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LS Retail | 24 October 2023

4 ways technology is revolutionizing the restaurant experience

4 ways technology is revolutionizing the restaurant experience

QR code ordering. Virtual kitchens. Robot delivery services! The restaurant industry has seen all kinds of changes in the past few years. As businesses adapt to new challenges and continue to put their customers at the center, technology is enabling them to stay competitive and keep up with new trends. At the same time, it's accelerating change further. 

Here are four ways technology is shaping the present and future of the restaurant industry.  

1. Expanding the restaurant beyond four walls


A recent survey asking 1,000 consumers in the U.S. about their dining preferences found that the average person orders delivery around 4.5 times per month, with 57% saying they prefer takeout or delivery over eating at a restaurant.  As consumers look for experiences that blend the excitement of eating out with the convenience of staying in, technology helps restaurants move beyond the traditional four walls to effectively meet demand.  

Today, guests of all ages expect to get their favorite food in all kinds of ways– no matter if they prefer to eat in, order online for pick up, or get their food delivered. With the right technology, restaurant businesses can unify customer data across all touchpoints into a single view of the guest, allowing them to enhance their loyalty program and offer both in-person and digital rewards that reflect the purchasing habits of individual guests. In turn, restaurants can tailor their offering based on how guests dine with them and encourage repeat business through personalized offers.  

2. Evolving the eat-in experience


Recently, the physical restaurant experience has centered on creating unique, unforgettable moments. Think in-house designs and layouts that make restaurant spaces more social-media worthy, plates that look like artworks, or immersive experiences that take guests into the very essence of a brand. “There’s a quest for interaction,” a hospitality public-relations veteran said in article with the New York Times, “People are willing to spend, but they are going to be looking for the value proposition of the experience. Engagement is the catchword.” Today, a great dining experience must have all those characteristics, but it also increasingly involves technology. 

Self-ordering kiosks, QR menus, and delivery apps are only continuing to grow in popularity, especially for quick-service and fast casual businesses, but the continued shortage of personnel, combined with demand from customers for more automations, have also been transforming all sectors of the industry. This is because guests who prefer to dine-in also enjoy the digital and intuitive nature of self-ordering options, which give them the opportunity to complete their orders faster and modify dishes based on their preferences. And it’s not just the customers benefiting from these technologies, but the restaurants, too, as they can use upsell prompts to encourage larger order sizes and save more on front-of-house costs.  

3. Empowering employees 


Employee turnover rates are notoriously high in the restaurant industry, with some estimates setting the number at 75%. Many factors play a role, including low wages, a stressful environment, and long working hours. While more structural changes may be needed, technology can help make your workplace more enticing to employees. When staff members feel empowered and have the means to do their job effectively, they will be less likely to look elsewhere.

For example, a Point of Sale device that offers a real-time view of menus, availability, and status of dishes in the kitchen can help your servers answer difficult customer questions such as “Is the catch of the day still available?” or “Is the chicken Kiev gluten-free?” - or "how long until my order is ready?" When you have all the information you need just a tap away, and your servers don't need to run back and forth to get answers from the kitchen, customer service becomes much less stressful. In the kitchen, technology like kitchen display systems (KDS) are boosting back-of-house operations by organizing workflows and eliminating order confusion, so your staff know exactly what to prepare, when, and at what specifications.   

With more and more young, tech-savvy workers joining the industry, being known as a forward-thinking employer that empowers staff members with modern technology can be a major differentiator in the search for talent.      

4. Enhancing the business with data and intelligence


By having a clear view of your data, and using cloud-based business intelligence and analytics services, restaurants can make smarter business decisions.  

For example, you can use consumption data in the kitchen to improve efficiency and prevent issues and waste. Say you have a burger chain, and you want to optimize reordering ingredients. With a unified platform like LS Central for restaurants, you can save recipes and connect them to your inventory. Then, every time you produce a cheeseburger, the system will automatically deduct the correct amount of ingredients, keeping you informed of  how much lettuce, cheese, and sauce you’re using, so you can easily track your usage. Having this type of data handy not only helps you reduce waste in the long run, but also reduces the risk of over or understocking ingredients that may bring unnecessary costs to your business.    

Having a clear overview of your data can also help you improve your service and align it with your guests’ preferences. When you know which lunch offer is most popular on different days at each location, what type of promotions guests are more likely to take advantage of, and which dishes deliver the best returns considering how long they take to prepare, then you can adjust your offering accordingly.  


Eager to know how innovative technology can help you reach your business goals? Contact us.

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