The restaurant industry is a dynamic, competitive environment where successful chains are maximize efficiency and capture market share through differentiated dining experiences. The restaurant business is built on consistent execution in food presentation and customer service; however, omnichannel content, from customer ratings and reviews to images of the restaurant, menus, and meals, is now increasingly influencing consumer choice.
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<h3>Product Information – The Vital Ingredient in Restaurant Commerce</h3>
The wave of digital content and commerce technologies that are fueling the growth in retail is inexorably making its way into the restaurant business. The idea of smartphone meal ordering, whether in drive-up or dine-in settings, is not new. What is new is that consumers are coming to expect it. The traditional corner retail store was under pressure long before ecommerce changed the nature of retail competition but corner pizzerias still managed to survive pizza chain expansion – up until online ordering at those chains disrupted them.
Whether large chains or corner restaurants, whether serving filet mignon or sandwiches, the growth in business at restaurants is highly influenced by customers who are demanding a digitally enabled experience. The customer-facing commerce activities are forcing much of the change but the response drives all the way back along the content value chain: collaborating on rich visual product content and descriptions, complying with federal and local government regulations on displaying nutritional, and allowing local store managers to adapt menu choice and content based on local preferences.
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<h3>Product Information Management (PIM)</h3>
Restaurateurs must utilize technology to facilitate the necessary collaboration with suppliers, governments, and internally across stores, marketers, and merchants. This collaboration complexity must be mastered to deliver “consumable content” that can be easily deployed across company-owned, franchise, and owner-operated stores. Though the customer may see a simple pizza, the operator sees product content loaded with more specifications, regulations, packaging and operational components than ever before. Add to the mix the challenges associated with managing content in thousands of franchise locations with localized menus and in-store digital signage, nutritional boards, third-party suppliers, manufacturers and distributors and you have an industry filled with extreme complexity. Product content management has become one of the key differentiators in fueling product awareness, operational excellence and customer loyalty.
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