

What is less widely understood is the role that technology and web 2.0 have played in this. Technology trends like mobile ordering are powering the growth of culinary specialists.

For over a decade, Facebook and other social channels have given restaurants, cafes, bars and street food stalls a way to reach out to customers, offer loyalty rewards and keep those customers coming back. Mobile ordering is the next generation of this dynamic and is gaining traction across the country.

Tech drives awareness 

One of the biggest trends driving the increased diversity of tastes on the high street is simple, old fashioned awareness. People love to know the stories behind their food and connect with the people who grow, prepare or serve it.

Obviously, smart brands have been able to leverage this enormously through their social channels, but what we’re seeing now is a growing array of technical solutions aiming to connect people with those authentic food experiences they crave, whether that’s through streetfood apps, mobile ordering or online delivery.

Leverage your one major advantage

Think about it: what is the one advantage that specialist venues have over mega-chains? Relationships. The ability to inspire customer loyalty, create meaningful interactions, educate about provenance — these all come down to the ability to communicate and build a relationship, both offline and online.

Now technology offers them the same sophisticated customer relationship tools as the multinationals. In some cases, the technology on offer to specialist venues has leapfrogged the technology of the incumbents.

Mobile ordering technology like Ordoo’s now allows smaller venues to connect with their audiences in sophisticated, data-driven and authentic ways. This also provides them with a wealth of insights to help them better understand their customers’ needs and habits.

Technology has allowed the customer relationship to become truly two-way for the first time. Not only can consumers research the provenance of their coffee beans, but cafes and cake shops, tacos takeaways and tapas bars can now use technology to develop ongoing, continuous relationships with the consumers they serve, all ultimately grounded in a physical interaction.

Taste diversity

The great result of this trend is the rainbow of flavours on your average city high street now. Awareness and online engagement are helping our high streets evolve to reflect demand for new, exciting tastes and authentic culinary experiences. An ever increasing number of people can now taste unusual and exotic flavours that only a few would have been able to enjoy before. Taste has been democratised.

Ordoo CEO and Founder Tom Dewhurst commented: “This is tech innovation complementing and facilitating creativity, all premised upon great customer service and interaction. It’s great to be able to help venues and their customers connect, and diversify our choice of fantastic places to eat and drink.”