Top Restaurant trends and technology in 2021 … Are you ready?
While the past year has been filled with challenges, new innovations emerged with the help of technology. New protocols are in place, restaurants are expanding their capacity, and travel is on the horizon. Trends in technology for restaurants have continued and, according to Restaurant Technology Guys, the following are the latest in tech advances for the food and beverage industry!
Contactless Ordering and Payments
Due to the pandemic, technology for contactless ordering and payments accelerated. This includes the use of the QR codes, which originated in the early 2000s, in place of printed menus. We anticipate this trend will stick around for a while as more guests will opt for this over a printed menu. More restaurants will also pivot to allow their POS system to accept mobile payments from customers’ digital wallets.
Online Table Bookings
Apps and restaurant POS systems offer customers ease in making reservations online for in-house dining or curbside pickup. An upgraded POS system monitors online reservations and table turns so restaurants can stay in line with any capacity restrictions.
Automated Kitchen Operations
Staff members were reduced and, along with safety concerns, the trend towards kitchen robots and display systems is the newest way to increase productivity in kitchens. While no one is suggesting that people will be replaced, technology can accomplish some important tasks. Meet Flippy the automated burger chef and Briggo’s Coffee Robot. Robot arms can now chop, prep, season, scoop, heat, mix, and stir. Kitchen display systems, integrated with POS, can display all orders (whether placed online or onsite dining areas) to be viewed immediately by kitchen staff.
Voice Ordering and Chatbots
We know that customers crave convenience when ordering so expect to see applications such as Alexa, Google Assistant, and voice-to-text and voice order apps for the restaurant industry being introduced. Keeping with the contactless experience, website and social media chatbots can engage with customers, anticipate and/or suggest menu options, offer promotional messages, bounce back incentive specials as well as and process orders.
Marketing Automation and Loyalty Programs
Competition is intensified, making marketing budgets and loyalty programs more critical. Upgraded restaurant-specific customer relationship management (CRM) software focuses on data and analytics from ordering and social media platforms. A precisely focused campaign will make optimum use of text, email, paid online ads, and social media.
Should you need help with your restaurant marketing, contact HRA member partner Jenerate PR by emailing Jennifer Polito at firstname.lastname@example.org.