The restaurant industry is very different today than it was even ten years ago. New restaurant technology has changed the way customers order food dramatically in recent years, and with the advent of new ordering technology and channels, customer expectations have increased for quicker service and ease of ordering.
What technology is used in restaurants?
Technology in restaurants used to be pretty simple and largely mechanical in nature: ovens, refrigerators, grills, mixers, a cash register, and maybe some simple accounting software. Now, restaurant technology hits on virtually every aspect of operating a restaurant from taking customers’ orders to ordering supplies, and often in ways that wouldn’t have been obvious as recently as 10 or 15 years ago.
In the past, eating at a restaurant meant hitting up the drive-thru or dining in person. Now, many people don’t even order takeout directly from the restaurant, but rather from an app like GrubHub or DoorDash.
The way they pay has also changed. This starts on smartphones but doesn’t stop there. Even inside the restaurant, the way people order and pay is being revolutionized. Kiosks, in-app payments, or tableside payments have made payment as easy as putting in a credit card and tapping a few buttons on the screen without interacting with a cashier.
This is just the start of the restaurant technology revolution. Here are some of the top restaurant technology trends that are changing the industry.
1. Online ordering system solutions
Calling to place an order at a restaurant? That used to be the norm, but not anymore. Now, it’s common to see an online ordering system that allows guests to place a full order and pay without ever dialing a number. This particular restaurant technology even improves customer satisfaction because it lets them browse the available menu options, make their selections, see the grand total, and pay, all from the comfort of their couch.
2. Ordering kiosks
If a customer does happen to go into a restaurant, it’s possible they might even find a touchscreen there where they can order on their own. A number of large fast-food chains have already rolled out kiosks in certain locations to keep lines short and serve customers more quickly. Expect to see more of these in the future as many restaurants look to supplement their workforce with automated systems.
3. Scheduling software
Juggling food service employee schedules can be a real headache. Operators are finding that using an optimized restaurant scheduling software makes things much easier. The right restaurant technology for scheduling takes all the grunt work out of creating a calendar that works for all employees, freeing up general managers to focus on spending more time with guests and employees.
4. Digital inventory tracking
Keeping track of what’s coming in and out of a restaurant is key for restaurant operators to save money and maintain the right level of inventory. If they buy too much, they’ll have waste. And if they have too little inventory on hand, they’ll disappoint guests. Restaurant inventory management software takes the stress out of trying to maintain par levels. With the right restaurant technology for inventory management integrated with the POS, managers can see in real-time what inventory they have on hand.
5. Modern point of sale systems
There are such a wide variety of POS systems available now that every restaurant should be able to find the right fit. Whether it’s a tableside device or a purpose-built kiosk, you should have a POS that is intuitive for your employees, accommodates different menu structures, and helps bring in orders from different channels. To take things a step further, restaurant owners are finding that integrating their POS system with their back-of-house is important if they want to raise profits and increase efficiency.
Wi-Fi hotspots and hospitality: what kind of innovation lies ahead?
While restaurant technology is quite remarkable as it stands now, the technology in restaurants is only set to improve and accelerate in the coming years. Just as in retail, technology in the restaurant industry has already had a seismic effect on the way business is done and this will only accelerate as time goes by. Any restaurant that has thrived has embraced new restaurant technology. If restaurants don’t want to be left behind, they need to adapt to the changing world and adopt the right restaurant technology to stay relevant and continually maintain high-profit margins.
You don’t need to stand idly by while the technology in the restaurant industry is improving. At SynergySuite, we have the restaurant technology to help your operation run smoothly and grow. If you need to ensure you have the right solutions to stay relevant, we can help. Reach out if you’re ready to take back your time and run a smooth and streamlined restaurant.