Living in this day and age, there’s no doubt that technology has improved our lives in numerous ways, and the restaurant industry is no exception to that. Restaurant technologies can improve efficiency by automating tasks such as order taking and payment processing, reducing labor costs, and increasing customer satisfaction by providing a more seamless and personalized experience. It can also help restaurants gather valuable data on customer preferences and purchasing habits, which can be used to optimize menus, marketing efforts, and overall operations.
Technology in the restaurant industry has come a long way in the past 50 years, starting with the creation of the first POS (point-of-sale) system in 1973 by IBM. The first restaurant to use this system was McDonalds, enabling them to place orders at the register and print them in the kitchen. Today, there are many restaurant technologies that businesses already use to improve their operations and customer experience. From streamlining processes to enhancing communication, these technologies are helping restaurants to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and stay competitive in an increasingly saturated market.
Continue reading to explore 4 emerging restaurant technologies, and how they can help your business stay ahead of tech trends.
New and emerging technologies are revolutionizing the restaurant industry, and have the potential to transform the way restaurants operate and interact with customers. These trends are worth keeping an eye on for any restaurant owner or operator looking to stay ahead of the curve.
As the cost of third-party delivery services increase, restaurant owners are turning towards alternatives, such as food delivery robots and drones. These devices have the potential to revolutionize the way food is delivered, offering faster, more efficient, and cheaper delivery options. This technology could completely eliminate the cost of hiring delivery drivers, while reducing the environmental impact from the current vehicles being used. In addition, these devices have the capability of recording surroundings as proof of delivery, and can potentially be used in marketing initiatives.
With people growing increasingly dependent on their smartphones, augmented reality menus can superimpose 3D graphics and virtual information onto the real world, allowing restaurant-goers to browse and order from a digital menu on their phone or tablet. These menus offer a futuristic, interactive dining experience and can be easily updated and customized. Allowing customers to interact with menu options to see the size, ingredients, and even texture, gives people a chance to explore the dishes and make an informed decision.
Virtual reality onboarding for restaurants allows new employees to experience immersive, simulated training sessions. This technology allows employees to practice tasks and scenarios in a risk-free environment before working with real customers. Using VR training can provide more consistent training on procedures, workflows, and processes for each new hire. VR can also increase efficiency and reduce costs by eliminating the need for a paid training manager to be present. With this new technology, new hires can feel more confident and prepared before working on the floor, which can reduce turnover rates.
As labor shortages continue within the restaurant industry, AI chatbots can be a smart solution to automate certain interactions with customers, while also reducing labor costs. Chatbots for restaurants can assist customers by providing information, answering frequently asked questions, and even taking orders. These virtual assistants can be integrated into a restaurant's website or social media accounts, and are available 24/7 to help customers. Chatbots can streamline the ordering process, saving time and resources for both the customer and the restaurant. Additionally, chatbots can gather valuable data on customer preferences and behaviors.
There are various types of technology that can help restaurants with reporting. One example is POS systems, which are computerized systems that process sales transactions and track customer orders. POS systems often come with built-in reporting features, allowing restaurants to generate reports on sales data, employee performance, inventory, and more. Other types of reporting technology include inventory management systems, which allow restaurants to track and analyze their food and beverage supplies, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, which help restaurants to track customer interactions and preferences. There are some platforms that offer POS, inventory management, and CRM systems, and have the capability to integrate them, such as Toast.
In addition to the systems mentioned above, during the height of high employee turnover and labor shortages, a human capital management (HCM) system is essential. An HCM system, like Push, can help automate your payroll and people management. From hiring and onboarding to scheduling, we’ve got you covered. Our reporting and insights can also provide you with real-time reports, so you can make informed decisions regarding your labor force. Focus on running your business, and leave the HCM to us. Book a demo with Push today to learn how we can help simplify and scale your business.
There are a few key factors that restaurant owners should consider when deciding which technology to implement, such as cost, ease of use, customer experience, and return on investment (ROI). Since implementing any new technology can be a significant financial and time investment, you should carefully consider how the technology would impact your specific business.
Cost is a large factor as some of these restaurant technologies could be costly to implement. If you run a small business or don’t have many financial resources to fund the new technology, it may cause a strain on your cash flow. However, depending on the technology, the initial upfront cost could potentially pay itself off if it reduces costs in other areas of the business. This is where ROI comes into play, as you’d want the investment to pay off in the long run and have the technology eventually increase your bottom line. For example, a chatbot could help reduce labor costs by having AI answer customer questions and take their orders.
Another factor to consider is ease of use and implementation time. Ideally, you want something that does not require a huge learning curve so that employees of all backgrounds can reap its benefits. Additionally, look for a tool that can be easily implemented into existing systems and processes versus technology that requires its own ecosystem.
In conclusion, there are many exciting technologies that restaurants can consider implementing in 2023. These technologies can range from point of sale systems and chatbots to augmented reality menus and virtual reality onboarding. By streamlining operations, enhancing the customer experience, and providing valuable data and analytics, these technologies can help restaurants to be more efficient and successful. While it’s hard to predict which tech trends will be most popular this year, we expect to see a rise in restaurant technologies that automate or reduce staff tasks, such as self-order kiosks, food delivery robots or drones, and chatbots. Restaurant owners should carefully consider the various options and choose technologies that align with their business goals and needs.
“In the labor numbers, we were reporting about a $300 to $400 difference than what we were getting through Push!”
-Tara Hardie, ZZA Hospitality Group, 16 locations