2020 was a challenging time for everyone, and the restaurant industry, more than any other industry in the nation, was hit the hardest. Labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, rising inflation, and social distancing have forced restaurant owners to transform how they operate. Today, with a whole world recovery restaurants are on track again and looking for ways to differentiate. If you are among them, you should be up to date with the latest technologies that can help restaurants adapt, evolve, and stand out from their competitors.
Here are top 7 technology trends for the restaurant industry that operators are investing in:
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Today many restaurants are ditching traditional cashiers and legacy POS systems in favor of cloud-based POS systems. The main difference here is the way data storing (in terms of a cloud-based POS system, your data is not stored in the local server, but in a cloud via a remote server).
What are the advantages?
- manage your inventory better and reduce human error by storing information as soon as transactions are completed
- sales data tracking from any store at any time
- eliminate the need for clunky space-consuming computers or small tabletop devices
- save on expensive certifications and service fees
- keep current data as your software has automatic-updates
- personalize promotions and interactions with guests by having access to their menu preferences
- easily integrate with e-commerce applications
Digital menus replace traditional posters and signs and are increasingly popular in restaurants across the country. By offering more dynamic and real-time menu board designs, they are attention-grabbing and have many benefits for your business.
Main benefits are:
- cost effective
- better customer experience
- 24/7 advertisement
- highlight new or special items
- update menu items and pricing all in real-time
Digital menu boards are an important element in creating a successful in-store experience that ensures customers will come back for more.
Industry studies highlight a 3-5% incremental sales increase for an average digital menu implemented at a single store.
Out of all the restaurant technologies on this list, self-ordering kiosks are the most eye-catching changes customers want to see more in 2022. Such kiosks enable guests in your restaurant to place orders and pay with no help from the staff. As many restaurants still struggle with labor shortages, self-service kiosks are a great opportunity to fill the gaps!
- increased accuracy in customer ordering
- orders go straight to the kitchen (saving time)
- increased check: customers placing their own orders tend to include more items (such as add-ons or upgrades)
- pay at the table
- staffing efficiency: when freed from running orders and payments, the employees you do have can be better utilized in preparing and delivering food and providing a more personalized, positive customer experience
Kitchen Display Systems
Kitchen display systems (KDS) integrates directly with the POS, getting order information in real time and displaying it digitally for kitchen staff to execute. No matter how big your kitchen is, you will definitely realize critical value from the operational advantages that touchscreen kitchen display systems offer.
- increased order accuracy
- enhanced kitchen efficiencies
- improved inventory management
- better customer experience
Drive-through A.I.Voice Assistant
A.I. voice technology is disrupting how restaurants operate their drive-thrus and is likely to be the new norm over the next few years. Over 80% of quick-service restaurant sales are being generated from the drive-thru. This is a clear indication that there is a growing opportunity here. The drive-thru voice assistant interacts with drivers when they pull up. The AI can take orders, understand basic questions, and even up-sell specials or deals available at the restaurant.
Key benefits for restaurant drive-thrus adopting A.I. voice technology include:
- reduced costs through automation of the most labor-dependent tasks
- increased revenue through consistent and adaptive upsell
- improved margins through significant reduction in labor costs
- improved order accuracy through minimization of human error
- better staff retention as a result of increased job satisfaction and higher wages
- improved guest satisfaction as a result of reduction in wait times and a more personalized experience.
Checkers and Rally’s drive-thru restaurants have begun installing a voice assistant in 267 locations. This is the largest single rollout of voice AI for drive-thrus so far, part of an accelerating interest and adoption of the technology at restaurants......
The Interactive surfaces, like tables (IRT) create a totally new experience for guests: fun entertainment and a new way of communication. Customers can browse a digital menu and order whatever items they want whenever they want throughout their dining experience without having to wait for their server to return to their table to check up on them. Multi-touch interactive tables are also equipped with a variety of apps that include social media, web browsing capabilities, and even games.
Studies have shown that interactive tech increases brand awareness by 48%,unaided recall (55%) and purchase probability (47%) making it a tangible ROI beyond just entertaining your guests.
Inamo (an Asian fusion restaurant in the UK) has taken the dining experience to a whole new level. Its guests can order their food and drink via a visual menu, choose their “tablecloth,” watch their dinner being made, draw on the table surface, play games and more by tapping on their table like it’s a tablet screen.
Holographic digital signage
Restaurants can decrease the cost of restaurant visits and increase an average bill by using such an innovative technology like a holographic signage as an alternative to conventional digital signage and menu boards. Holographic 3D technology has the potential to completely revolutionize branding in the foodservice industry.
Main benefits are:
- provide higher viewships
- double dwell time
- create emotional engagement
- improve message perception
- trigger positive emotions
- create an unforgettable atmosphere
Interested in learning how OnSite Media can help you with your technology rollouts?