The restaurant business is one of the largest industries globally. Food and drinks sales in the United States alone go well above $700 billion annually, making it a highly lucrative marketplace for business owners. Great opportunities, however, are followed by harsh competitors.
Restaurant owners need to be creative to keep attracting new customers month after month. It’s not easy to maintain profitability in the long-term perspective, so the average lifetime for a restaurant is only 4.5 years. Most entrepreneurs in this field of work don’t respond quickly to changes in the marketplace, forcing them to close their outlets sooner than later.
Technological advancements and the Millennials’ preferences are now posing new questions to the restaurant owners. With so many novelties in the IT industry, they need to figure out which one to embrace and which ones to discard.
It’s a serious issue that has the potential to make or break the entire business, so you better make sure to answer the question correctly. But you don’t have to reinvent the wheel since certain tools and IT gadgets already proved to be beneficial for food and drinks sales.
In this post, we will describe 10 technologies transforming the restaurant industry. Let’s take a look!
Digital Inventory Tracking
Inventory has always been a major task for restaurants, but you had to deal with it manually. Times have changed and now operators can use the digital inventory tracking system to monitor and analyze their existing supplies.
As a manager, you can create inventory schedules in order to keep the stock to the minimum, cutting unnecessary costs and paying less. These platforms enable operators to predict larger orders, plan food deliveries, and handle in-demand items. Besides that, it compares the history of orders to create data-driven stock predictions, thus helping you to avoid out-of-stock situations.
All restaurants, especially the ones with 20+ employees, need high-quality organization and scheduling to keep the business running smoothly. The job is getting easier since the introduction of the scheduling software which enables managers to create and send weekly plans to all members of the team.
The tool is particularly useful when you have to rearrange the schedule and switch shifts without making a big confusion out of it. Scheduling software can help managers analyze employee performance, see what the busy days are during the week, and look at historical data to know what days need extra help (or a skeleton crew).
Automated Biodiesel Converters
Now, this is the state-of-the-art solution that can help you promote your business as environmentally friendly. But that’s not the only benefit. Automated biodiesel converters also help you cut expenses by reusing animal or vegetable oil.
This is extremely important if you are running a fries-based restaurant that spends gallons of cooking oil every day. It takes a while to figure out the new technology, but it certainly pays off as you will see the fuel costs reducing quickly.
Bluetooth Temperature Sensors
Food safety is critical to the success of your restaurant since even a minor incident can completely ruin your reputation among customers. For this reason, you should put safety procedures at the top of your priority list by introducing Bluetooth temperature sensors.
The system is based on probes and sensors, allowing you to monitor the current and average temperatures of your equipment. Sensors will react instantly if they notice temperature breaches, so you can quickly solve the problem and put things back to normal.
The entire system is automated, which means you don’t have to rely on employee feedback. That way, maximum precision is guaranteed.
LED Alert System
Being a restaurant owner, you must know how busy and dynamic it can get in your outlet. Sometimes the crowd is so busy that it’s getting difficult to hear instructions or receive new orders. In such circumstances, THE LED alert system could help you to improve the functioning of your team.
The technology is made to turn on the floor or counter lights at the right moment so as to remind workers about the next most urgent task. LED lights are by no means intrusive, but they get the job done and boost kitchen performance.
Kiosks are definitely not a brand-new technology – you must have seen some in places like McDonald’s and other fast food chains. But what is it that makes this technology worthwhile? Well, it’s the capability to reduce waiting in lines and ensure faster and more comfortable ordering experience.
There is another reason why many restaurants will embrace this tool in the near future – kiosks are programmed to offer additional items to the buyers, thus maximizing the outlet’s up- and cross-selling potential. At the same time, the system can personalize the guest experience.
Looking at it from the long-term perspective, it means better performance and higher revenue. No wonder the US kiosk industry has been growing at the 10% rate since 2013.
Touchscreen Food Vendors
If you are a passionate fast food guru or an indie restaurant owner who wants to jump into the grab-and-go service, perhaps you could think about buying a touchscreen food vendor. It’s like a traditional vending machine with a slight touch of modern technology. The solution is highly compatible with cafeterias, but you can also buy it for your restaurant to add to the versatility of your offer.
Automated Purchasing System
We already talked about the importance of inventory management, but this tool takes the process to the whole new level. Namely, an automated purchasing system gives restaurant management the chance to focus on other duties 100% and never think about supplies and ongoing purchases.
This software is connected to the inventory system, so it knows when it’s time to buy new items based on orders frequency and sales forecasts. You can also program the system so as to compare prices from different suppliers and purchase the cheapest goods.
Tablet Restaurant Management
Tablet restaurant management is an all-encompassing solution that allows you to monitor everything that happens in your outlet in real-time. It takes only a simple iPad app to watch over every table, customer, and order in the restaurant.
It’s a superb option for modern restaurants with busy customers who demand fast and pleasant delivery. As the owner, you can have full control over restaurant activities and make adjustments to ensure immaculate user experience.
The food and beverages industry is gigantic, so it gives the opportunity to millions of entrepreneurs to start a restaurant business. However, the average lifespan of a restaurant is far too short because it’s hard to keep pace with competitors and stay up to date with the latest technological advancements.
In this post, we gave you a quick overview of the 9 most important technologies that are transforming the restaurant industry. Did you ever use any of these digital tools in your place? Do you know other interesting suggestions to share with our readers?
Don’t hesitate to let us know in comments – we will be glad to see some fresh ideas and discuss this topic with you!
About the Author
Tiffany Harper is a talented writer from New York, an extremely active woman, and a real leader. She began her career as a journalist and later proceeded it as writer and editor. Now she works as an experienced freelance writer in cheap paper writing service, mostly in technology and education area. Please do not hesitate to contact her on Google+ or Twitter.