When it comes to restaurants, as customers we’re not really overly interested by the technology powering the running of the place. We simply care about the good food and the nice environment.
Visit your local Italian and you’ll be more concerned with the homely cooking, the warm and relaxing ambience, and the Italian restaurant design from the tablecloths down to the layout and decor.
But technology in restaurants is just as important these days, and it’s as important within the restaurant space today as it has ever been.
Many restaurants are adopting new technology as a result of the last 12 months, and below you’ll find the technology which will be most prominent as we begin to take our seat at the table once again…
Many restaurants have turned to food delivery and the ability to order via apps such as Deliveroo, UberEats or even their own app or service, and that looks set to stay.
Not only are food delivery apps going to be as prominent as ever, we’ll also see more and more major restaurant chains setting up their own apps, allowing you to order for collection or delivery, as well as integrating things like booking systems.
It’s an approach that allows both restaurants and customers to be more flexible, giving them what they want and how they want it.
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During 2020 we saw a large rise in digital menus as restaurants try to limit the amount of “touching” a customer does. However, ditching the paper menu is also good for the environment and also allows restaurants to make amends to the menu more easily.
QR codes are placed on the table, in which customers then have to scan via their smartphone to pull up the menu system.
They have ranged in how they operate, and refinement will certainly take place over the coming 12 months as this technology catches on. Some simply pull up a PDF of a menu for customers to browse, while others bring up full operating systems in which you can place and pay for an order.
This has also played a big part in helping with contact tracing and is almost certainly something we are going to see plenty of in 2021 and beyond.
Promoting clean air in a dining space is going to be a big part of encouraging diners back to restaurants and upgrading air conditioning and air purification units is going to be a big investment for those in the industry.
More focus is being placed on this by technology companies too, with systems making use of ultraviolet light to sanitize surfaces and air, as well as many other impressive methods.
These are now starting to hit the market more regularly, with 3B Medical recently launching a sanitizing wand, which we can potentially expect restaurant staff to carry in order to turn around tables quickly and efficiently, while many other UV sanitzing machines are also taking the restaurant world by storm at present.
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It’s fair to say the hospitality industry has taken quite the hit over the past year and it isn’t helped by food wastage which reportedly costs a staggering $100billion a year. It’s a cost that needs to be cut, and the emergence of brands such as Winnow, which uses AI technology to help restaurants be more efficient is going to prove a big hit in 2021.
Allowing managers to virtually monitor food and drink stocks offers the opportunity to recognise trends much more effective, and even allows businesses to schedule reorders much more quickly and efficiently, as well as reducing food wastage too.
What’s more, many restaurants are also using other innovative ways to use tech like Too Good to Go, which allows restaurants to prevent food wastage by offering meal deals and cut-price food in order to get rid of stock that would otherwise be thrown out. Not only is this saving time and money, but also the environment, so it’s a win-win.
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