The restaurant industry has improved drastically over the past 10 years. Technological innovations have made employee scheduling much easier, have created organized methods by which employees & managers can communicate, improved POS softwares and more. Thanks to these advancements, customers usually associate technology with a positive experience.
During the past few months, we have seen the restaurant industry entirely uprooted and transformed in so many ways. Certain pieces of restaurant tech that had been gaining some traction for years are becoming more important than ever, while some other seemingly important restaurant tech advances are now suddenly no longer viable. Other trends that were only starting to emerge before the pandemic are now nearly found everywhere.
In essence, the restaurant industry is trying to survive and adapt to the modern, digital world and we are now starting to see where the future of restaurant technology lies.
However, while not 100% of the latest development in restaurant tech can be linked to the COVID-19 and all the associated health concerns, we are seeing a new way of life emerge (work life, customer behavior etc.) that has been shaped by the pandemic—and that environment, It seems, is here to stay.
With that in mind, here are three major technology trends that we at BillMaster, believe are happening right now and will shape the restaurant industry in the next coming months and years.
Mobile ordering has been a big phenomenon for the past few years with the appearance of apps like Uber Eats, or DoorDash, but this industry has grown exponentially in the past 6 months, due to the fact that more and more people are working from home and prefer to avoid going out.
In the same way mobile ordering is becoming a necessity for restaurants, so is contact less payments and mobile menus. It’s in that optic that we developed BillMaster, our touchless restaurant payment system.
Customers are more eager than ever before to use their mobile phones at the table to browse the menu and pay for their food. The tech innovators of the restaurant industry must get creative. There is a complete reshaping of the industry happening, it’s not just about orders and delivery anymore.
Automation in the kitchen
A good portion of the back office operations of restaurants had been automated or assisted by software for years. Ordering, inventories, accounting etc.
In 2020, software and automation are coming to the kitchen. For example Kitchen video screens which are used to improve efficiency and accuracy of orders, are now being seen more in local and fine restaurants, when they use to be strictly used in Quick Service type restaurants.
Another great example of a recent innovation in touchless restaurant tech is the Coffee Robot. This coffee machine is fully automated and can make any drink a barista can make, at a much faster pace. Customers order drinks from their mobile phones and receive a notification when it’s ready to pick up. This new coffee machine is a great way enhance customer experience and reduce labor costs at the same time.
Social Media Integration & Mobile Apps
Regardless of what area your business relates to, it is now more important than ever to have a constant online presence on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. All these platforms offer multiple tools and features to advertise and build customer loyalty.
Mobile apps & m-commerce also offers multiple new features like push notifications, GPS localisation, social media integration etc.
A new trend for innovative businesses is to build their own mobile apps to create a custom shopping experience for their clients and leverage the newest features to offer personalized & geolocalized deals & more.
Mobile apps and social media integration also improves brand value and the image of the business. Customers love to engage with their favorite brands on apps and social, sharing their pictures of their food, and giving live reviews, etc.
So many restaurants are currently utilizing outdated, ineffective technology or simply not using technology at all and are now seeing the effects of their lack of preparedness .
We’ve all been hearing about restaurant tech for decades, but none of us could see it coming this quickly. We hope this article helped you get a grasp of what type of advances are coming and hopefully understand that the direction those advances will be shaped by are: the integration of iOT devices, AI, social media & a customer centric attitude.