By Victor Lugger, co-founder of the Big Mamma group and new hospitality payment platform sunday.
The hospitality industry has experienced a number of challenges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with forced closures and a subsequent staffing crisis, revenue dropped significantly and processes had to be updated. The pandemic influenced an influx of new technology across sectors as new, more efficient practises were born, with a low-touch economy steadily growing in capabilities and avenues.
The hospitality industry has historically been one of the last to turn to tech and data. While retail peers have harnessed its benefits for sometime now, it made no sense to me that we were not doing the same. Not only was the process of paying the billslowing service and impacting customer happiness, but this outdated format meant that we were learning less from our customers.
Earlier this year myself and co-founder of the Big Mamma Group Tigrane Seydoux, along with Christine De Wendel, launched sunday, a new innovative payment platform for restaurants. It revolutionises the way that customers pay in restaurants, by enabling diners to seamlessly pay in under 10 seconds. We very quickly experienced an overwhelmingly positive response, from both restauranteurs and users, with the service helping to drive 40% more in staff tips, 10% faster table turnover and a 12% higher spend.
Here in the UK we partnered with leading POS service Epos Now, to further expand on this service, and tap into our customer data. Connecting two leading hospitality solutions, the cloud-based integration will seamlessly link Epos Now’s point-of-sale system with sunday’s innovative payment platform, enabling venues to simplify the payment process, whilst the integration will also help hospitality operators increase spend, table turnover and staff tips. The data that restaurateurs will now be able to draw from will be invaluable and we are confident that it will positively impact the future of hospitality and the restaurant industry in several ways.
Since sunday’s launch last March and recent announcement of its $100 million Series A, we have received a staggering response from consumers and business owners as the brand continues to accelerate and grow.. The hospitality industry is in need of a shake up and we are hoping to lend a hand to thousands of restaurants who will need to rethink the way they utilise their technology in order to see them through what is undoubtedly going to be another tough trading year for all.
Kunwar Gill, VP of Product and Hospitality at Epos Now:
Eventually, restaurateurs will be able to use data from reviews, online reservations and other sources to get a comprehensive view of what their customers like and dislike. For example, restaurateurs will discover which items on the menu are selling well and which ones aren’t. Restaurateurs can then take this information into account when they’re creating new menus or revising existing ones.
Data is critical when it comes to understanding your guests and helping to improve customer service. You’ll be able to see what’s working and where there might be gaps in the experience by collecting more information on your customers’ needs, preferences, behavioural patterns etc. For example, I think it’s important to know if your customers are visiting you because they’re hungry, lonely or just looking for a place to hang out. That way, you can adapt the experience based on their needs and preferences while also ensuring that everything is tailored towards them – whether it be menu items, wines, music, etc. Data can give you these insights by showing you things like how long guests are staying, what they’re spending in your restaurant or bar, and where they’re coming from.
Data is the key to creating a loyal customer base. By understanding your customers deeply and then showing them relevant offers when they’re in the right location, you’ll be able to develop relationships with returning guests who will hopefully become big spenders over time! For example, if you know that your customers visit the restaurant on Fridays after work, you can send them offers for happy hour. This way, they’ll be more likely to come back and buy more because of the offer, which could lead them to recommend it to their friends too!”