Restaurant Technology: For Better or Worse, It’s Here to Stay

Shot of a young man accepting a digital payment from a customer in a cafe

Technology is changing the way we order our food, and the way the restaurant industry operates from manager to cook to cashier.

Technology is everywhere. New apps, systems and devices are introduced almost daily to help complete tasks more efficiently and make life more convenient. Restaurants are not exempt from this – in fact, restaurants have long embraced the digital age, and several new innovations are now helping restaurants across the country improve customer experience, run their kitchens more efficiently, and ultimately boost their bottom line.

Restaurant Tech: Apps, Automation, AI, and more

Restaurants have long utilized new technologies to better serve their customers. From the introduction of computerized cash registers decades ago to QR code menus, online payment systems, and text-based ordering today, it has helped restaurants of all types increase efficiency, cut costs, and improve customer satisfaction.

This is not a self-contained phenomenon. A recent survey from Restaurant Technology News found that 40% of customers prefer to order their food online or through an app as opposed to traditional modes; customers increasingly expect digital options to be a part of the dining experience, and “…regardless of how an order is placed, most customers (87%) believe a delivery fee of $5 or less is fair for the convenience it brings.”

So, what are the biggest trends revolutionizing the way we make, order, and serve food in restaurants?

  • Ordering food online: Restaurants have increasingly embraced the options of allowing customers place their orders online and pick up their food at the restaurant or have it delivered for convenience and safety.
  • Payment through mobile apps: The ubiquity of smart phones has made mobile payment systems a must. They process payments quickly and conveniently for the customers, and let restaurants sidestep some of the costs that come with accepting payments.
  • Automated kitchen solutions: Automated ordering, robotic kitchen staff, and POS systems that allow for custom printing, e.g., QR codes on receipts, have allowed restaurants to increase efficiency, reduce labor, and boost branding and loyalty with customers.
  • AI: Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help predict customer preferences and trends while personalizing the dining experience.

Restaurant tech is not all consumer based, however. Automating simple task in the back of the house, like the labeling process with DateCodeGenie, helps restaurant owners and operators cut labor costs and manage their inventory more efficiently, reducing food waste and increasing profits.

Customer scanning QR code, making a quick and easy contactless payment with her smartphone in a cafe

Benefits of Restaurant Technology

While consumer demand is one of the main driving factors, as mentioned above, the benefits to automation, tech, and digital solutions are numerous:

  • Cut costs and save money: Technology allows restaurants to streamline processes, automate time-consuming manual tasks, and reduce labor costs during a labor shortage. Allowing automation to handle manual tasks like labeling also reduces the chance of mistake when it comes to allergies, dietary restrictions, and other nutritional factors.
  • Increase efficiency in front and back of house: Technology has made it easier for restaurants to fulfill delivery and takeaway orders, process payments online and in-person, and leverage customer data to better curate their dining experience. This makes restaurant operations more efficient for customers and employees alike.
  • Improve the guest experience: Online ordering and mobile payment systems let customers place orders and pay quickly and conveniently. Automation and digital solutions have also made it easier for restaurants to manage their operations and provide quality customer service. This creates a more personalized experience with fewer snags.

This also helps restaurants address continued labor shortages in the foodservice industry, as we discuss in Automated Labeling Helps Restaurants Cope with Labor Crunch.

  • Build a loyal customer following: Digital solutions such as loyalty programs and targeted marketing campaigns have allowed restaurants to reach more customers and build loyalty. Innovative POS solutions allow for surveys and coupons to be printed on receipts via QR code.

The idea is to enhance efficiency, support staff, and improve the customer experience in your restaurant. You can support your restaurant with foodservice technology like the DateCodeGenie, which automates and streamlines the most tedious labeling tasks, or NCCO’s classic Order Pad, whichensures the ordering process runs as smooth as possible every time.

Learn more about the products NCCO has to offer, orget in touch today to chat about how our technology can help your restaurant reach its full potential.