11 Restaurant Technology Trends and Innovations

11 Restaurant Technology Trends and Innovations

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Restaurant tech, food technology, and restaurant innovation have all enhanced the experience of ordering food to the point that, at times, you don't even need to see another human being to request and receive your food. 

While online ordering and food delivery are common practices now, largely due in part to kitchens having to become fully digital restaurants during the pandemic, there was once a time when food was only sold from a stall like everything else in a market.

Some of the most significant restaurant revolutions came in the form of systems that are now standard such as having a menu, tables, and ordering system, which didn't come into prominence until the late 18th century

Over the next 100 years, restaurant innovation received more attention than ever. 

Canning practices helped preserve ingredients to cut costs for kitchens; gas became more readily available to cook with; and then cash registers wrap up a century of major improvements to food technology.

Breakthroughs In Restaurant Tech

The 1900's saw substantial improvements to the world of electrical engineering. 

The electric range enabled a variety of improvements in precision and cleanliness. (A range of improvements, if you will… ba dum tss

The first time electricity was used to fully cook a meal happened in 1892 when Thomas Ahearn, the inventor of the electric range, prepared and delivered a meal to the Windsor Hotel in Ottawa.

Tech giant IBM created the first point of sale system in the 1970's, quickly being adopted by McDonald's for use in all of their locations. Shortly after, credit card authorization became possible, meaning customers could order, pay for, and receive a receipt all at once for their meal.

RELATED READING: 5 Key Benefits of Restaurant Technology to Keep You Ahead of The Game

11 Restaurant Technology Trends and Innovations

There are hundreds of technology options designed for the restaurant and hospitality industries, but which are most worthy of investment? 

New technology costs money as well as a time commitment for training. Today's restaurants that may be struggling to get back on their feet after the coronavirus lockdown need more than hunches to go on if they're going to embrace new tech trends. 

The following technology solutions have transformative potential for restaurants, helping them provide more efficient management and service.   

1. Online Ordering

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many restaurants were exploring whether and when to offer customers online ordering options. After the lockdown forced restaurants all over the country to close their doors to dine-in service, thousands of eateries adopted online ordering platforms like DoorDash and Uber Eats. In many cases, this type of technology enabled them to pay their bills.   

Many restaurants discovered that contracting with more than one online service platform could be a challenge. This is why they are now embracing Cuboh, because its platform allows them to manage all their online orders from one convenient dashboard. Better customer service and more efficient restaurant operations means better customer care and more profitable operations. Here are a bunch of other solutions you should have on your radar:

2. Touchscreen and POS Handheld Systems

Did you know that touchscreen and POS handheld systems can reduce serving time by up to ten minutes per table? Imagine how many additional customers you will have served at the end of a week's time? Restaurants that have adopted POS handheld systems report improved customer satisfaction and reduced order errors. These systems offer staff and customers greater flexibility. They also allow restaurants to market food items or specials more effectively. Customers have become used to these systems and because they promote improved accuracy in orders, customers tend to enjoy a more satisfying experience.  

3. Mobile Payments

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the way many restaurants operate. Many restaurants and customers are trying to reduce cash transactions in order to reduce the potential for contagion. When customers can authorize payment via their own mobile phone, they don't even have to swipe their credit card or press any buttons. For now, this is ideal for reducing contact between customers but it also promotes greater convenience and efficiency. These applications are not difficult to install and many customers are already using them on a regular basis.  

RELATED READING: Restaurant Trends that Will Continue After the Pandemic

4. Menu and Inventory Management Software

The restaurant back office is frequently the place where strategic decisions get made. Instead of surrounding yourself with paper lists, logs, and sheets of inventory, invest in software that allows you to manage your inventory and menu from your digital device. This means that you can see where your restaurant stands in terms of inventory or sales from anywhere. A digital platform ensures greater accuracy so you can make informed decisions about orders and your restaurant's offerings.   

With these software tools, you can track costs in both the short and long term. See at a glance what's selling best and where you may be losing money. The latest software solutions are more user-friendly than ever, requiring less training to master. This type of technology is no mere trend; restaurants that adopt it tend to stick with it because it works.  

5. Restaurant Reservation Software

When you automate your restaurant's reservation schedule, you can convey a more professional image to diners and reduce errors. Busy staffers make mistakes, so the software eliminates the need to manage phone calls for reservations or designate an employee to handle them. Many customers prefer the freedom to search for open reservations and make their own decisions about when to dine.  

6. Staff Scheduling Software

Busy restaurants know the nightmare of scheduling. It makes sense to invest in some scheduling software for your cooks and wait staff to view who's working in case they need to trade hours. The software allows for flexibility but also promotes more efficient and accurate scheduling management.   

7. WiFi

There are many restaurants that have yet to offer wifi service to customers. Whether or not you want to offer customers high-speed internet service may depend on the type of dining experience you offer. However, many people are working remotely these days and rely on their devices to stay connected. Knowing that they can linger for breakfast or lunch at your restaurant or cafe and work from your location can lead to more business.   

While your restaurant may not elect to embrace all of these tech options at once, they are all tech trends with staying power. The sooner you can adopt them, the sooner you can enjoy their myriad of benefits. If you're interested in learning about Cuboh, visit the website or schedule a tutorial to learn more.

 If you want to win at online ordering and optimize your approach to takeout and delivery, we can help. Book a 15-minute consultation to learn more about how Cuboh can transform your business.

8. Modern Food Technology and the Cloud

A hurdle that limited the ability for restaurant tech to truly flourish was the requirement of servers and data connections required to properly support the new systems. Once cloud technology and remote servers became more accessible, every brand now had access to the newest restaurant SaaS or online ordering platform.

It didn't take long for our need for convenience to leverage this new era of possibilities. Food delivery began ditching the phone and swapped to applications on our smartphones or online ordering through a web browser. The management teams of these kitchens were also able to enjoy digital inventory and order management, no more tickets and log books floating around.

It's always good to take the time to appreciate all of the immense improvements to both efficiency and quality of life these once-unthinkable innovations have provided. Cuboh is excited to be one of the companies on the forefront of the current expansion in the world of restaurant tech. 

9. Eco-Friendly Tech

COVID-19 is not the only thing negatively impacting people on a worldwide scale. Climate change continues to pose a threat, and restaurants are scrambling to do their part by embracing environmentally-friendly alternatives. Here are some of the things restaurants are already doing to turn eco-friendly:

  • Biodegradable containers
  • Locally-sourced ingredients
  • Food donation
  • Bike deliveries

As the restaurant industry continues to grow, we can expect to see more eco-friendly innovations. For example, we might see businesses transitioning to sustainable energy systems for operating their kitchens. Not only do these changes help the environment, but they also benefit the reputation of your business.

10. Automated Systems

Over recent years, the restaurant industry has embraced automated systems. From restaurant saas and POS (point-of-sale) systems to mobile payments and reservation software, technology has helped restaurants improve their efficiency, allowing them to cater to a higher level of customers.

In the future, we can expect automated systems to continue to play a role in the restaurant business, particularly in delivery systems.

Some applications have even eliminated the need for contact with your delivery person. To comply with COVID-19 social distancing requirements, most apps give you the option to have your food left at the door, cutting out the typical hand-off you have with your delivery person. It's hard to imagine how this process could become even more automated, yet some people are already anticipating deliveries to become even more digitalized.

11. Drones

You may be thinking that the only way deliveries could become even more automated is if you eliminated the existence of a delivery person in the first place. As technology continues to develop, this very well may become an option.

Their capability to hold objects and film their surroundings makes drones perfect for conducting deliveries. Moreover, using a drone would eliminate the cost of delivery staff and reduce the environmental effects caused by delivery vehicles. Some people think that it's only a matter of time before we start to see these contraptions flying toward our homes with our food packages in hand.

Why Do These Trends Matter?

It may seem as though predicting technological advancements in the restaurant industry isn't all that useful. However, knowing how this technology is going to develop can help you determine how to best shape your business model.

For example, if you project that your systems are going to become more and more automated, you're going to want to figure out a way to manage that. While technology is meant to improve efficiency, it can actually be a set-back if you don't know how it works.

Let's look at delivery apps. Most restaurants, both standard dining locations and ghost kitchens, partner with third-party delivery systems to help increase their online orders. Online ordering has become extremely popular over recent years, especially with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, these systems can be difficult to work with; they require processing orders across multiple tablets (one for each delivery system). If you fail to do this, you risk losing orders or, even worse, making mistakes that harm the reputation of your business.

Keep Up With The Trends

As technology continues to change the way kitchens operate, it's important for restaurant owners to keep up with the trends. One of the current trends is online ordering; restaurants that don't keep up with the demand of delivery orders risk losing out on serious business. Although managing orders can be difficult, there are solutions out there. Streamlining delivery orders reduces the risk of mistakes, consequently helping you maintain a positive relationship with your customers. 


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