Digitization: How modern technology is transforming restaurant industry

Tech and Tools   |   
Published February 5, 2021   |   

Today, technological innovations have empowered every business, and the restaurant industry is not an exception. From getting orders online to home deliveries, new technological tools make their space and help restaurants connect with customers, fulfill their demands, and control overhead costs.

The restaurant industry is facing fierce competition; everyone wants to be ahead of the game. Restaurant entrepreneurs modify their existing business models and embrace modern tech solutions that expand their business and enable them to stay ahead in the competitive curve.

Above is the snapshot of mobile payments made by customers for their drink in advance and how it increases Starbucks’ profit. Well-known coffee brand Starbucks is leveraging technology and improving their customer experience. (source)

Customers can now pay in advance for their drink before they rush to the store, it minimizes waiting time and offers a couple of advantage such as:

  • Delivering seamless customer experience
  • Reduce cost
  • Smooth management of operations

Modern tech solutions disrupt the restaurant industry and help them identify the gap between consumers and brands. However, if you are not embracing new innovations in your food business, you might have already fallen behind. As per the National Restaurant Association, more than 85% of restaurant owners have already installed tech solutions to manage their daily operations, whereas around 40% of restaurants now offer online ordering.

The above figures convey that the restaurant industry is hungry for tech solutions as it offers numerous benefits and reduces overall costs.

How Technology is Disrupting Restaurant Industry

Consumers’ lifestyles and preferences are evolving rapidly, might be social media, and digitization is the reason behind this major change. Furthermore, techie innovations are changing every aspect of our regular lives- so how would the restaurant industry stay behind? Due to globalization and a wide scope of the Internet, the restaurant industry is undergoing a big change across the globe.

Modern technology buzzwords such as mobile apps, digital payment, online ordering, artificial intelligence, smart devices, etc., have to gaze at the current restaurant industry. Let’s look at a few tech trends that are reshaping the restaurant industry and making it better day by day.

# Online Ordering

Online food ordering is no more a new thing happening in the restaurant industry. As we have said earlier, customers’ schedules are getting hectic day by day. They prefer online food ordering instead of visiting restaurants because it saves time and offers them comfort. Whereas by offering an online ordering facility, restaurants are creating new ways to generate revenue.

Increasing usage of smartphones and the wide scope of the Internet are two major reasons behind this massive growth. As per the recent analysis by Forbes, the online food ordering market will soon cross $200 billion because more and more customers have shown interest in having food delivered at their doorsteps.

Creating a digital menu could be a great start, but you can either create an online food ordering platform for restaurants or use third-party app platforms such as GrubHub, UberEats, Zomato, etc. Consumers can easily search nearby restaurants, place an order using an app or website, make a payment from the options given, and get it delivered at their doorsteps in no time. This is why more and more restaurants are leveraging smart tools to improve customer service and help them achieve business goals.

# Social Media is Everywhere 

Social media has suddenly become a serious marketing tool for restaurant business owners. Social media is becoming an ingrained part of regular lives, from checking the news in the morning to scrolling Facebook and Instagram endlessly, an average of 153 minutes is spent on social media networks daily.

Well, the restaurant industry is taking advantage of this approach and making its presence strong on different social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Social media statistics regarding social media might amaze you,

  • More than 70% of restaurants are registered on Yelp.
  • Approx. 36% of restaurant owners believe that they have experienced major revenue growth due to social media presence.

Restaurant owners can engage with their potential customers through social media, and it will help them to drive more foot traffic to their restaurant. Sharing pics of signature dishes, announcements about new offerings, and engaging with customers in a personalized way, social media technology and tools offers endless benefits to restaurants and increasing customer retention rate.

# Self-ordering Kiosks

Here you can see more than 88% of customers prefer self-ordering service technology. People, especially GenZ, have become more and more comfortable with technology across the globe, and the restaurant industry is taking advantage of this and offering digital solutions to improve the overall customer experience. The self-ordering kiosk is one of the modern technology tools that allow customers to place orders themselves. (source)

McDonald’s is the leading example that enables customers to place an order as per their preferences.

With the help of self-ordering kiosks, consumers can place and customize their orders and even can make the payment right at the place from the options given in that. Customers no longer need to stand in a long queue for hours amid peak hours. The self-ordering kiosk also offers useful insights about customer preferences, which also helps restaurants to suggest menu items that match their interest.

Indeed, this is the reason why it’s getting popular across the globe and improving the dining experience.

# Rise of Cloud Kitchens and Ghost Restaurants

Changes in technology and consumer habits have brought the concept to the restaurant industry. Today, people like to have food while they are “on-the-go.” And many restaurants have adopted a new business model called “ghost kitchen,” these restaurants are also known as dark kitchens and cloud kitchens.

It offers certain benefits over the brick-and-mortar restaurants. Competition in the food industry is neck-to-neck, but thanks to technological innovations and developments, restaurants can thrive even during a tough time.

Ghost kitchens are only focusing on deliveries and quality of food rather than creating a good ambiance. These restaurants don’t have a physical dining facility for their customers but only prepare orders placed online via apps or websites. With the speed at which the restaurant industry is transforming, cloud or ghost kitchens will be the next big thing across the globe.

Online review site Yelp observed that more than 51% of the restaurants have adopted this business model to overcome the loss during the Coronavirus impact.

Technology changes, and So do the Restaurants

The modern generation wants digital channels to provide them with easy ordering and payment solutions. Technology has connected us more than we have ever been, and the restaurant industry is benefitting from these solutions. To provide quality products with greater customer experience, they are taking the help of modern tech tools.

Today, with so much happening around the technology world, it would be a smart move for restaurants to adopt recent trends.

Don’t you think the restaurant industry will also become tech-driven soon? Yes, it will, so embrace tech development and grow your food business.