Technology Enhancements Transforming the Restaurant Industry
Many industries took a beating during the pandemic, the restaurant industry being no exception. But there were also some incredible strides made when it came to technology. Today, we’ll dive into the coolest technology trends that made a splash in the industry. Who knows? Maybe one of these could help bolster your restaurant business, too.
Restaurant owners are turning to smart technology to help them through the labor shortage.Many are implementing solutions that boost productivity and efficiency for their existing teams, since it’s been proving difficult to find and hire new recruits. Online ordering, automated payment processing, and set-it-and-forget-it marketing campaigns are just a few of the ways restaurant owners are making the most of their existing resources.
Upgrades in contact-free ordering have seen a spike in recent years, thanks to a mixture of the pandemic, staffing shortages, and rising food costs. The solution in some areas has been the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) for drive-thrus. Automated voice ordering “conversationally interacts with guests in the drive-thru lane, captures their orders, and submits those orders directly into the restaurant’s point-of-sale system,” according to PR Newswire. Fast-casual restaurants have also quickly adopted the use of kiosks and mobile app ordering to help minimize the workload on front-of-house staff.
Improving the customer experience via a service called geofencing has allowed fast-food restaurants the ability to really customize guest interactions. According to SmartBug, “Geofencing is a location-based service in which an app or other software program uses radio frequency identification (RFID), Wi-Fi, GPS, or cellular data to trigger a targeted marketing action (such as a text, email, social media advertisement, app notification) when a mobile device or RFID tag enters or exits a virtual geographic boundary, known as a geofence.” For instance, the use of this technology allows restaurants to present drive-thru customers with a slew of menu options based on prior orders. This is an innovative way to boost loyalty and brand awareness.
There has definitely been an uptick in advertising on social media, and it’s paying off in a big way—especially for the restaurant industry. Customers are 50 percent more likely to visit a website/make a purchase after they see a post about the business in their Instagram stories. And even more interestingly, an MGH survey found that 36 percent of TikTok users ordered from a restaurant after they saw a video about it on the platform.
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