Restaurant Tech Trends to Watch
The food tech market was sized at $220 billion in 2019; by 2027, it’s estimated to reach a staggering $342 billion. Restaurant patrons are going wild for more tech-forward ways to engage with their favorite establishments, especially those fast-casual restaurants that’ve taken a stronghold on the dining industry. That’s why today we’re going to focus on 3 technology trends to keep an eye on this year. Let’s dig in!
Today’s consumers have a need for speed—and that goes for their food orders, too. Limited are the days when a long, leisurely dinner was everyone’s idea of a night out. Fast-casual restaurants need to be just as speedy as fast-food chains. Brands are adding multiple drive-thru lanes, geofencing to notify restaurants when customers drive into the parking lot, and text capabilities for ordering. Kitchen display systems (KDS) track the amount of time it takes for menu items to be made, then sends a ticket to different kitchen stations to optimize the prep queue. This lets cooks know how much to make and when to make it, reducing waste and increasing efficiency.
Remote Ordering + Loyalty Programs
As we face high inflation and an impending recession, a greater emphasis is being put on customer loyalty programs. More folks are ordering online through restaurant-branded apps like Starbucks or Chick-fil-A, not only for the convenience factor but also the rewards. Within the app, customers often get personalized offers based on prior purchases. And the restaurant employees know exactly what their customers want, exactly when they want it—this provides less room for error. And the big key to success for a loyalty program? Higher customer engagement. Folks that love the ease of ordering through an app will continue to do so, as long as they are rewarded for their loyalty.
Automated Labor + Employee Training
While the restaurant industry is steadily adding jobs, it’s not keeping up with job growth in other sectors. We’re still seeing a restaurant labor shortage, despite the lure of signing bonuses and increased benefits packages. AI has been stepping in to fill the gap, automating many of the jobs that used to be occupied by humans (think self-ordering kiosks and staff scheduling, for instance). When it comes to training new hires, technology also has a starring role. Via a concept known as micro learning, automated training modules can get new folks up to speed quickly, allowing them to learn while shadowing other employees rather than sitting in front of a computer screen and trying to absorb information. According to TechTarget, “Scientific research suggests that a self-directed, modular approach to talent pipeline development improves knowledge retention. It also empowers employees by giving them the opportunity to build new skills directly in the context of the job they are being paid to do, without having to take time away from their job to attend training.”
We’re always keeping our eyes on the latest technology trends for your business. From using technology as a means to reduce food waste, to tech enhancements transforming the restaurant industry, we cover it all over at the Financial Pantry. And when you’re in the need for an unsecured small business loan or line of credit, look no further than our pros. Since 2001, our team of loan consultants has helped tens of thousands of businesses just like yours secure funding, no collateral required. Stop by today to learn more about how we can help fund your success!