In a world where technology is quickly becoming the future and every business is finding ways to increase efficiency through automation, you could be wondering how technology could work for you in such a ‘hands-on’ human to human industry.

Until recently, there was little restaurants could do with technology to help them deliver their services faster; aside to signing up to money sucking delivery companies. But there has been an exciting new development in the tech industry which means there is an opportunity for restaurant owners to reap the rewards of the technology everyone else has been indulging in.

The answer is: Chatbots.

Restaurant Chatbots are platforms that use artificial intelligence to automatically respond to restaurant enquiries and booking requests via Facebook Messenger. As it is estimated that 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human by 2020, this is a bandwagon we think everyone will want to jump on.

If you’re still not convinced, here’s six reasons why your restaurant needs a chatbot – not just for convenience, but to survive.

1. Saving Time – For Everyone!
These days time is everything – and it works both ways. Your customers don’t want to waste timing waiting for you to respond to their simple queries and you don’t want to waste your time, or your staff’s time, responding to simple queries.

Having a chatbot cuts out that time wasting element for everyone. Your customers are happy because their message has been responded to promptly with an accurate answer, and you haven’t needed to lift a finger to ensure that happened.

2. Less To Worry About
There are always concerns over customer satisfaction when you are a restaurant business. It takes a lot to get good reviews but hardly a hair on a plate to get a bad one. So you want your staff to be focusing on keeping your customers happy in-house. But with 51% of people now wanting businesses to be contactable 24/7, there’s the worry of keeping them happy outside the business too.

Restaurant chatbots are there to cure this particular anxiety. Your chatbot will never make a spelling mistake and it can handle those external enquires faster and more accurately than a member of staff ever could – hello glowing customer service reviews!

3. Improving Your Response Times
Picture this scenario; a potential customer with a disability wants to go our for dinner and needs to know if your restaurant has access for a wheelchair. They send a message to your Facebook page to ask the simple question, but it takes so long to hear a response that they end up sending the message to a few other restaurants who may respond faster – who do you think they are more likely to end up booking with? Using a restaurant chatbot, simple questions like this are answered immediately, improving your response time and making it more likely that the customer will choose to book with you rather than anyone else.

4. Quality Customer Service
Customer service is a topic that pops up time and time again in the restaurant and hospitality industry. We are firm believers that customer service can start before they walk through the door; it starts with the attitude of the person on the phone, or in this case the experience they get when they send a message to your restaurant.

Chatbots do not allow room for human error such as spelling mistakes and will also not be subject to the mood, emotions or attitude of a human. For example, if a staff member has had a bad day and they get a message to the restaurant asking a simple question, their response might be sharp and not very well thought out – bad customer service. Restaurant chatbots take away the negative human impact on customer service and always ensure the customer is treated well and delivered accurate information.

5. You Can Get Back To Doing What You Love
Perhaps one of the most important reasons is to allow you to remember why you started that restaurant in the first place; your love of good food and wine, the pleasure you get from a good atmosphere or your values of bringing people together for a good time. Having something else handling your external enquires means you can get back for focusing on what you love.

6. It’s The Future
How do you think the process of booking a restaurant will look in five years time? If you see the power of social media and instant messaging then you will already know the answer. Currently, due to all of these emerging technologies and a new wave of people who have been brought up with less face to face interaction, 56% of people prefer to message a business rather than call them.

At the moment, the older generation are still likely to pick up the phone or even pop in to book, but millennials are the generation that live through social media – what happens in 10 or even 15 years time? Don’t get left behind when it comes to emerging technologies that could benefit your business.