According to a restaurant technology survey of U.S. customers, almost 80% agreed that technology enhances the guest experience. Besides, the National Restaurant Association showed that over 72% of restaurant owners considered technology a competitive weapon and profitability enhancement.
It is also worth mentioning that as the restaurant industry continues to transition more to food delivery services, new technology is emerging to help eateries thrive. To stay up to date with restaurant tech trends, read here.
What is restaurant technology?
Restaurant technology means dedicated tech that empowers restaurant brands to be more sustainable and concurrently saves money, time, and labor. It depends on computer networks or remote servers hosted on the web for data storage and management. Restaurant tech is convenient, tamper-proof, and secure as well.
Why is technology important in the restaurant industry?
- Increase efficiency. For example, online ordering helps restaurants process orders faster.
- Improve safety. For example, a touchless menu should keep your guests and staff safe.
- Understand dining preferences better. According to the National Restaurant Association, over 80% of restaurants are embracing technology in their operations, including analytics to learn about customer needs.
8 most important restaurant technology trends
1. Online ordering & reservation software
One2 online ordering system
The worldwide food delivery market is worth over $150 billion, which has more than tripled since 2017. Quick-service restaurants, fast-food restaurants, etc., have shifted to online ordering options. As cited by Forbes, almost 1 in 3 Americans order food online once a week.
On the one hand, third-party services for food delivery like Uber Eats are popular options for restaurants running off-premise dining. But on the other hand. an integrated online ordering system lets your customers easily order right from your restaurant for curbside pickup or delivery. There, they can explore the menu online and move to the ordering process, then the delivery process smoothly. It is also important to address that by using this system, you eliminate fees charged by the delivery apps.
Besides, diners today like the idea of online restaurant reservation software. Rather than making phone calls, they can book directly through the online table reservation system. This solution also helps your employees get prepared and execute a well-coordinated rush.
2. Cloud-based POS
While every restaurant needs a point of sale (POS) solution, all POS systems are not the same. As cloud-based POS improves accuracy and speed during service, reduces hardware costs, and provides reporting without manual work, it is preferred by restaurant owners.
Cloud POS systems are about deployment and data storage using cloud technology. You can access them remotely through various Internet-enabled devices. With this restaurant technology, workers use phones, computers, or tablets to get real-time data on wait times, track inventory, input orders, streamline contactless payments, etc.
Remember that finding the right POS for your restaurant means matching your operation to a solution that serves your category well. For example, small restaurants may not need to go with a sophisticated one that caters to large restaurant groups.
3. Marketing automation and loyalty programs
A successful restaurant generally uses tools to manage its customer relationships. With them, they can market to their repeat diners without having to keep paying third parties. What is great is that some ordering systems integrate customer loyalty into their products because all transaction data comes through this system and/or your POS. You then have vital client data on hand to gain market insights and target campaigns to particular profiles.
More than that, ordering software like One2 increases your search ranking automatically for free. This helps drive online orders without much input on your end.
4. QR codes that enable contactless menus
Instant contactless QR code menu from One2
In mobile-first societies, QR codes are here to stay. It involves customers auto-scanning barcodes with phone cameras to access the online restaurant menu, order, and pay. This gets rid of the need to wait for a server to take the order and means you do not have to print menus and reprint them whenever you update the items. To implement restaurant QR code menus, you may check out this guide.
5. Automated inventory management software
Your restaurant's back office is generally where strategic decisions are reached. Instead of getting flooded with logs and sheets of inventory, consider capitalizing on inventory management software that enables the ability to control your stock from your digital device. In other words, you can see where your business stands regarding sales or inventory from anywhere.
To be more specific, this restaurant technology can help you:
- Track ingredient stock levels
- Reduce food waste
- Handle labor shortages (as is the case with tech trends mentioned)
- Purchase orders
- Adjust menu costs
- Store recipes
- Manage vendor relationships
- Look at what is selling best and where you may be losing money
6. Contactless payment
One of the contactless technology trends, contactless payment is about paying with smartphones, smartwatches, or smartcards through a touchless device or an app. According to Juniper Research, this payment method is expected to triple to $6 trillion from $2 trillion globally by 2024,
Having such new tech trends is reportedly crucial for 34% of customers. With the rise of mobile wallets and ApplePay, more people expect contactless mobile payments. More specifically, their perks include:
- Require no human contact, which means being more hygienic and safer for diners and staff when they process payments
- Reduce customer wait times
- Bring transparency benefits
- Increase customer satisfaction
7. Restaurant websites
Website is your brand’s representative, so make sure you have it designed in a way that puts yourself in the best light possible. It should be optimized for SEO (search engine optimization) and secure. Go for an intuitive design that supports quick menu updates, ordering food online, and loyalty marketing. For further pieces of knowledge in this regard, read here.
8. Air purification technology
To provide customers with memorable dining experiences, restaurants need to make them feel comfortable and safe. To this end, the restaurant industry has reinforced the air purification technology trends to promote ‘clean air. Some recommendations include:
- Bipolar ionization that purifies the surfaces and air in indoor spaces through contaminant neutralization
- Systems that leverage ultraviolet light to sanitize the air and surfaces
The true turn-key solution for restaurants
If you are looking for a system that incorporates these important technologies (from online ordering, QR code menus, and contactless payments to cloud-based POS and marketing automation), give One2 a try. A strategic investment for restaurants, it lets you get everything out of the box. Plus, this user-friendly solution requires less training to master.
Anthony's has incorporated One2 Menu into their website. They saw a 5X increase in views within 60 days.
1. Breakthroughs in technology that the restaurant business should be aware of?
Tech giant IBM built the 1st POS software in the 1970s. Shortly after, McDonald's adopted it for use in their locations. And soon enough, credit card authorization was in the picture, enabling customers to order, pay for meals, and get receipts all at once.
2. How can restaurant owners use technology to control labor costs?
- Automate the ordering taking
- Automate the inventory
- Automate the CRM (customer relationship management)
- Use the POS system to track the staff performance by looking over the number of items they have sold or upsold
3. What are other new technology trends that many restaurants follow for improved customer care and customer experience?
- Delivery drones
- Self-order kiosks
- Kitchen display systems