Restaurant technology innovations have helped streamline restaurant industry and cafe operations while improving customer experience. As many economies began working to recover after the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurant tech became crucial in gaining new business and repeat customers. This is where restaurant technology trends and restaurant industry trends played a vital role.
Adapting to new trends isn’t always easy. Restaurant technology is always improving and with evolving customer demands, technology provides new solutions to the unique problems that arise. It’s better for restaurants to adapt to the new tech trends sooner rather than later in order to keep up with consumer demand.
In the hospitality industry, it’s important for businesses to understand the customer experience in order to serve them better. It’s also what will help them stay ahead of their competition.
Restaurant technology also helps empower restaurant staff. These include wait staff, bar staff, servers, restaurant manager, and an inventory control manager. With the right tools, they can simplify their operations while improving productivity, and reducing labor costs and restaurant expenses.
What Is Restaurant Technology?
Restaurant technology includes equipment, tools, and computer programs that food establishments use on a regular basis. These establishments include restaurants, bars, and cafes. Technology helps make businesses’ processes efficient, and it improves customer service too.
Restaurant technologies, like hospitality software, are constantly changing. As the hospitality industry grows and becomes increasingly competitive, restaurants have to adapt to the latest technology trends.
One of most restaurants’ top priorities is improving the guest experience and that’s what technology trends help with.
New Technology in Restaurants
The food and beverage industry relies on the latest technology trends to accelerate digitalization. Restaurateurs are relying on automation and optimization to provide quality food and service as conveniently and quickly as possible.
In 2022, restaurant technology is concentrating on ordering, delivery route optimization, and preparation. As more innovations come up, restaurants can expect to focus on incorporating a seamless ordering experience for customers. They can also look forward to delivering orders as efficiently as possible.
Restaurant Technology Trends in 2022
It has always been common to see the restaurant industry changing to adapt to customer needs. However, the industry is changing faster than ever these days.
There is a focus on speed and convenience. So what is there to expect for the restaurant industry in 2022 in terms of technology?
Here are some restaurant technology trends for 2022:
Automated Inventory Management Software
Inventory management refers to tracking food and beverage inventory stock, anticipating quantities, and scheduling orders. With automation, it no longer has to be a time-consuming and tedious process.
The implementation of automated inventory management software can reduce food waste and improve order accuracy. Food businesses have the opportunity to procure the right quantity of ingredients while optimally using them.
Automated inventory management allows for more control over what’s in stock. It also makes it easier to track food costs, so you can minimize waste. Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems (see ERP meaning) and Point of Sale (POS) systems (see bar POS) make it simple to track inventory in real-time. That’s one of the benefits of ERP.
Demand planning and inventory forecasting are ideal for planning and optimizing consumer demand in restaurants. They help keep inventory stocked so that customers can get the meals they want with all of the necessary ingredients.
Contactless Payment and Ordering
Contactless technologies aren’t just about placing online orders. Instead, it’s also about being able to pay using a smartphone, smartwatch, app, or touchless device.
The trend of new payment technology rapidly grew after the pandemic. Cashless transactions mean no human contact which is a safer and more hygienic way to pay, aside from being quick and convenient.
In casual dining, fine dining, and fast food establishments, contactless ordering is also becoming increasingly popular. Contactless ordering technology has proved to reduce queue times and speed up the ordering process. It also reduces human error when it comes to taking orders and payments, and it improves the customer experience.
Making online restaurant reservations is huge. Apps like OpenTable make it simple to book a table without having to call in. It provides customers with the opportunity to see the available time slots and complete their booking while on the go.
With automated reservation systems, restaurants can manage waitlists, seating, dining preferences, and customer loyalty. This can all be done while collecting vital client data for market insights and contact tracing.
A QR code menu, QR code-based ordering, and payments are quick and convenient methods. In fact, there are many benefits of using QR codes. Mobile-first societies such as China have been using QR codes for quite some time instead of a single use menu. You can look into the additional benefits of QR codes to get a better understanding of how they can help your restaurant.
A custom QR code helps keep diners and employees safe while providing customers with access to online menus, ordering, and paying without contact. There is no app required for QR codes and this kind of technology helped tremendously in the reopening of restaurants after the pandemic.
The ghost kitchen meaning refers to restaurants that offer only delivery or carryout options. In most cases, it’s an unbranded facility that provides the equipment and cookware that is expected from a standard restaurant.
Delivery drivers and carryout counters replace waitstaff and seating areas. Most ghost kitchens have low overhead costs, a variety of menu types and options, and huge growth potential.
A virtual restaurant or kitchen is an extension of a restaurant that already exists. This kitchen offers strictly carryout, delivery, and/or catering options.
Self-ordering kiosks are seen in many fast food restaurants, such as McDonald’s. These kiosks give customers the option to order on their own instead of waiting for waitstaff. Self-ordering kiosks can provide quick services and result in sales increases.
These self-ordering kiosks provide the following benefits:
- Shorter lines. The kiosks separate the line between those waiting to order from an employee and those that choose to self-order. This is especially important during rush hour as it reduces customer wait times.
- Upselling opportunities. When it comes to the upselling meaning, it allows businesses to persuade customers to purchase items in greater quantities or of greater value. Add-on items for each menu listing are shown on the screen. Promotions and combo deals are also displayed.
- Increased order accuracy. Self-ordering kiosks often eliminate miscommunication. This is because customers see exactly what they’re ordering on the screen before they complete their order.
Air Purification Technology
Since COVID-19, consumers are more health-conscious. Since the virus can be spread through the air, restaurants and their indoor dining spaces were at risk. Some decided to implement air purification technology to get ahead of the sanitation process.
This is one of the more efficient solutions as it uses ultraviolet light and bipolar ionization to kill germs and bacteria in the area. Air purifiers keep diners at ease, especially in a virus-weary world.
Air purification technology can eliminate mold and dust particles in the air. It also reduces the bacteria and viral load in a space. Some purification systems will also reduce kitchen odors and cooking fumes.
Frequently Asked Questions About Restaurant Technology Trends
How Is Technology Changing the Restaurant Industry?
Technology is changing the restaurant industry by allowing food establishments to change and adapt to new challenges. This technology can improve restaurant profit margin and customer satisfaction. Common technological changes in the restaurant industry include the implementation of online ordering.
Why Is Technology Important for the Restaurant Industry?
Technology is important for the restaurant industry because it enables restaurants and their staff to provide exceptional guest services. Staff can use technology to suggest and upsell items. Customers can order food on their own through self-ordering kiosks which cuts down wait times.
What Are the 2022 Restaurant Technology Trends?
The top 2022 restaurant technology trends are:
- Automated inventory management
- Contactless payment and ordering
- Automated reservations
- QR codes
- Ghost kitchens