Customers use it to make reservations, order food and pay for their meal. Customers use fast food technology to order from a digital menu board or kiosk. They rate their experience on social media. They don't realize that using food service technology makes more money for the restaurant.
Kiosks are trending in fast food technology. Digital menu boards and tablets for ordering and payment have dominated recent restaurant technology news. What are examples of technology used in the restaurant business?
Restaurant Technology That Increases Revenue
It isn't really new technology in restaurants nor is it innovation in restaurants. It does help save the day, though, and it's called the POS system. It scans barcodes, rings up sales, returns items, takes items out of inventory, and generates reports and dozens of other time-saving things.
POS systems make money for a restaurant, by keeping track of inventory, noticing when a restaurant is out of food, keeping track of food sent back to the kitchen for whatever reason. Knowing these things ahead of time (even knowing to recycle refused orders into new dishes), keeps restaurants from losing money.
It's unfortunate that only big chains can afford new technology in restaurants. Mom and Pop restaurants would benefit from the newest explosion in restaurant tech, table-side payments. It's the happy customer who doesn't wait for the bill, or the server to ring the sale, or return the card. Happy customers make more profit for the restaurant.
Technology That Improves Your Guest Data
Garnering information about customers and their needs via reviews isn't exactly restaurant tech. It's much more important than that. Eighty-four percent of prospective customers read reviews as if they were personal commendations. Restaurateurs who use restaurants technology to engage people through reviews are sure their restaurant remains first for their customers.
Social media is not new to the restaurant business. When diners take pictures of your food and then spread it across numerous social media sites, then you're a winner. This is even more important when restaurant technology trends engage mobile devices.
Delivery Route Optimization
We've all had cold food delivered. Food service technology has improved this occurrence. Delivery route optimization is aligning addresses and zip codes with a specifically assigned driver. Multiple orders are delivered hot and on time. Thanks to restaurant technology, dozens of happy customers equal more profit for the restaurant.
Digital Menu Boards
A digital menu board is a new technology in restaurants, putting control in managers' hands. From a single console, you can change a sold-out item, offer specials on items almost out of date, or offer special dishes made of bits and pieces from prepping produce and meats. Used in the restaurant business this technology is definitely good for profits.
Doesn't time fly? Although take-out has been around since ancient times, it's really gotten popular in the last 50 years. When the 90s came with its Internet, menu sites gained popularity. Pizza companies offered online ordering as one of the first restaurant technology trends. Today, if you don't offer online ordering, you're losing money.
Apps tell consumers where food trucks will be this week. Apps tell diners where the newest pop-up restaurant or dinner club is located. Apps tell us the waiting time for a table, what the specials are tonight, plus if there's valet parking. Apps have become the technology in the restaurant industry we can't do without.
This is especially true of mobile apps. In rush hour traffic, we suddenly remember the bare cupboards at home. We search for a mobile app for the food we like. We order our food and pay for it at the next traffic light, while we rush home to be on hand for the delivery. It's a win-win technology used in the restaurant business for dinner as well as a restaurant.
It's not simply restaurant technology news. It's become a fact of life. Mobile payments are here to stay. For example, there are mobile payment processors with which people can pay their bills at kiosks or stores, pay for movie theater tickets, and pay the cleaning lady and the lawn maintenance company.
What saves both consumers and restaurant staff time in addition to turning over tables quicker is a money maker. The newest restaurant and technology trends are mobile wallets and other mobile payment methods such as Android and Apple Pay. It's quick and convenient.
It's a digital world, like it or not. People spend more time on their phones than anywhere else. #Hashtags draw their attention, as do pictures and videos. The perfect storm is when restaurant and technology meet on social media.
It's about visuals. Mouth-watering pictures, videos showing food preparation, hashtags with trending words, and SMS messaging, advertising new dishes or daily specials, is how social media is used to capture the imagination. Capture that with the technology used in the restaurant business and you'll have wonderful profits.
Restaurant innovations giving customers a voice for discussion with approval and/or disapproval is invaluable to a restaurateur. Feedback originates from review sites, surveys, email questionnaires and more. Technology in restaurants gathers information about customers' opinions and puts you first in their estimation. Others will be checking out that estimation.
Surveys as feedback about your restaurant business are as simple as signing up for Qualtrics or Survey Monkey. Their forms are short and fun.
Online review tools as feedback also help restaurants rank in Google. Additionally, since more than three-quarters of diners read reviews first, using an email review service gives you a head start on attracting new customers.
Restaurant innovations are coming as fast and furious as restaurants technology is developed. The aim of technology in the restaurant industry is happy, satisfied diners. Satisfied diners spread the word. Restaurateurs make more money. We think everyone being happy a good thing.