Digital Ordering

A New Strategy For Restaurants: ‘Phygital’ Engagement

Looking for a new engagement strategy to try in your restaurant? Learn why the perfect mixture of digital and physical is the way to go.
Amanda Hamel

As a restaurant owner, you’re probably looking for a new way to spice up your restaurant engagement strategy. Digital interactions have become the focus for many businesses post-pandemic, but as time continues it becomes more evident how important physical engagement is as well. In the constantly evolving restaurant industry, the best guest engagement strategy may actually be a mixture of both physical and digital! The future is phygital engagement!

What is Phygital?

The marketing term ‘phygital’ was created to describe the action of blending digital experiences with physical ones. With the demand for multichannel interactions increasing, restaurants are transiting into a mixture of both physical and digital guest interactions to create a seamless approach. There’s value in both physical and digital interactions, so the best way to ensure a happy guest experience is to combine both! This method will help ensure continuity and cohesiveness throughout the entire guest journey. The phygital approach is an all-in-one strategy that you didn’t know your restaurant needed!

What is a Phygital Strategy?

The goal of using a phygital strategy is to exceed customer expectations both digitally and physically while increasing guest engagement at the same time! This can be achieved easily by implementing new techniques into your current strategy to enhance it. To start off, you’ll want to figure out what’s working and what’s not working from your current restaurant engagement strategy. Then, you’ll need to analyze the areas that need improvement and determine how to use a hybrid method that converts the way you want it to. The key to a phygital strategy is to make your guest experience run smoothly across all platforms so your guest can enjoy an exceptional and cohesive experience from your restaurant no matter their location. 

Enforcing the phygital customer experience means meeting guests’ expectations both in-store and online. The perfect blend of engagement methods will bridge the gap that previously prevented an immersive experience. The phygital strategy will be the key to customer engagement that entices guests and converts.

Phygital Restaurant Engagement

Here are a few examples of how you can implement the phygital strategy into your restaurant to boost customer engagement!


Kiosks are one of the easiest ways to complete a phygital guest experience. The advanced technology is programmed to go above and beyond to meet guest expectations and create a personalized experience that can’t be beaten. The kiosk experience offers a personalized engagement that is so simple and effective that it leaves guests remembering your brand as a positive interaction and in return boosts customer loyalty. The best part is that the whole experience happens in the middle of your restaurant! 

The blend of physical and digital interaction is the perfect mixture for your guests. The kiosk allows guests to choose the way they receive service. If a guest comes into your restaurant looking for quick and easy service, then the kiosk will get the job done! Although there will still be customers that prefer a physical approach, which can be achieved by using the classic register method. 

Curbside Pickup:

Curbside pickup offers the ultimate phygital engagement experience. The interaction starts with guests placing an order digitally and is then followed up with physical delivery. That means your staff will need to work cohesively with your digital software to ensure the best experience for your guest. If one works, but not the other then the interaction overall won’t be successful. It’s crucial that your staff are just as friendly and efficient as your digital software to complete the order correctly. The digital and physical aspects of your restaurant will need to work as a team to get the job done right!

Online Ordering:

The mixture of physical and digital engagement in the restaurant industry was increased during the global pandemic in order for many restaurants to stay afloat. One of the most common phygital additions was QR code menus! Many restaurants now offer QR codes instead of paper menus to their guests to minimize the need for direct physical interaction. This method has also been proven to increase efficiency for restaurants. The technology makes ordering at a restaurant fast and simple no matter if you’re dining in-house or not.

Along with QR code menus, restaurants can also offer pre-ordering online. When a guest makes a reservation they can also have the option to pre-decide on their meal and place an order in advance. The opportunity to place an order ahead helps reduce stress for both parties involved. Guests won’t have to worry about placing their order with a waiter when they arrive, just as the staff won’t have to take their order and can use that time to prepare it instead. This phygital strategy provides ease of use that will leave a remarkable impact on the number of people who place reservations! 

Digital Payments:

The key to a successful phygital strategy is supplying a cohesive experience that meets all of your guests' needs. Offering digital payments both in-store and online will help you achieve that! The contactless approach has become a huge deciding factor for guests when choosing where to dine. When you offer multiple payment methods to your guests it helps personalize the experience and cater to their needs. The option also helps blend online ordering and in-person ordering together to make a seamless experience. Guests won’t have to worry about how they’ll pay ever again. Along with that, digital payments pair perfectly with QR code menus! This physical and digital combination is unmatched!  

Targeted Offers:

Restaurants can take advantage of implementing phygital engagement into their strategy with targeted marketing campaigns. With the use of a restaurant engagement platform, you’ll be able to collect valuable customer data that can be used to create targeted marketing campaigns that drive traffic to your restaurant. The restaurant engagement software will use collected data to send out customized messages to guests that will promote sales! For example, on a colder day, you could send out a notification that offers a sale on hot drinks. People are commonly more interested in a promotion when it fits their needs at the time they receive it. The blend of physical and digital engagement will help your restaurant reach a larger audience and provide a customized experience for all of your guests!