In recent years, we have witnessed a technology revolution within the restaurant industry. Despite its reputation as being a “tech-resistant” market, the restaurant industry has recently begun to recognize the efficiencies offered by new, innovative solutions. From mobile apps to payments, the adoption process has begun across the industry and shows no signs of slowing.
To date, the vast majority of new technologies have focused on the “front of house.” The majority of mobile applications or technologies are focused on the interaction between the server and the customer. Examples include expedited checkout, loyalty programs, and integrations with on-demand services.
What about technology that improves the restaurant itself? What about “back of house” technologies that make restaurants smarter, safer, and more efficient?
One emerging trend for restaurant operators has been “the connected restaurant.” More than ever we are seeing a shift in new technologies that address the entire restaurant space. The goal is to develop technology that alleviate worries and problems in operations across all ends of the business.
Recent technologies in the restaurant space have been able to:
Monitor food temps & food safety
A major focus of new restaurant technologies is food safety. Technological — such as automated temperature monitoring — are able to ensure that all food is being monitored in the walk-ins and other refrigeration units at all times. Luckily, there are temperature monitoring solutions that run off cellular data instead of wifi to ensure 24/7 coverage in case your wifi goes down.
Whether you’re locally owned or a multinational franchise, an instance of food poisoning can severely damage your “brand equity.” Just ask Chipotle. The burrito chain’s stock fell as much as 3.5% (overnight), after a Twitter user reported that someone had gotten sick after eating at one of their Manhattan locations.
In an industry where reputation and customer loyalty are everything, ensuring food safety is no longer optional; it’s imperative. Tech companies are now developing solutions to help monitor food temperature, guarantee proper hand hygiene, and improve overall HACCP compliance.
Save on labor costs
Technology that helps moves restaurant operations away from paper and manual processes and towards automated and digital solutions have been able to save restaurant owners significant amounts on labor costs.
Prevent inventory loss
With automated inventory ordering as well as temperature monitoring solutions, inventory loss within the restaurant space is approaching an all time low. More control of inventory has been given to restaurant owners and staff by ensuring all of the inventory invoices, orders, and monitoring data is stored online.
Improve the guest experience
The dining experience was intended to be relaxing and generally care-free. But, as you already know, that’s not always the case…
“Where should we eat?”
“Where’s our waiter?”
“Can we get the check, please?”
We’ve all asked at least one of these questions in our lifetimes. And, whether you knew it or not, each of these questions highlight certain “pain points” in the dining experience. Restaurants have identified several of these “pain points” (before, during, and after a meal) and are using new technology to address them.
Now more than ever, the dining experience is intertwined with technology. Not only are the customers reaping the benefits of this growing trend but also restaurant owners and operators.
How are you using technology at your restaurant?