The restaurant industry continues to grow and evolve as customer preferences change. One trend that has remained consistent is the increasing use of technology in restaurants. Here our some restaurant tech trends we predict will continue to grow.
Kiosks/Tableside Tablets: It seems like there are near constant reports of another major chain piloting or rolling out kiosks. This is a trend that has come to stay. Expect to hear and see more of these as the results continue to look positive for sales. Tableside tablets may be lagging slightly behind, but we wouldn’t be surprised for them to make a push in 2018.
eLearning: Training for restaurant staff, especially in independent high-end concepts, has become antiquated. It’s hard to find time between busy shifts to gather a team together to go over menu changes, tasting guides, and service notes. The Millennial workforce’s main mode of communication is their smartphone- so look for more restaurants to rely on eLearning applications to communicate changes with their staff. What manager wants to grade quizzes at 3am anyway?
Gamified Training: Look for tech to continue to disrupt the restaurant industry by working to help with server motivation. With applications for staff that tie into your POS data to run contests, it’s easier than ever to gamify your training. “Reinforcing training with contests and peer recognition is a powerful tool for motivation” says Tipzyy CEO, Mathew Focht.
Mobile Payments: After lots of talk, we keep waiting for this change to take full effect. With some restaurants already moving away from cash, expect 2018 to be the year that mobile payments take over. Start pricing those new payment systems to stay on trend.
Social Media as a POS: With a generation already glued to their social media feeds, it will only be surprising if this doesn’t expand. Dominoes and Pizza Hut were early adopters of leveraging social networks for ordering – look for this to go mainstream in 2018.
Better Integrated Delivery Technology: Technology and food delivery are both growing at an astounding rate. Look for better integrated technology platforms that make accepting outside delivery orders a breeze. With the competition as fierce as it is in the delivery space, the companies that don’t increase ease of use will be left behind.
Utilizing Data Analysis: To stay ahead (or just in line with) the competition, expect more and more restaurants to utilize captured data to better understand their customers. Gone are the days when only the mega-chains needed this information; now it is for everyone. This technology also can help guide more sophisticated loyalty programs.
With technology continuing to change rapidly, one can only expect there will be trends we haven’t even heard whispers of yet coming our way. Food service is a keep up or drop out industry- so make sure you stay on top of the latest trends.