Personalization Matters: Here’s Why

As seen in RMagazine Apr. 11, 2017 (

As you walk into your neighborhood QSR, you’re greeted by name. Followed by “The usual?” The server behind the counter flashes a smile, gets your order underway and you’re out the door in record time.

Right there, the guest is given three reasons to come back again: the friendly service; the personalized experience of a remembered order and the speed and efficiency of stopping in. For the operator, they  have a satisfied, committed guest and perhaps even a brand evangelist—someone who will also spread the amazing work of what you do.

Once, this was the norm. Now it’s a dream that most operators aspire to, but think impossible to attain.

Personalization gives your guests three reasons to come back again: Friendly service, personalized experience and efficiency.

At the heart of what enables this system to run smoothly is personalization. But if asking your staff to memorize names, faces and orders is unrealistic, what other solutions do we have?

In the age of technology, smartphones and apps, new tech can often be construed as impersonal— the exact opposite of what we’re trying to achieve. However, there are companies out there that have developed creative solutions. Here  are a few case studies on why you should pay attention to personalization.

Higher Profits

If you’ve ever shopped on Amazon, you’re likely to have created an account—and then Amazon starts learning what you like. Unlike most other digital stores, Amazon (at least for me) has an uncanny ability to recommend items that I would find interesting. By suggesting products I would otherwise have ordered, it drives home the upsell.

As reported in Fortune even back in 2012, personalized recommendations represented a near 30% increase in sales from one feature. However let’s be clear, this is not the same as asking “Do you want fries with that?” if your customer is buying a burger. Amazon provides a specific set of items that will appeal to the guest.

It’s akin to offering a salad to your health-conscious guest instead of offering fries, as well as  a new lemonade that they never even knew about.  Because each recommendation is relevant, their customers rarely tune out to what the personalization feature suggests. In fact the opposite is much more likely: guests increase purchases when the options shown are tailored to their tastes.

Better Service “IRL” too!

Personalization can exist “in real life ” too, outside the digital sphere. Take Disney’s Magic Bands for example. Disney’s Magic Bands are a type of wristband advertised as a convenience to guests vacationing at Disney Parks—they can record purchases and unlock your specific hotel room. More importantly,  they also allow Disney to provide another level of personalized service.

The hosts will greet you by name when you arrive at a restaurant, know where you’re sitting if you pre-ordered a special meal. Using the wristband can even grant you special access to rides throughout the day. With a little help from technology, Disney creates an incredible experience for users of the Magic Band while simultaneously gaining insight into their guests’ habits.

Doesn’t a mobile app solve this?

In the hospitality industry, we frequently hear the desire for a mobile app. Yet only a handful of establishments have the brand equity and capital to launch an app successfully. In 2016, the average number of new apps downloaded, per person, was 0. Even worse, once you’ve convinced your guests to download it, 80% of users never open the app a second time.

What can we do?

We at Bite believe that personalization matters, and we’ve developed a creative solution to help you re-introduce it at your concepts. While we love the capability and the idea of mobile apps to give guests the flexibility and personalization features, there is a steep hurdle to overcome in guest adoption. Instead of developing an off-premise solution, we believed, much like Disney, there should be magic when guests step into your restaurant. It should be an experience that they can remember, and describe. To that end, we’ve developed intelligent kiosks, designed to give each and every guest a personalized experience. That not only starts with our kiosks but can also amplify your staff, freeing them up from behind the counter to actively greet and provide attentive service to your guests.

Our intelligent kiosks can detect and recognize your guests and remember their order history. With our baked-in learning algorithm, the Bite kiosks can learn their preferences, and offer them tailored recommendations and drive targeted upsell opportunities. We’ve also created a robust interface allowing operators to introduce offers to specific guests – say guests who are regulars on Wednesday only – or select a demographic to test a new LTO on.

We believe that personalization through guest recognition will enable new and memorable experiences.


On Apps: Recode 2016; Applause 2016