Since technology is ever-changing and the hospitality industry is growing more and more competitive, restaurants need to keep up-to-date with the latest tech trends. And we’re not talking about robot servers, either.
We’ve compiled 11 of the top restaurant technology trends that focus on improving the guest experience, enhancing operations, and increasing bookings. Tech updates that you can implement today and see real business results.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that restaurants will need more flexible and diversified revenue streams – a hybrid model that serves customers in and out of the traditional dining experience.
To put that in perspective, the latest tech trends affecting the restaurant industry are:
The guest experience is one of the top priorities of any restaurant – arguably the top of the top priorities. Because of that, it’s no surprise that there are many technology trends in the restaurant industry focusing on the guest experience and how to improve it.
The pandemic has pushed the pedal on contactless payment methods. Guests expect restaurants to accept everything from digital wallets and QR codes to mobile payments like Apple or Google Pay.
UK Finance reports that over 83% of people are already using contactless payments – and the trend is rising. The global contactless payment market will hit €12 billion by 2030.
The lack of person-to-person contact makes it safer, more hygienic, quicker and more convenient than traditional cash payments.
Many restaurants believe that accepting contactless payments will cost them money. But that’s not true. Upgrading your tech to a payments solution that accepts contactless payments can reduce costs in the long run, improve productivity and make it easier for guests to pay (a big win for guest experience).
Every time a guest eats at your restaurant, there is a huge set of data available to make better sales and marketing decisions. Combine that with multiple visits – and data from your POS, payments and reservations system – and you’ve got a complete picture of that guest that you can use to personalise their experience and turn them into a regular.
Use the insights from guest profiles to cater your email marketing and service directly towards your guests’ needs and interests.
The result? A personalised experience that they’ll keep coming back for.
With telephone booking for table reservations dropping to below 20% in the UK, online table reservation technology is the future.
An online reservations platform gives customers the freedom to see available slots, make bookings on the go, stay updated on waiting lists, and preorder supplements (like wine menus or beer tastings) and experiences.
Restaurants can manage seating and tables, waitlists, dining preferences and ask for deposits and no-show fees to keep last-minute cancellations off the menu.
Superb takes online booking even further by allowing restaurants to offer unique events and culinary experiences. Whether it’s a guest lecturer joining the Chef’s Table, or an all-inclusive tasting menu, guests can book their next special dining experience easily and directly on your website.
Beyond an online booking system (see the point above), a website and reservations platform optimised for mobile users is a must for today’s diner.
It may not seem like a technology trend, but making sure that guests can book a table from their smartphone is key to increasing your bookings. 50% of all web traffic comes through mobile phones – that includes your guests.
Go ahead and look at the accounts you follow on Instagram – ignore your friends and look at the restaurants, restaurateurs and brands that you like.
Chances are, they have photography that draws you in and tells a part of their story.
You’re not the only one liking those images. MGH (a US-based marketing agency) reports that over 40% of restaurant-goers look for photos of food on websites and base booking decisions on those. Better images = more bookings.
50% of Gen Z and 44% of Millennials say unappetising food photography is the number one reason for not visiting a restaurant. With that in mind, you might want to update your photo editing tools.
Want to improve the guest experience in your restaurant? Start by giving your staff more time (and the resources) to focus on it.
How? Staying on top of advancements in restaurant technology helps streamline routine operations and manual work – eliminating it, in some cases.
One of the fastest-growing restaurant technology trends involves takeaway. Whether it’s Coronavirus or convenience, the global takeaway and delivery market will pass €85 million by 2024. The number of Europeans using food delivery services will hit 96.9 million in 2024, too.
So the takeaway market is booming. The good news for your restaurant is that 67% of those takeaway-lovers prefer to use a restaurant’s own app or website. Great for you. And you’ll save on third-party services like Uber Eats that charge 15-30% per delivery.
Can your current restaurant tech setup give the people what they want? If not, it’s time to go with GXM PRO.
What’s a DIY meal kit? “The restaurant kitchens prep and/or pre-cook dishes, pack them up, and deliver them to your door with idiot-proof instructions.”
These do-it-yourself food boxes hit mainstream during peak Covid (even Esquire told us how great they are) and their popularity has only increased.
According to a survey by the National Restaurant Association (NRA), more than 50% of customers said they’d buy a DIY restaurant meal from their favourite eatery. If you’re targeting Millennials and Gen Z, that statistic rises to 75%!
Finding ways to generate revenue outside of your physical restaurant isn’t a trend… but the technology to help you do it is.
2022 is the year of the webshop. You’ll see more and more restaurants offering merchandise and food products to supplement their income.
It’s not all about money. In the same survey about DIY meal kits, the NRA discovered that over 50% of guests would purchase grocery items (like pasta, bread, dairy and meat) from their favourite restaurant.
Whether it’s your signature sauce, a sourdough starter that dates back to the Middle Ages, or a cocktail mix that your guests love, it’s time to upgrade to an all-in-one platform that can help you launch your restaurant shop.
Finally, restaurant tech platforms like Superb are doing away with the pay-per-booking module that has been holding restaurants back.
With prices rising across the board, you should charge your guests for their meal – not to supplement their reservation fee.
With a fixed subscription (like with Superb’s GXM platform), the app is cheering for you – not punishing you for having more bookings. Get as many guests as you want, the price is the same.
If there’s one thing we need after the pandemic, it’s predictability. A fixed subscription platform that runs your restaurant is exactly that.
At Superb, we don’t want to tap your traffic, we want to help you optimise.
You can officially stop running back-and-forth between the kitchen and front-of-house. Thanks to cloud printing, your EPOS system can send orders immediately to the kitchen for printing.
This is possible because of restaurant technology and cloud-based point-of-sale systems. Your team can flag any dietary requests and, since all data is stored and updated automatically via the internet, everyone will know immediately when you’re out of an item or inventory is low.
And the best part? A simple tablet and a cloud printer are all that’s necessary. You can send your massive, old-school stationary POS terminal to the recycle bin.
The €6.1 million/minute traffic jam in the Suez Canal is the perfect example of what happens when supply chains break. And ongoing ingredient shortages show what happens when a supply chain is overworked, overlooked, and spread too thin.
Upgrading your restaurant’s tech to an all-in-one restaurant management platform gives you access to valuable data. Data that gives you an overview of past and present inventory levels, combined with orders and cash intake. This means that you can fine-tune inventory to cut down on costs and food waste.
Not only will you reduce costs but also increase revenue and efficiency by always having the most requested items on hand. That’s great for a restaurant wanting to improve the supply chain and start focusing on localising.
When talking about technology trends in the restaurant industry, an all-in-one platform – reservations, POS and payments in one package – has to make the list.
Whether it’s about managing reservations, front of house, kitchen, billing, or anything else you can think of… an all-in-one platform takes care of it.
The technology within Superb’s all-in-one solution arms you with guest data that helps you make better decisions when it comes to menu planning, staffing, sales, and the guest experience.
What does that mean in the real world? You’ll have a head start on other restaurants toying around with legacy systems.
To successfully market and target current and future guests, today’s restaurants need to record, measure and use guest data. All of which isn’t possible without Guest Experience Management.
Guest Experience Management (GXM) is the new way of running a restaurant by using guest data.
Restaurant technology can improve the guest experience throughout the whole customer journey, both online and in-service. It’s the easiest way to capture the data needed to make better-informed decisions and truly create personalised experiences.
Without it, you’re just guessing.
Staying on top of restaurant tech trends help you better understand what guests expect and how to continue providing exceptional service.
Implementing the use of new technologies not only improves the guest experience by giving you access to even more guest data but also saves you money while giving you an edge against the competition.