The restaurant industry has grown significantly over the years. The main reason restaurants have integrated modern technology, which is affecting every industry today, thus forcing local food businesses to adapt. Those who fail to adapt will soon lose their relevance and competitiveness.
Every time there’s a new technology on the market, industries rush to implement it. For example, East24 or Gubhub. These online ordering apps have revolutionized the food industry. Businesses don’t even have to invest money to gain access to online ordering. It is imperative restaurants adapt to emerging trends. Technology influences consumers behavior and purchasing decisions. If you’re unable to deliver on customer expectations, they won’t hesitate to abandon your business.
The restaurant industry is no exception in this ongoing trend. Technology, although disruptive at first, became mandatory in the entire restaurant industry. However, this is not just because consumers expect it but also because technology can bring numerous benefits and advantages to restaurants. With that in mind, here are a few technologies that will transform the restaurant industry.
Every market today is highly competitive and crowded. Restaurants struggle to win over customers even with effective marketing campaigns. That’s why big data analysis should be a part of every restaurant’s marketing strategy.
The way it works is that food companies leverage information online through advanced analytics to predict market trends, consumer behavior and preferences. They later use that information to enhance their offers, create unique selling propositions and empower their marketing efforts, especially when coupled with coversion rate optimization.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been the main buzzword lately. Although still in development, AI implementation in various processes can already be found throughout various industries, restaurants included. The most common example of AI in business processes is chatbots.
Even restaurants use these AI-powered computer programs that exist on messaging apps to provide better service and support to their customers. Chatbots can mimic human language and behavior, which makes them ideal representatives for most businesses. More importantly, leverage time to their advantage. Chatbots help automate common questions, like, What time are you open on Friday? With Chatbots, it will provide an automated response, for example, We open at 9am. This simple function, frees up the employee at any restaurant from answering a routine question by a potential customer.
Modern technology has revolutionized points of sale in restaurants. Customers no longer have to sit and wait for the waiter to order food nor do they have to wait for the waiter to pay for their meals. As a matter of fact, self-service kiosks are taking over.
You can simply pick a meal, order and pay for it without having to worry about a staff member attending to it. You can also connect to the kiosk using your own mobile device and conduct the process from there. It’s convenient for customers and restaurants can serve more customers without overspending on labor costs.
Mobile traffic has surpassed that of the desktop for some time now. To serve mobile users the right way, restaurants develop mobile apps. Food delivery apps are the most popular forms of apps developed by restaurants. Just like what I mentioned earlier, Eat24 & Grubhub.
Customers can order meals whenever they feel like it and have those meals delivered to their homes as seamlessly as possible. Moreover, consumers can also leverage GPS technology provided in the apps to track their orders at all times.
Cash and credit card payments are still an option but they’re losing popularity fast. Nowadays, restaurants provide a new level of convenience in the form of online mobile payments, for example, with payment platforms, like Square & Venmo.
Consumers can pay for their meals using their mobile device and their preferred method of payment. Payment processing is fast and efficient, as well as convenient, and customers don’t have to wait for a receipt.
Augmented reality (AR) is one of the latest technologies that’s transforming the restaurant industry. Customers tend to be curious about various meals but they surely won’t order every meal on the menu just to satisfy their curiosity.
AR provides a solution as customers can see the meal in real-time without ordering it. The visual representation of the meal is as important as the taste. In fact, visually appealing meals make customers believe that they taste 29% better and they will be willing to pay up to three times more for such a meal.
Staffing, inventory, supplies and other factors are just a few things restaurants constantly struggle with. You never know how many people will show up or if you’ll have enough groceries to serve everyone. Fortunately, predictive technology is here to help.
Predictive technology comes in the form of a software solution powered by AI. Restaurants can use analytics to predict necessities based on previous sales history and ordering patterns. That way, restaurants can accurately predict staff, supplies and other factors for a week in advance.
Inventory is yet another factor that restaurants oftentimes struggle with. You have to ensure that items don’t fall below the bare minimum before resupplying. Moreover, you have to keep an eye on inventory and prevent potential employee thefts.
Digital inventory can solve all of those problems and more. As a matter of fact, with digital inventory, you can schedule regular reports, automate orders and even get notifications about the state of the inventory on a regular basis. This makes inventory management much more efficient and seamless.
Paper menus are slowly but surely becoming obsolete. Nowadays, restaurants operate in a dynamic environment, which means you have to adjust your menu accordingly in any given situation. This can mean a couple of times per day.
Digital menus are the answer that will transform the industry. Managers can adjust the offers, prices, specials and many more to better serve their customers and make the best of any time of the day.
Robots in restaurants seem like something straight out of the science-fiction novel but it’s closer to the reality than we think. Robotics, as a concept, can be found in various restaurants already.
Robotic chefs that cook meals based on the ingredients customers have chosen, robotic bartenders that shake your cocktails the right way and many more technological innovations are making their way into the restaurant industry. This trend is gaining momentum and may soon be a common sight in every restaurant.
Technology is transforming every industry today, not just restaurants. Technology is meant to provide benefits, convenience and advantages to both businesses and consumers. For restaurants all over the world, it’s as good a time as any to capitalize on modern technology.