The Essential Guide To In-Location Experience Management For Restaurants

It’s harder than ever to get customers into your restaurants. 

Whether you have hundreds or thousands of locations  — all restaurants with physical locations are feeling major pressure today. 

They need to drive more revenue from every customer that steps inside, leverage their physical presence to increase customer lifetime value, and overall, justify the value of each location so they can be kept open. 

To do this, forward-thinking restaurants are placing their bets on the importance of the in-location customer experience because they understand that good customer experiences can be a key competitive advantage. The problem is, they struggle with the complexity of consistently delivering incredible customer experiences at scale. 

Enter in-location experience management, a growing discipline that restaurant industry professionals are adding to their lists of must-have skills to survive and thrive in the future. The discipline focuses on delivering memorable, engaging, and high impact experiences in an organization’s physical locations 

What is in-location experience management exactly? How do you get the most out of it? And what value can it bring to your organization?

In this guide, we’ll answer all those questions and more. At the end of this guide, you’ll know exactly how to plan, create, and deliver in-location experiences across each and every branch you are responsible for.  

  • #1
    Chapter 1

    In-Location Experience Management 101

  • #2
    Chapter 2

    Examples of In-Location Experiences Restaurants Can Offer

  • #3
    Chapter 3

    Framework For Measuring the Impact of In-Location Experiences

  • #4
    Chapter 4

    A Step by Step Process to Delivering In-Location Experiences

Chapter 1: What is In-Location Experience Management and Why Does it Matter to Restaurants? 


In-location Experience Management is defined as the discipline of creating, managing, and scaling the experiences you deliver to customers who visit your physical locations. 

The experiences are often delivered through live events, immersive environments, or through interactive screens — including displays, TVs, tablets, and kiosks that an offline customer interacts with in a physical location. 

These experiences typically include any combination of the following: 

  • Visual — images and videos customers see displayed 
  • Touch — interactions with physical products, touch-screens, etc. 
  • Sound — music, information, etc. they hear

As consumer trends continue to shift, mastering the skill of in-location experience management will become increasingly important for organizations looking to get the most out of the presence of their physical restaurants. 

The Importance of In-Location Experiences in the COVID Era

The restaurant industry was hit hard in 2020 but despite the grim numbers about the impact restaurants will see from COVID in the short term, there is one thing that remains certain in the long term: there will always be customers out there who place value in eating at physical restaurants. 

The key will be to offer diners with experiences that make it worth their while to visit your restaurant instead of cooking at home or ordering in. 

For a restaurant to survive and thrive in the modern era, experiences are not a nice to have — they are a must. In the upcoming chapters, we’ll run through how exactly you can leverage in-location experiences to deliver elevated dining experiences that will keep your guests engaged, informed and entertained. 

Chapter 2: What Are Examples of In-Location Experiences Restaurants Can Offer?


Experiences are something that are unique to each and every restaurant but based on our research, conversations, and what we’ve seen work from our restaurant customers, the following are different examples of experiences you can deliver to your customers so you can get the most out of your physical locations. 

Entice your customers with mouth-watering HD photos and videos displayed across your digital menu boards, all managed remotely.  

Drive additional revenue by promoting special offers, discounts, and custom QR codes directly to guests as they dine.

Catch the eye of people walking by and pull them into your restaurant with engaging, timely, and irresistible calls to action. 

Offer guests the option of a seamless contactless checkout experience.

Entertain your guests as they wait for their orders with interactive screens right from their table. 

Make curbside pickup seamless and quick so you can keep orders flowing. 

Chapter 3: How Can Restaurants Measure Success With In-Location Experience Management?


The majority of restaurants today already understand that good customer experiences can be a key competitive advantage but consistently delivering incredible customer experiences can be expensive, time consuming, and complex. Especially when it comes to scaling those experiences. 

In order to justify the investment and resources required to deliver in-location experiences, they must be built with ROI in mind.

In this section we’ll cover how you should think about the impact in-location experiences can have on your organization’s objectives. 

A Proven Framework for Measuring Success 

The end outcome of a great customer experience should be to influence customer behavior, which in turn moves the needle on your organization’s objectives. 

After working with over 2500 organizations to plan, deliver, and scale in-location experiences, we’ve developed a proven framework that can be applied to each and every experience you create. 

Here’s what that looks like in action: 

(Restaurant name) will offer an (experience) to diners because we believe it will lead to (behavioral change). By influencing the customers behavior, we believe it will lead to (objectives). To measure our success, we will track (key results).

  • A Specific and Clearly Designed Customer Experience

  • Leads to a Behavioral Change

  • That impacts your Target Objective

  • Check out experience that lets diners check out on their own

  • Diners get used to ordering without speaking to a cashier

  • More diners get in and out faster

As you plan out the experiences you will deliver in your restaurants — each one should follow this framework so can ensure that what you are doing is in full alignment with what you are looking to achieve and know exactly what you will measure so you can test different ideas and optimize for the highest impact.

In the next chapter, we’ll dive into the different objectives your experiences can help you achieve and the different metrics you can measure to track your progress.

How Do In-Location Experiences Impact Your Restaurant?

The best way to think about the benefits that experiences can bring to your restaurant is to plan them around objectives and key results. The objectives are the high-level goal you are trying to achieve and the key results are the numbers you will track as you go to see what’s working and what’s not.

Here are the most common objectives and key results most organizations use for their in-location experience strategy planning.

Objective 1: Increase In-Location Revenue

Key results to measure:

  • Total customer value per visit 

Objective 2: Promote New Products, Services, and Offers

Key results to measure:

  • Total number of sales/revenue generated from a specific offer, product or service (ex. QR code only shown on screens in physical locations)
  • Number of customers that convert into purchasing a specific offer, product, or service 

Objective 3: Deliver a More Streamlined Customer Journey

Key results to measure:

  • Average time spent to get customers through the door 
  • # of customer inquiries resolved through self-service solutions 

Objective 4: Decrease Staff Overhead

Key results to measure:

  • In-location revenue divided by the number of on-site staff at your physical locations 
  • Number of in-location staff interactions per customer dollar spent 

Objective 5: Align Online and Offline Marketing Efforts

Key results to measure:

  • Average lifetime value of customers (combining online and offline customer spend)

Objective 6: Promote Brand values and Core Messaging

Key results to measure:

  • Average customer spend within 30 days of visiting your physical locations 
  • Customer NPS

With the framework clear on how to think about the impact of in-location experience management, now let’s take a look at the different types of experiences you can deliver to your customers.

Chapter 4: A Step by Step Guide to Creating High-Impact In-Location Experiences


The following is our proven step by step formula that you can follow to create and deliver your own high impact in-location experiences.

Proven 4 Step Formula For Delivering High-Impact In-Location Experiences

  • Step 1: Outline the in-location experience you want to create

  • Step 2: Identify the customer behavior change the experience will create

  • Step 3: Determine the target objectives and key results of the experience

  • Step 4: Deploy your experience then measure, improve and scale

Step 1: Outline the in-location experience you want to create

The first step is to get clarity on the experience you will create. Here you want to keep in mind that the goal of each experience should be to alter customer behavior and directly impact your objectives and key results.

Here are the 7 types of in-location experiences you can choose from:

  1. Self-Service Experiences 
  2. Click-and-Collect Experiences 
  3. Immersive Experiences 
  4. Brand Building Experiences 
  5. Revenue-Focused Experiences 
  6. Personalized Virtual Support Experiences 
  7. Informational Experiences 

Step 2: Identify the customer behavior change the experience will create

Get clarity on the types of behavior change you are hoping to see as a direct result of the in-location experience you deliver.

Types of behavioral change:

  • Increase use of self-service options
  • Purchase exclusive offers and upsells
  • Develop stronger customer loyalty 

Step 3: Determine the target objectives

Next, outline the core objectives that you will aim to impact as a result of the experience you create.

  • Objective 1:

    Increase In-location Revenue

    KEY RESULTS
    • 1: Customer spend per location visit
    • 2: Customer conversion (% that purchase after entering)
    • 3: Cost per acquisition (new customers acquired through physical locations)
  • Objective 2:

    Promote New Products, Services, and offers

    KEY RESULTS
    • 1: Total number of sales/revenue generated from a specific offer, product or service (ex. QR code only shown on screens in physical locations)
  • Objective 3:

    Deliver a More Streamlined Customer Journey

    KEY RESULTS
    • 1: Average time spent to get customers through the door (from entrance to checkout)
  • Objective 4:

    Decrease staff costs

    KEY RESULTS
    • 1: In-location revenue divided by the number of workers on-site
  • Objective 5:

    Align online and offline marketing efforts

    KEY RESULTS
    • 1: Average lifetime value of customers (combining online and offline customer spend)
  • Objective 6:

    Support brand values

    KEY RESULTS
    • 1: Average customer spend within 30 days of visiting your physical locations
    • 2: Customer NPS

Step 4:  Identify the key results of the experience

Then for each objective, identify the most important metrics that you will measure in order to track progress.

Step 5: Deploy and deliver the experience at scale

Roll the experience out in a controlled way then measure the key results tied to each objective that you identified. Once you’ve tested the experience, you are ready to roll it out at scale.

Getting the Most From In-Location Experiences 

The discipline of in-location experience management is growing yet there’s not a lot of information about the best practices you can follow to set your experience up for success. 

Based on our work with over 2500 organizations, here are the 5 best practices we recommend keeping in mind as you go.

  • Best Practice #1: Align your experiences with target behavioral changes, objectives, and key results

  • Best Practice #2: Personalize each interaction with customers as much as possible but always aim to balance privacy and with personalization.

  • Best Practice #3: Leverage technology to automate the little things so your workforce can focus on the big things

  • Best Practice #4: Engage your employees so they feel empowered to engage customers

  • Best Practice #5: Remove the Friction - Make it easier for your customers to spend money with you

How Raydiant’s In-Location Experience Management Platform Can Help  

Our in-location experience platform is designed to help you create, manage, and scale customized offline experiences that ensure you are getting the most out of your physical restaurant locations. 

Ready to Take Your Dining Experience to the Next Level? 

Book a demo now or try Raydiant risk-free today

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