If you are in the restaurant business, you know that friendly service, thorough service, and speedy service is essential for success. But what about "smart service?" Whether you realize it or not, in today's fast-changing marketplace, you have an abundance of options to grow your business through technological innovations.
But you may wonder, what are some of the emerging trends in restaurant technology that could very well explode in the next 5 years? What effects have they already had on the restaurant industry?
A Big Order for Big Data
One of the biggest emerging restaurant technology trends involves big data. We hear a lot about big data from industries as diverse as retail, banking, insurance, government; the list goes on and on. But what about big data's effect on the restaurant industry?
Imagine being able to accurately forecast the number of staff needed for any given day of the week, taking into account weather, local or regional events, holidays, etc. Imagine being able to customize your menu items for each individual customer. According to Frances Katz from The Week, the world of big data makes these scenarios a tantalizing possibility. And restaurant owners are catching on. A 2017 report from Toast found that 78% of restaurant owners make it a point to check their metrics and finances on a daily basis, up from 46% two years before. This number will no doubt continue to grow in the next 5 years.
Menus from Miles Away
The convenience of ordering through a mobile app is a fairly recent innovation that has established itself as a game-changer in the restaurant industry. Despite some hiccups at first, as documented by the Wall Street Journal, this restaurant technology trend is here to stay.
Through mobile apps, customers can order food or drink without having to wait in long lines. Employees can send real-time updates on the order's progress. When the customer's items are ready, many businesses have made it extremely easy for customers to come in, retrieve their order, and walk out the door; all without having to stand in a queue for a frustratingly long time. No wonder restaurant owners all over the world are making it a point to implement this business solution at the first opportunity!
Serving Self Service
In today's digital world, one critical trend for restaurants is engaging customers in ways that are comfortable for them; or, in other words, through tablets and touchscreen technology. Many restaurants have, in effect, decided to serve their customers self-service. These establishments have self-service kiosks installed at tables and booths, so the customers can order at their leisure; play games or surf the Internet as they wait for their meal; and even pay and tip without having to hand over their credit card. Indeed, in the next 5 years, it is easy to envision restaurants focusing more and more attention on technological accessibility, and correspondingly less attention on face to face interactions.
Staying ahead of the game in the field of restaurant technology trends is not easy to do, but the rewards over the next 5 to 10 years can greatly exceed any costs incurred. Using resources such as The 7 Pillars of Modern Learning to educate yourself can lead to increased profitability and streamlined operations. When it comes to your restaurant's service, do your utmost to make it friendly, make it thorough, make it speedy... and make it smart!