Over the years, the use of cloud applications has witnessed a surge, and now, the technology has become popular across the F&B sector. Many restaurateurs are realizing the potential of leveraging technology and looking for ways to utilize its full potential. The need to innovate is driven by changing consumer preferences and the entry of disruptive new business models into the restaurant industry. Technology represents a new opportunity for restaurants to reinvent themselves post-COVID-19 with the introduction of contactless dining, contactless payments, etc. So, what do you think will be the key restaurant technology trends in the new year and beyond? Here’s what we found out.
5 Restaurant Technology Trends Ready To Usher In 2022
Technology has been a key saviour for the restaurant industry throughout the pandemic and it continues to drive business recovery across verticals. So restaurant operators can’t afford to miss out on the restaurant technology trends. Let us look at some of the tech trends expected to reshape the F&B industry in the upcoming year.
1. Addition Of Off-Premise Revenue Streams
Post COVID-19, restaurants were forced to find an alternative income stream to traditional dine-in services. Home delivery and takeaway services, initiated by the restaurants since then, have proven to be quite successful in maximizing revenues. Technology has significantly contributed to facilitating these streams.
For instance, integration with food aggregators, payment apps, etc, has made it quite easy for operators to start off-premise services like food delivery and takeaway. Deployment of a robust POS, Kitchen Display Systems (KDS), and an efficiently integrated kitchen keeps orders flowing smoothly and simplifies food delivery and other off-premise services. In the coming year, this is one of the most popular restaurant technology trends that is likely to flourish.
2. Rise Of Cloud Kitchens
A key sub-set of off-premise revenue streams is the cloud kitchen. Many restaurant operators have started cloud kitchens out of their existing premises, especially post-pandemic. The success of these businesses highly depends on the food quality and consistency as food is the only way they connect with their customers. Automation can assist in simplifying cloud kitchen operations. Furthermore, the low operational and rental costs and ease of experimentation of cloud kitchens are also attractive factors for restaurants. Since cloud kitchens bring so much to the table, they are likely to gain more popularity in the upcoming years.
3. Leveraging Marketing Automation To Build Customer Loyalty
Over the years, delivering customer satisfaction has become an essential part of growing a restaurant business. This has compelled restaurants to automate their CRM operations. Robust CRM tools can help businesses gather insights and feedback from customers and make them feel valued.
With the power of automation, enhancing customer experience is easier as it helps them collect customer information centrally. In turn, this allows the restaurant operators to segment their customers, and cater to them in a personalized manner. All of this collectively works towards building loyalty with customers.
4. Voice-Enabled Technology For Customers & Staff
Virtual assistants are no more a thing of the future now. In fact, they are now increasingly being used by popular brands like KFC and Pizza Hut. Voice technology will thus be one of the key trends to watch out for in 2022. To enhance customer experience, restaurants are integrating with virtual assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant, allowing customers to place orders and give feedback via voice command.
Voice-enabled technology will further help simplify the back of the house operations. AI and voice technology could also assist chefs in order preparation by observing when a burger needs to be flipped and conveying this to the staff via speakers.
5. Moving From Automation To Robotics
After automation, the restaurant industry is now moving forward to introducing robots to their operations. In the upcoming year, more operators are expected to adopt the technology and replace their human staff with robots to eliminate the worries of hiring, manual errors, and high employee turnover rates.
Many brands are already testing robotic delivery services. For instance, Chick-fil-A, in partnership with a robotics company, Kiwibot, is testing a delivery robot in the Santa Monica area of California. In addition, many restaurants have also started deploying robots to carry out food preparation procedures, from flipping burgers to making cocktails. Robots are surely set to grow more popular in the years to come.
As a restaurant owner, investing in the latest technology can transform your restaurant operations. Capitalize on these trends and utilize the technological solutions to drive your restaurant’s growth in 2022.