It’s easy to see how innovations like smartphones and social media platforms have changed the way we socialize, but what about the dining experience? How has technology changed restaurants? It’s crucial for owners and operators to explore this topic so they can learn lessons from the past, stay ahead of the latest trends, and implement the best solutions for their business. Find out everything you need to know about innovations in the restaurant industry and schedule a free demo of our hiring platform to discover how technology can boost your employee retention by 43%!
Restaurant Technology and Trends
1. Mobile Ordering
Looking back now, the world seemed entirely different just five or ten years ago. The idea of ordering food on a phone before going to the restaurant might have seemed absurd. Fast-food restaurants and technological advances have changed that.
The first major tests with mobile ordering began in 2014 when Taco Bell and Outback Steakhouse announced that customers would be able to order using an app so their food would be ready when they arrived at the restaurant. The popularity of mobile apps for restaurants caught on, and many companies have created their own apps since then.
The trend grew steadily over the next few years but skyrocketed since the COVID-19 pandemic created challenges for eating inside restaurants. Thanks to new technology in the foodservice industry, we could be looking at the future of restaurants and food delivery. Ten years from now, people might wonder why people ever waited to get to the restaurant before ordering at all.
2. Self-Service Kiosks
In addition to mobile ordering, many restaurants have implemented self-service kiosks. These can be free-standing displays at the front of QSR establishments or touch-screen devices at tables. These kiosks make it more convenient for customers to order food and pay their bills. It can also help speed up operations by saving time in the ordering process.
While this new technology in restaurants has been met with some concerns that it replaces human labor and eliminates jobs, this isn’t the case. It simply enhances the experience for employees and enables them to spend more time providing spectacular customer service. The technology will also prevent the staff from being overworked and lead to a better work-life balance.
3. QR Codes
While paying through a tablet or a phone app is a popular solution, some restaurants have chosen another route and created a payment method based on QR codes. Every restaurant does this their own way, with some of them putting the codes at every table and others having a few codes posted in specific locations at the restaurant.
These QR codes can be scanned from a phone and will open an interactive menu. After ordering, you can then easily pay for your food. They are a great way to save time and, much like a self-service kiosk, should help keep your workers from getting overwhelmed.
4. Scheduling Technology
Poor planning can turn a successful business into a disaster overnight. The good news is that we now have more technology to help with time management. Scheduling software is a great way to manage employees and decide what shifts they should work without spending hours staring at a computer document or calendar.
Much of this software can even be found in the form of phone apps, which makes it that much more convenient. Phone app or not, these types of software solutions often come with some very useful features, like a group messaging function that you can use to communicate with employees and an availability tracker to remind you which employees can and can’t work certain shifts.
5. Voice-Assisted Ordering
Ever since the creation of voice-assisted technologies, such as Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, people have been looking for new ways to incorporate voice technology into their lives. One interesting innovation in the restaurant industry has been voice-assisted food ordering.
This technology is convenient for customers and allows restaurant workers to track customer orders and note any dietary needs they might have. This allows the staff members to get their customers the foods they like as quickly and safely as possible. Some voice-assisted ordering solutions even suggest additional items that the customers might want to pair with their meal, creating a better customer experience and generating additional revenue for the restaurant.
6. Sprockets’ Predictive Hiring Platform
Productive employees are the gears that make your restaurant run as efficiently as possible, and Sprockets makes it easy to build these top-notch teams. Our AI-powered platform uses a brief, three-question survey to identify which applicants will succeed like your top performers. Then, you can simply look at the red-yellow-green scoring system to see who you should hire. It empowers you to make the best hiring decisions every time and improves employee retention by an average of 43%. Get your free demo today!