In the ever-evolving restaurant industry, staying ahead of the curve has never been more critical for food service operators and restaurant owners. As the digital age continues to transform the way we dine out, restaurant technology trends have emerged as powerful tools reshaping the dynamics of the restaurant business.
From streamlining operations to enhancing customer experiences, integrating cutting-edge new restaurant technology has become synonymous with success in modern food service.
In this article, we’ll delve into the latest restaurant technology trends, focusing on restaurant innovation such as online food ordering that revolutionizes how restaurants operate and cater to the ever-changing demands of today’s diners. Let’s dive into details on new technologies in restaurants.
Times are changing, as are consumer expectations. The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic caused every industry, including the restaurant industry, to look for new solutions to survive on the market. Shopping online, placing orders in a restaurant with contactless food delivery, and online payments have become much more popular than before the pandemic.
- According to GlobeNewswire, most American consumers, around 60%, anticipate that online experiences will surpass in-person interactions in terms of significance. Furthermore, over 65% of Americans prefer an increased emphasis on brand interactions online.
- According to the survey by The Food Institute, 63% of restaurants intend to allocate investments towards QR codes, specifically for menus, ordering, or payment functionalities.
- According to the survey by The Food Institute, about 75% of operators will adopt new technology within the upcoming year. Notably, among fine-dining restaurants, this percentage surges to 85%.
- According to GlobeNewswire, more than 85% of people believe touchless technologies will become more common as they interact with brands outside their homes. Brands must use the right technology carefully without making the experience uncomfortable. They’ll aim to provide personalized interactions without being too intrusive.
In line with customer expectations, restaurants increasingly use digital solutions, and it seems that the trend of using technology in everyday business solutions will continue and even increase.
How do restaurant owners benefit from the use of restaurant technology?
New restaurant technology helps restaurant owners in various ways, including the following:
- Improved operational efficiency: Restaurant technology solutions simplify various operational tasks, including the ordering process, inventory management, and reservations, resulting in greater efficiency and lowered labor expenses.
- Improved customer experience: Digital menus, online ordering, and reservation systems simplify customer interactions with the restaurant, resulting in improved service and heightened customer satisfaction.
- Data analysis: Food industry technology provides access to data analytics, helping restaurant owners make informed decisions about menu changes, pricing, and marketing strategies.
- Savings on costs: Automation and inventory management software play a role in curbing food waste and cost management, ultimately bolstering profitability.
- Digital presence: Building an online presence through restaurant websites and social media platforms effectively draws in and engages customers, broadening the restaurant’s outreach.
- Flexibility: Innovative restaurant technology enables seamless adjustments to evolving situations, such as the ability to handle online orders during challenging periods.
12 Restaurant Technology Trends
Below, we have compiled a list of 12 restaurant technologies currently used by restaurants.
1. Online ordering systems
Even before the pandemic, there were online ordering platforms like Uber Eats and DoorDash, but recent years have resulted in increased interest in having an online ordering system that enables customers to place orders directly from a restaurant website. It lowers restaurant costs, helps to streamline operations, and is becoming more popular in the food industry.
To use an online ordering system in your restaurant, you need to install it on your existing or new website. You can use an intuitive restaurant website builder if you don’t have a website yet.
You just need to choose one of the available professional restaurant website templates. You can personalize this template, add your content and restaurant logo, and change colors.
Don’t forget to add your restaurant menu. We recommend adding menu descriptions for your food items and attractive photos to attract customers to order from your restaurant.
Once you add it, you can enable online ordering for your customers from your website. Depending on whether you offer delivery services, pickup, dine-in, or all these options, you enable them in the system.
2. Inventory Management Software
Another restaurant management software many restaurants use is inventory management software. Inventory management can be a time-consuming task for restaurants. It involves keeping track of ingredients and supplies to avoid food waste while ensuring everything is available when needed.
Restaurant inventory management software comes to the rescue by automating these tasks, making it easier for restaurant owners to keep the right amount of stock on hand while reducing food waste, controlling costs, and providing a smoother dining experience.
Here you can compare the Top 10 Restaurant Inventory Management Software.
3. Point of sale systems
Another restaurant tech example is using online ordering POS systems.
Restaurant point-of-sale systems serve as the command center for various functions, including taking and processing orders, handling payments, and monitoring sales. These systems are crucial in simplifying restaurant operations, reducing errors, and providing valuable data for restaurant owners.
4. Table ordering
Nowadays, many people come to the restaurant and order food via QR code menu.
To use this food delivery tech, as a restaurant owner, you need to create QR codes and place them on tables, allowing customers to order and make payments directly from their tables using their mobile devices.
The main benefits of using table ordering system are
- making ordering easy and fast for customers
- reducing waiting times and serving more customers
- increasing sales by letting customers order more food items
5. Contactless payments
Contactless restaurant payments provide a convenient and safe method for customers to pay their bills. Diners can simply tap their smartphones or contactless cards on the payment terminal, eliminating the need for physical cash or traditional cards.
This technology is gaining traction in dining establishments, making payments quicker, more hygienic, and ultimately enhancing the dining experience.
6. Online table reservations
An online table reservation system helps restaurants manage bookings and provide customers with a great dining experience.
A restaurant reservation system has the following benefits
- It reduces the number of times staff answers phones and manually inputs information on reservations
- It helps restaurants optimize their table arrangements, reducing wait times and maximizing the utilization of available seats, especially during busy periods
- Customers find it convenient to make reservations, leading to smoother and more satisfying dining experiences
7. Loyalty programs
Another restaurant industry trend is creating loyalty programs.
Forget about collecting stamps or signatures on a piece of paper, now, customers collect stamps or points in the restaurant’s mobile app.
Restaurants can provide customized rewards like discounts, exclusive menu access, and special offers in exchange for the collected points or stamps. It leads to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty and encourages customers to repeat visits
8. Digital menu boards
Digital menu boards are electronic screens used in restaurants to show customers menus, prices, and special offers. Unlike regular menu boards, these screens can display changing and attractive content.
Restaurants can quickly update them to change menu items, prices, and special deals. This makes dining more engaging and allows restaurants to adjust quickly to changes in their menu and prices.
9. Self-order kiosks
Self-order kiosks in restaurants are easy-to-use touchscreens that let customers place and personalize their orders independently. These kiosks make ordering faster, reduce wait times and often lead to more accurate orders.
Another great advantage of this restaurant industry solution is that it offers the convenience of paying right at the kiosk without the need to go to the cash register.
10. Kitchen display systems
A kitchen display system (KDS) is a restaurant technology tool that replaces paper-based orders with digital kitchen display screens. These screens help kitchen staff by displaying incoming orders, making food preparation more efficient, and ensuring that orders are accurate and timely.
11. Mobile ordering
Restaurant operators provide their customers with the option of mobile ordering. Placing an order with the food delivery app offers convenience and flexibility in ordering and payment.
Delivery apps enable customers to customize their orders, select pick-up or delivery options, and often provide online and contactless payment options, enhancing the overall customer experience.
Robots can be used in different ways in a restaurant. They can be responsible for preparing food ingredients or cooking specific dishes. They can also assist with tracking and managing inventory, ensuring ingredients are adequately stocked.
Another role of robots is acting as restaurant servers and delivering food from the kitchen to tables.
The primary benefit of using robots in restaurants is cost reduction, particularly in labor expenses. However, the main disadvantage is the absence of a personal touch.
- Restaurants use digital technologies to streamline restaurant operations, enhance customer dining experience, and adapt to changing consumer preferences.
- Contactless ordering, payment, and menu browsing have become essential.
- The restaurant industry Data-Driven Decision-Making: Data analytics tools empower restaurant owners to decide on menu offerings, pricing, and marketing strategies.
- Establishing a strong online presence through restaurant websites and social media is crucial for attracting and engaging customers.
- Automation and robotics improve kitchen efficiency, reduce labor costs, and provide unique dining experiences.
- Many restaurants adopt eco-friendly technologies and practices to reduce waste and minimize their environmental footprint.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Technology can adversely affect a restaurant guest’s perception in several ways:
- Technical Glitches: Problems with artificial intelligence, ordering systems, payment processing, or digital menus can frustrate guests and disrupt their dining experience.
- Impersonal Interaction: Overreliance on technology, like automated order-taking or digital kiosks, might reduce personal interaction with staff, making diners feel less valued.
- Slow Service: Poorly executed technology can delay order processing, payment, or food delivery, resulting in guest dissatisfaction.
- Privacy Concerns: Guests may worry about privacy when restaurants collect and store personal data through restaurant loyalty programs or mobile apps.
- Complexity Overload: Overly intricate technology, such as complicated mobile apps or self-service kiosks, can confuse and frustrate customers.
- Miscommunication: Technology can sometimes hinder effective communication, leading to misunderstandings or order mistakes, leaving guests dissatisfied.
- Lack of Human Touch: Excessive automation can diminish the human element and warmth many diners appreciate in their restaurant experience.
- Disconnect from Authenticity: Overemphasizing digital trends or gimmicks can make a restaurant seem detached from its core values or the genuine essence of its cuisine.
To sum up, restaurant technology can improve efficiency and convenience, but its inappropriate use or excessive reliance may create negative perceptions among guests.
Moreover, the integration of data analytics and delivery process optimization is helping restaurants reduce food waste while strengthening customer loyalty by offering personalized experiences and streamlined operations.
In restaurants, various technologies are employed to improve efficiency and the overall dining experience. This includes, among others
- Online food ordering systems
- POS systems for order processing and payments,
- Self-service kiosks for customer orders,
- Digital menu boards to display menus and promotions,
- Kitchen Display Systems (KDS) for efficient food preparation,
- Inventory management software to track supplies,
- Online table reservation systems,
- Mobile apps
- Online delivery platforms,
- Contactless payments,
- Digital loyalty programs.
Fast food restaurants rely on various technologies to streamline operations and enhance the customer experience. These include:
- Point of Sale (POS) Systems: These systems handle orders, payments, and inventory tracking to ensure smooth transactions.
- Self-Service Kiosks: Touchscreen kiosks enable customers to place orders independently, reducing wait times.
- Mobile Apps: Many fast food chains offer mobile apps for convenient ordering, payment, and participation in loyalty programs.
- Drive-Thru Technology: Advanced speaker systems, video screens, and predictive algorithms enhance efficiency at drive-thru lanes.
- Kitchen Display Systems (KDS): Digital screens in the kitchen display orders, assisting chefs in meal preparation.
- Inventory Management Software: Software helps manage ingredient inventory, ensuring optimal stock levels.
- Online Delivery Platforms: Integration with food delivery apps facilitates online ordering and delivery services.
- Online ordering systems: Online ordering systems enable fast food restaurants to provide customers with the option to order online directly from the restaurant’s websites.
- Digital Menu Boards: Dynamic displays show menus, prices, and promotions, allowing real-time updates.
These technologies enable fast food establishments to improve efficiency, enhance customer service, improve customer satisfaction, and adapt to changing consumer preferences.