Anthony likes helping people reach their true potential. Being the victim of his own fears and insecurities in his own business, he has decided to help others create more opportunities.
People are addicted to their mobile phones. The trend has been going on for a few years, but the 2017 Ofcom Communication Report confirms it without the shadow of a doubt.
Smartphones have indeed become the primary way people keep connected. 7 in 10 consumers now own one, which is an increase from last year. More importantly, 4 in 10 consumers now consider their smartphones to be their primary means of accessing the internet.
And with a relatively low battery life, charging stations have become precious.
It is also worth noting that smartphones haven’t just seduced people in their twenties. People above fifty and sixty are now following along. Phones are also becoming the medium of choice for video watching, which, accidentally, consumes the largest amount of energy.
For your restaurant, the smart approach is therefore to offer a mobile friendly experience. That means your website should be mobile friendly or responsive. Developing an app can also make sense. Your presence on social media will undoubtedly bring you more customers as well. Many restaurants now offer a free Wifi connexion.
Where you can make the difference is by answering the vital need for your customers to recharge their phone batteries.
Airports, train stations, and Starbucks coffee houses already offer charging stations for mobile phones. Why not take the leap?
Advantages of having charging stations in restaurants
It’s understandable for you to think the core of your profession is cooking and service, not making sure your customers stay connected. Offering your guests the chance to recharge their phone, however, can allow you to:
- answer the daily needs of millions of Brits and foreigners visiting;
- attract a younger, more connected client base;
- attract people who are simply running out of battery life, for whom the choice of place to grab a bite will depend on their ability to recharge their phone (this can give you a regular flow of customers who wouldn’t come otherwise);
- develop a more business oriented customer base, with higher connexion and plugging needs;
- multiply your visibility points by being referenced for this service on apps and specialised website (we shall see how to do that further in the article)
- attract tourists who are out all day and can’t recharge at home or at work;
- offer added value to your customers and be able to communicate on that service;
- increase customer loyalty for your existing clients, who will know they won’t have to look somewhere else to find this service.
Finally, as far as consumption is concerned, it can simply increase the time people spend in your premises, and therefore the number of items they order.
Does this approach apply to all restaurants? It probably doesn’t. However, it will probably enthuse a lot of people. Think about quick breakfast eaters. A couple coming for tea may be running low and hoping for a chance to recharge rather than go back home before theatre starts. People looking for an afterwork coffee will be glad to find charging stations while they finally unwind.
From fast-food restaurants to even a higher-end service, this type of station will always enhance of customer experience.
A few available solutions
If you are looking to take the leap and have a charging station in your premises, here are a few specialists.
Installing a mobile phone Charge Point in your venue will drive footfall and revenue. You decide if your customers can charge up for free or pay for the service. Contact us to find out more firstname.lastname@example.org
Publié par Charge Point sur vendredi 17 mars 2017
This option is one of the best if you want to be referenced on their website and application. They map out all restaurants using their service so that people can find them easier. Even if you don’t have your own website, which is a mistake in itself, your name can be somewhere on the internet.
Charge Point gives you small lockers where customers can securely plug their phones and enjoy their meal without stressing over who might steal them.
The major advantage of this solution is that the phone is put away while they eat. There is nothing worse than a couple trying to have a nice meal and constantly looking at their phones. With the phone in the locker, your customers can actually look at each other.
As the official provider for Starbucks in multiple countries, including the US and the UK, Powermat is probably the best known provider for restaurants and coffee shops.
It has grown in Europe thanks to the acquisition of PowerKiss, a Helsinki based company that already provided equipment for the first McDonald’s and the Paris airports. Their system is wireless, and you charge your battery with magnetic induction.
One the major strengths of this solution is the added value for users and businesses. Their show you discounts, analytical data to understand the behaviour of your customers better, and alert users when their battery gets low.
This solution goes further than just recharging, and it does so with a most discreet integration into the chosen environment.
Device Charger also offers the locker system. Their range of products is a little wider though. They can cater for different needs, and their tabletop solution is ideal for restaurants.
They have one of the fastest charging technology in the industry. You may surprise your customers when they unplug their phone fully charged instead just a few percents up.
Examples of restaurants providing a way for customers to recharge their batteries
We have already mentioned Starbucks, but that type of equipment is far from being exclusive to big chains. The Normanby, in London, is a small restaurant that has invested in charge point. The company gives them nice exposure on their website in return (see the link here).
If your location is a right fit for the option, you can take it up a notch. Several places now turn into a coworking space on certain time slots. Tymber Yard, in London, is a great example of a café that caters to the needs of a specific population, namely, freelancers and students. For more information on that, check out this article.
Make sure to communicate on that option!
The research carried out to write this article has highlighted the fact that few restaurants actively promote their charging stations. And when they do, they haven’t optimised their website to be referenced properly (discover our SEO guide here).
Although some options such as Charge Point are very active in terms of visibility, you are also responsible for telling your followers. Therefore, if you offer this service, make sure to say so on your website, your social media, your newsletter, as well as the directory websites and third-party websites mentioning your name.
Charging stations are more than just a gadget now. They answer a direct need. While they may not fit into the atmosphere of some places, customers will almost always appreciate having that kind of option.
Are you considering offering a charging station to your clients, or do you already do it? What feedback would you like to share with us on the solution you chose? Share your opinion in comments below.