For many years restaurants have been very fast in adopting new recipes and adjusting menus, but unfortunately too slow in adopting new technologies. However, the pandemic and quarantine changed it and made all restaurant owners reconsider their attitude towards new technologies.
Adaptation to new reality turned out to be really hard for many restaurants. They were not ready to offer food delivery, contactless payments, and the new dining experience that all customers expected from them.
According to Statista, 67% of restaurant clients in the US claimed that they would prefer using a restaurant’s own app or website to order food delivery. But in fact not every restaurant has a great app for customers and efficient solutions for employees. And that’s what slows down restaurant business from growing and generating more revenue.
Since our team is an expert in digital transformation of restaurants and cafes, we would like to share with you some insights on the most important restaurant technology. We will explain why you should adopt it and what trends you should actually follow to stand out from your competitors.
Positive impact of technologies on restaurant business
The role of technologies in the restaurant industry is undeniable. They help food places to stay up to date, identify and meet constantly changing demands of clients, optimize business operations, save labor costs and operational expenses, and encourage customers’ loyalty.
These days people do not have much time to waste on waiting for their orders. Therefore it is crucial for all restaurant owners to automate as many processes as possible and transform their places into fast casual restaurants. And this can be done only with the help of advanced technologies.
The list of the operations that can be successfully automated includes but not limited to the following ones:
- Ordering and tables reservation;
- Payment and billing process;
- Customer loyalty programs;
- Clients engagement;
- Order and inventory management;
- Analytics, reporting and feedback;
- Customer relationship management;
- Food delivery;
- Restaurant marketing and brand growth;
- Creation and update of menus;
- Employee management, and many more.
As you can see, the list is pretty solid. By having the right software and hardware you can streamline a lot of processes and turn your business to a whole new level. For example, such technologies as AI and Big data can help you collect all necessary information, analyze it and use it to your advantage.
IoT can help you make your kitchen space more smart and energy efficient. QR code technology can let you transfer from paper menus to digital ones. A point of sale system can let you achieve more sustainable kitchen operation and simplify employee management.
We could have provided even more examples of practical use of technologies, but we think it would be better to get you acquainted with the latest restaurant technology trends and provide you some source of inspiration to bring changes to your restaurant business.
New restaurant technology trends that gain popularity
As we’ve already mentioned, the possibilities of technologies are endless, everything depends on your business needs and requirements. While some restaurant owners still require common mobile applications, others start thinking about high-tech food delivery robots.
And in a wide variety of restaurant technologies there are some that are more trendy and popular than others. Let’s take a look at those tech trends together and perhaps you will get inspired to start a digital transformation of your business.
KDS and POS systems for restaurant industry
In the last five years we noticed that many restaurants focused on automation of most operations and started getting point of sale systems and kitchen display systems. Since we specialize in POS systems development, we’d like to focus on this trend and let you know why they are a must for a successful and growing business.
There is a wide variety of POS systems you can implement – cloud-based ones, mobile POS, self-service and even online systems. Thanks to this solution you can easily automate the following operations:
- Inventory control;
- Data collection and use;
- Improve custom order making;
- Replace paper tickets with digital ones;
- Make use of advanced accounting;
- Manage customer and employee profiles;
- Create a smart ecosystem by connecting with other digital solutions;
- Organize effective staff training and growth;
- Control your supplies, demand and food waste;
- Generate holistic reports and see how your business is going, etc.
POS is a holistic multifunctional solution that can become a centerpiece of your restaurant and let you achieve new business heights. It is a smart solution that can be integrated with your CRM or ERP, mobile application for ordering and delivery, and accounting software. Custom POS systems are scalable, flexible and fully adapted to your business processes, and that is what makes them such an irreplaceable tool for business.
Speaking about KDS, this is a so-called digital menu board that helps restaurant staff to streamline all kitchen operations. Kitchen display system is connected to the POS system and helps to prioritize orders according to their priority and complexity. Also KDS helps to highlight some special meal requests from customers with specific dietary preferences or allergies to certain products. A unity of KDS and POS improves workflow, communication between staff, and accuracy of all orders.
The rise of ghost kitchens
Speaking about the latest restaurant trends we could not omit mentioning ghost kitchens. Ghost kitchen is a new business model that implies that your restaurant will be fully delivery-optimized. One more peculiar feature of such kitchens is that they do not have a dining room or wait staff.
All you need to start a ghost kitchen restaurant is to hire an in-house team of cooks, create a menu, build a custom delivery application and start delivering your meals. This business model is a hure trend since it lets restaurant owners quickly adapt to constantly changing tastes and demands of customers, reduce operational costs, and work in the preferred food category.
Among the solutions you may need to run your kitchen are a POS system, app for ordering, software for inventory control, CRM system and app for production planning.
We could not emphasize enough how important it is for a restaurant to focus not only on delicious food but also on convenient digital ordering. Why is that so trendy right now? Well, simply because of the COVID-19 the tendency dictates that most operations should be touchless. Digital menu and contactless payment options are the key to the success of a modern restaurant.
Apart from being highly convenient, a digital menu and ordering helps you to quickly find out what consumers prefer, increase order accuracy and overall client satisfaction. To make an order online your restaurant guests need an app that will quickly show them every available menu item, its price, and other necessary details.
Active use of QR code technology
QR code can be fairly named the leading restaurant business technology. China, USA and Europe actively implement QR code technology to offer fast online access to restaurant menus, simplify ordering and payment processes. What’s great about QR code technology is that all restaurant guests do not need to install any application. They simply scan the code using their mobile devices and proceed with ordering.
So basically QR codes can be used to complement your online ordering system and restaurant application, speed up data collection and eliminate human errors that occur even in the most successful restaurants from time to time.
Chatbots and voice assistants
Speaking about innovative ways able to transform the restaurant experience, we should mention chatbots and voice assistants. The main advantage of these technologies is that they can be quickly implemented and you can also spice up your current solutions with them in no time.
Chatbots and voice assistants can be used to interact with the customers, increase customer satisfaction, recommend dishes, ask customers to leave feedback, announce new menu or seasonal dishes, offer promotions and loyalty bonuses, help people with special dietary requests choose proper food, reserve table and many more.
Apps that help restaurant owners reduce food waste
Food waste can be called one of the global problems that humanity tries to solve. You may be wondering how exactly new technology and applications can help your restaurant reduce waste. Well, most apps that aim to combat food waste are focused on wise use of food surplus.
If you research the market like we did, you will discover several existing solutions that let restaurant owners offer delivery of fresh grocery and meals that are left on their kitchen to people in need, community kitchens, or offer huge discounts on prepared meals at the end of the day.
By investing in development of such an application you can be sure that all your meals and ingredients will never go to waste. Apps reducing food waste are eco-friendly, and what’s more important they let you earn even more money and attract new loyal customers. They are really a solution of the future. Here are some great examples that can inspire you:
Improved food delivery
Let’s be honest, food delivery services became a go-to option for many people in this fast moving world. Every person now has at least three apps on their devices. Uber eats, GrubHub, Doordash, and Delivery.com have become the best friends of busy people and let restaurants expand their client base drastically. Quick service restaurants are what most clients appreciate and look for.
As of now, most restaurants unfortunately do not offer in-house delivery services and let their clients use a third party app to explore and order available menu items. In other words, restaurants keep delegating the delivery to other service providers. And we predict that it is going to change, since many business owners already started investing in their own delivery apps and integrated online platforms for delivery. Here are some core features that all customers appreciate:
Speaking about food delivery and looking to the near future, we must admit that many restaurants started considering more interesting options than common delivery. Some experts say that there can be a boom of drone and robot delivery. Well, let’s wait and see. But for now building a great food delivery solution would be the best option.
Self-order kiosks became a real must-have for all franchises, fast-food restaurants, and cafes that pay special attention to guest experience. Let’s take McDonald’s that started actively using self-ordering kiosks a few years ago. Now it has become a successful example that many other business owners try to follow.
No wonder, because self-order kiosks grant numerous advantages. And among them there are the following:
- Incredibly fast service;
- Shorter queues at the cash register;
- Improved order accuracy;
- Numerous upsales thanks to recommended combo deals;
- Increased visibility and profit margins.
On top of that, restaurants that order self-ordering kiosks attract more young and tech savvy customers, since they prefer using digital devices and minimize communication with staff. Millennials and generation Z value speed and quality of services, and that is exactly what can be achieved with the help of self-ordering kiosks.
Digitalize your restaurant business with our team
Chances are that you have already considered the digital transformation of your café or restaurant. And when it comes to software development, it is better to partner up with the professionals who have all necessary knowledge and experience. For example, our software development company has all kinds of industry experts that have been helping restaurants to develop custom solutions for more than 10 years.
Our team has built delivery apps, solutions for online ordering, customer loyalty applications and of course complex POS systems. At the moment we are mainly focused on restaurant mobility and POS development and integration. Our POS development services include:
Apart from custom software development we can help you with modernization and upgrade of your existing solutions. Perhaps you already have a delivery app or point of sale system but feel that it is not enough for your business. Maybe that software requires implementation of new technologies or features, or even a total upgrade. Whatever the situation is, we are here to help you and provide you with the highly-functioning modern solutions for your restaurant or café.
Our team also offers consulting services and Discovery stage. It can be of use to all business owners who want to perform digital transformation but do not know where to start and what budget to put in it. We will complete holistic market research, explore your competitors and their solutions, select the best feature set for your business app and provide you with all necessary technical documentation.
As of now, our company is working on the development of a POS system for a ghost kitchen. This is a very interesting, trendy and advanced solution that is going to be fully integrated with online ordering. This POS system will have a range of features starting with QR code scanning, AI-powered analytics and ending with productivity reports and custom order making and management.
In case you are interested in the development of such a POS system or any other solution for your restaurant business, do not hesitate to contact us. We will provide you with a consultation, quotation and answers to all your questions. Let’s establish a fruitful cooperation and turn your restaurant to a whole new level. Outshine all your competitors and expand your customers base thanks to custom solutions developer by us.
These days it doesn’t really matter whether you own a small familiar restaurant, a franchise or an elite restaurant serving exclusive meals. Whatever kind of restaurant business you run, you definitely need to get some digital helpers to run it more effectively and keep pace with the time. Luckily the variety of restaurant trends is incredible, so you can choose the one up to your liking, build custom software and make the most out of using it.
We have covered the most interesting and popular trends that will stay with us for years, so now it is up to you to decide what solution to build for your restaurant business. You can consider several interesting variants, or if you feel confused you can write to us and get a free expert consultation.
Just remember that digital transformation is what drives businesses to more ambitious achievements and more solid income. Restaurant software is a great investment that will pay itself off and grant you a lot of advantages including a competitive one.