Restaurant technology is one industry that has thrived during the pandemic – but we have yet to see how that will fully manifest itself. Restaurant Business reports that more than $5 billion has entered the industry so far this year alone– and that the investment has been feeding many mergers of complementary businesses that will likely develop new all-in-one solutions for restaurant operators. If you currently operate a broad array of tools and systems that don’t communicate with each other as well as they could, you can expect to see new options on the horizon that simplify tech for restaurants (and enough of them to make pricing competitive).
As restaurants look to attract and retain customers, offering opportunities to easily personalize orders has been a key recommendation. But it shouldn’t stop there. In a recent technology report from Nation’s Restaurant News, Matt Harding, Piada’s senior vice president of culinary and menu innovation, said offering consumers options for how they collect their orders is a natural extension of food personalization. That means using tech to create multiple options for order collection – whether in-store, curbside or via a drive-thru. The report predicts we’ll see this prominently in drive-thrus with different lanes for traditional drive-up orders, pre-made items, and to-be-delivered items and pre-orders.
Just like flexibility has been key to keeping restaurants running in the past year, it’s also a critical aspect of any technology you’re implementing. Your existing system should not only be able to handle your current sales streams but also be capable of scaling up in different ways to accommodate changes. Flexibility extends to the ways in which you are able to collect and present data about your guests and other aspects of your operation. Even if you don’t know how the industry is going to evolve, your systems should be agile and user-friendly enough that you are getting the kinds of actionable information you need to be able to make incremental changes.