The challenges that a restaurateur faces in running the magnificent food business are plenty. While a restaurant owner can make use of the best restaurant website builder to help him digitally manage the business, he also needs a dedicated tech that can streamline the operations and management of his commercial kitchen.
What Is Restaurant Technology?
For a common man to understand, Restaurant Technology is nothing but a technologically empowered commercial kitchen that leads to sustainable solutions, also resulting in saving of time, labor and huge expenses.
Managing a restaurant’s operations or handling data using notebooks, a calendar and a dedicated staff belong to the bygone era. With the quantity and quality of data increasing multifold, it is essential to go beyond human efforts to intricately capture order history details, sort transactions and performance reports. Thus, the present day restaurateur must make exemplary use of cloud computing and cutting-edge automation.
Restaurant owners embracing the culture of cloud computing and automation has received the spotlight for quite a while. Automation and cloud-based software have made a great headway into every industry that we can think of today. The restaurant industry is no exception. Restaurant owners have awakened to the fact that they can no longer keep their business and data away from the influence of automation or cloud-computing.
Cloud-based restaurant POS systems are extremely popular today. They have become an integral part of restaurants. This can be attributed to reasons like ease of installation, ability to access and operate it from any part of the world. Also, it is a worthy one-time investment that benefits the restaurant in the long-run.
Restaurant technology requires a computer network or remote servers which are hosted on the World Wide Web. By using restaurant technology, managing, storing and processing data is not just convenient, but extremely secure and tamper-proof too.
Why Should the Latest Restaurant Technology Trends Be Followed?
The restaurant industry is prone to constant changes. With pandemic-induced challenges and shifts in customer expectations, the restaurant industry is expected to constantly reinvent and evolve to retain success and profits. Adopting restaurant technology makes such periodical accommodations extremely smooth and less cumbersome.
Depending on the nature of the restaurant business, customers would prefer having one or more of the options below:
- A quick service.
- Ability to place orders in advance.
- Options for dining or take-away.
- Culinary options that suit their dietary requirements.
- A commendable online customer service.
- Online table reservation tools.
- Convenient & safe payment options.
- And much more.
Why Should Restaurants Implement Technology?
To meet the needs of the millennials and benefit from the reign of digitization, restaurants must embrace technology. With the restaurant industry meaning much more than food and turning into a service that must offer top-notch convenience and value to diners, restaurants need technology’s aid much more than ever.
A few key reasons why restaurants must implement technology are:
- To respond quickly to guest feedback
- Increase efficiency in restaurant operations
Technology for restaurants is not always expensive. Even small-scale restaurants can find affordable technology that can transform their business, save time and money while also increasing profitability. The greatest benefit is that diners get to experience your instant responsiveness to their concerns and your initiatives in providing a greater experience to your customers.
Restaurant technology can be put to good use to reduce expenditures and also make the business more efficient.
Online Ordering Systems
Restaurant industry consumer behavior trends clearly indicate that consumers prefer ordering directly from a restaurant rather than depending on a third-party food delivery app. As a restaurant, if you wish to take advantage of this strong consumer preference, do not hesitate to invest in a restaurant website builder with online ordering.
A web and app design done by a restaurant website maker along with dedicated IT and digital management will enable restaurants to achieve an invincible online presence and business that even fierce competition cannot beat.
Online Table Reservation System
People no longer book restaurant tables through a phone call. They rely on technology to get things done faster. For online table reservation, they use providers like EatApp, Tablein, OpenTable, etc. who allow customers to check available slots and do their own booking even when they are on the move. With a technology empowered table reservation system in place, restaurants can manage seating, dining preferences, waitlists and even last minute cancellations without any confusions. Collecting, storing and retrieving valuable client data for contact tracing and gaining market insights can also be done in a few clicks.
OpenTable has gone a step further and has offered restaurants the ability to propagate unique culinary events and dining experiences beyond the normal table reservations. This enables guests to book their special Ramen Nights or a fixed-price tasting menu easily, directly and without any hassle.
Restaurant Owned Mobile App
According to a report published in 2019, 44% of consumers said that they had used a restaurant website or app to place food orders in 2018. Remember – this is pre-pandemic data. With the Covid-19 pandemic, lockdowns and quarantines have become a part of the new normal. People are now used to online ordering via a website or mobile app. Therefore, having an online platform to facilitate customers to place orders according to their convenience is essential for increased number of orders and greater brand awareness.
The benefits of in-built mobile apps are:
- Greater audience reach
- Better customer experience
- Offers targeted at niche customers
- Streamlined, error-free order management
- Higher frequency of guests returning
Mobile technology is extremely beneficial for restaurant staff too. Technology keeps their operations transparent, accurate and easy while they manage day-to-day activities.
Inventory management is pivotal for the smooth functioning of any industry, particularly restaurants. This is because restaurants handle perishable inventory.
–Restaurant food waste in the U.S. is almost 22 to 33 billion pounds per year.
–4% to 10% of food waste from restaurants takes place even before the order reaches the diner.
With a digitized inventory management system in place, a restaurant can make everyday activities productive, reduce wastage and work efficiently towards long-term goals.
- Reduces food wastage
- Minimizes unnecessary spending
- Controls food expense margins
- Prevents over-ordering of supplies
- No risk of supplies getting stolen
- Tracking prospective usage of food made simple
This digitized inventory can be integrated and also automated with the POS software or kitchen display screen so that all tech platforms used by the restaurant can be synchronized and made more efficient.
Restaurant Marketing Automation:
Restaurants communicate with diners not just through the food at the table, but in various other ways.
The other touchpoints with customers include:
- The restaurant’s own website or mobile app
- Emails and newsletters sent via email
- Phone calls
- Third-party online ordering and delivery apps
- Social media
- Restaurant review platforms
All these touch points give multifarious opportunities for the restaurant to collect vital customer data that can enhance customer experience. But, it also becomes increasingly difficult to handle this overwhelming amount of data arising from multichannel communications without automation.
State-of-the-art restaurant marketing automation platforms can be used to offer triggered campaigns that can run across multiple communication channels. Using the AI technology offered by these platforms, restaurants can personalize their message for every individual customer according to their preferences and past behavior.
To achieve great relevance and timeliness in one’s restaurant marketing message, one can make use of:
- Hyper-segmented marketing lists.
- Customized content and great offers.
- Messages triggered on an automated basis.
- Detailed, real-time reports about click-rate, open-rate, bounce-rate and delivery rate.
- AI-powered customer behavior and purchase predictions.
For instance, every time a customer reaches a specific milestone, becomes eligible for a predetermined criteria or even displays an irregular behavior pattern, then the restaurant can make use of an automated triggered messaging system that sends personalized messages and information about exciting offers to customers.
Marketing automation is, without any doubt, a time saver. But, it requires recruiting a skilled marketer who has the knowledge and expertise to set up everything and also make utmost use of this automation for the restaurant’s benefit. With data security standards getting increasingly stricter, handling the amount and nature of data requires nothing short of a data analyst.
FAQs - Restaurant Technology Trends
1. How has technology changed the face of the restaurant industry?
Technology has enabled restaurants to easily evolve and adapt to constant changes or challenges. Technology not only improves restaurant profit margin but also enhances customer satisfaction. One of the most common changes in the restaurant industry is regarding online ordering and technology helps restaurants get accustomed to any such change.
2. Why has technology become inevitable in the restaurant industry?
Technology has become a crucial part of the restaurant industry as it enables restaurants and the employees to achieve exceptional standards in guest service. Restaurant staff can make use of cutting-edge technology to suggest and upsell menu items. Customers also get an opportunity to make food orders on their own using self-ordering kiosks that save time, avoid human intervention and make the process error-free.
3. What are the restaurant technology trends in 2022?
The latest restaurant technology trends disrupting the industry are:
- Digitized inventory management
- No-contact ordering and payment
- Online table bookings or reservations
- QR code menus and payments
- Ghost kitchens
If you are a restaurateur looking for restaurant technology with a bang, contact Restaurantify.
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