Customer Experience in the Restaurant Industry: Use of Smart Technologies

Customer Experience in the Restaurant Industry: Use of Smart Technologies

Ilhami Tuncer (Karamanoglu Mehmetbey University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1989-9.ch012
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One of the most important points of consideration that will ensure the sustainability and profitability of businesses in the digitized world market is the experience offered to customers. Experience in business preferences, especially of the digitized customers, is quite specific. This chapter discussed the contribution of smart technologies to customer experience for restaurants, and emphasized its significance. Moreover, the subjects of artificial intelligence, smart technology, and QR code were addressed based on customer experience. The contribution offered to customers was emphasized by giving examples of smart technology applications used in restaurant businesses to improve customer experience. The chapter will contribute theoretically to the subject which has not been adequately studied in the literature.
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Undoubtedly, technology has contributed greatly to the development of businesses, their gaining awareness and attaining a modern structure. In the process to date, technology has had a limited level of interaction with businesses, although it has evolved through many phases of development. But, today, because of the high level of interaction and integration of technology with businesses, we are witnessing major changes in the business world. It is observed that the reflections of especially the development of technologies such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality in businesses is a harbinger of radical changes in the business world. It can be said that the impact of these smart technologies on businesses and the acceptance process of businesses is at an initial level. However, while smart technologies are more active in some industries, they have not yet been integrated into some sectors.

Today, smart technologies are broadly used in marketing as well as in many different areas. The digitization of consumers has emerged as a result of the digitization of marketing. This is because businesses can experience effective interaction with their customers in digital environments. Many businesses invest in digital environments by seeing the opportunities. Digital media has resulted in a proliferation of increased technology use in marketing activities.

An increase in the use of smart devices such as smartphones and tablet computers has been one of the most important reason to encourage smart technologies to be integrated into marketing. The fact that especially smartphones with the Internet can be accessed without any place or time limitations has been the most important factor allowing the use of smart technologies. Many businesses can reach and contact their customers by integrating smart technologies into smartphones. The tendency for new-generation customers to interact with digital technologies, in particular, supports this process. Therefore, businesses’ investment in and integration with smart technologies will give them significant advantages in their sustainability and profitability.

Smart technologies are used in many areas of marketing, as well as playing a major role in improving customer experience. Many businesses rely on smart technologies to deliver a diverse and also better experience to their customers. Many businesses can be said to have started to use especially artificial intelligence and augmented reality technologies and such technologies affect customer experience. In particular, devices and robots equipped with these technologies provide consumers with a different experience, as well as providing great conveniences. The use of these technologies, their adoption by businesses and consumers regardless of their being new, and the recognition of the clear benefit of the experience offered by them have increased the spread of the technologies.

The service sector is a very favorable sector for the use of smart technologies due to the heavy labor in the sector. Innovative developments are experienced in terms of serving consumers by the integration of smart technologies into robots and smart devices. The innovations brought by smart technologies are also observed quite intensely in restaurant businesses. Today, many restaurant businesses invest in smart technologies to differentiate from competitors, deliver better service, and provide a good customer experience. They employ many smart robots as substitutions for waiters. Therefore, smart technologies will be able to identify the future of restaurant businesses.

The use of smart technologies in customer experience has become a very important subject. This thesis appears to be supported by the increasing share of the service sector in the world and the competition experienced in the service sector. There is a considerable shortage of academic studies in this area. It was aimed through this study to contribute to the enrichment of the literature and to guide marketing managers. In this study, it was aimed to discuss the impact of smart technologies on customer experience in restaurants and to provide current examples from the industry regarding the use of smart technologies. To that end, first, customer experience and then the subject of smart technologies were scrutinized and supported by applications and examples available in the industry.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Touchpoint: This is each of the moments of communication or interaction between customers and the company or its products.

Augmented Reality: It is called superimposing virtual objects on real images by using the object recognition feature of the devices.

Virtual: It is something that has no place in reality, does not exist in reality, but is designed in the mind.

Machine Learning: It is a method paradigm that makes inferences from existing data using mathematical and statistical methods and makes predictions about what is unknown with these inferences.

Artificial Intelligence: It is a set of software and hardware systems that have many abilities such as human behaviors, digital logic, motion, speech and sound perception.

Experience: It refers to the totality of knowledge, skills and attitudes that a person gains through direct perceptions and activities.

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