The days of restaurant technology just being a notepad and a cash register are long gone. Today there are a wealth of restaurant technology trends that are making life easier for restaurants’ staff and customers. And since the rise of COVID, that technology has also ensured that your business can run safely for all concerned. Let’s take a look at the different areas of the industry where restaurant technology innovates.
Types of Restaurant Technology Trends
2020 has been the boom year for online ordering. Being under lockdown has meant that customers have looked for the easiest and safest ways to order food from their phones or laptops. This has meant higher revenue for you and more accurate orders for your customers. Online orders also allow bars and restaurants to do some sophisticated data tracking on who’s ordering, how often they do, and what trends in sales are happening.
Digital POS systems
Point of sale systems have been in existence for a while, but these days they’re more sophisticated. Some POS systems connect with tabletop tablets, giving customers the power to browse, order, and pay from one system.
Customer-facing tabletop tablets
One of the more revolutionary restaurant industry trends is moving all ordering and payment to a customer-controlled tablet. When Taco Bell moved to this technology, they saw a 20% increase in digital order sales versus those made with a human. Customers can make orders when they want and take the time to dig deeper into your menu. These tablets can also make people feel safer by limiting human contact.
Restaurant technology trends for loyalty programs
While a punch card that gets you to a free sandwich is nice, having a digital loyalty program provides more sophisticated benefits. Some programs like Level Up integrate with other technologies allowing you to connect purchases to your global marketing strategies. You can also follow a customer’s demographics (like birthdays, for example) and reward them in a personalized way.
Email service providers
Although not specific to restaurant technology trends, an email service provider (ESP) can help manage email communications with your current and potential customers. In addition to providing email templates, an ESP can track analytics and make sure you’re not just ending up in the spam folder.
Need to keep people entertained at the table, and want to have some control over it so they don’t just go to their phones Entertainment tablets aren’t just for ordering, they can offer games, trivia, and contests. One study found that customers playing on Buzztime tablets spent an average of 21% more on their check than those not playing.
It’s a no-brainer these days to offer free wi-fi to your customers. That doesn’t mean just setting up a modem and hoping for the best. Bad wi-fi service can have a negative effect on business, making people go elsewhere, so make sure you have solid service and that it’s relatively painless for customers to connect.
Restaurant reservation software
Dedicated restaurant reservation software can not just make online reservations easier, but integrate in useful ways with the rest of your system. In addition to easily taking reservations from the web, good reservation software can keep customer information in a database, tracking useful information on your regulars. They can also send emails and text messages, freeing up your staff.
Scheduling doesn’t have to just be a whiteboard in the kitchen anymore. Using software for scheduling means you can automate regular shifts, keep track of vacation requests, and make schedules easily available online. Like most of the restaurant technology listed here, it minimizes confusion and miscommunication. This means fewer mistakes, less time fixing those mistakes, and less potential for losing money or not maintaining a safe environment.
Menu Maker Software
There are several types of menu maker software programs available to help restaurants design and develop their menus online. With a menu maker software, you can easily develop a menu concept using templates and following proven menu writing tips that will increase your restaurant’s profits.
While all of these areas of restaurant technology help your bottom line, they also help with the safety of your staff and customers. 2020 has been a challenging year for all businesses, especially the restaurant industry. But strides in restaurant technology mean many profitable years are ahead.
FAQs on Restaurant Technology Trends
What are some interesting examples of restaurant technology trends?
There are lots of useful examples of technology in the restaurant industry, from customer-facing tabletop tablets, to online loyalty programs, to handheld entertainment systems to keep customers busy and ordering.
How does restaurant technology help provide a safe workplace for employees?
By optimizing ordering and communications between customers, staff, and management, restaurant technology limits unnecessary human contact and makes sure everyone is working as efficiently as they can, reducing the risk of skimping on cleaning or other safety protocols.