10 Ways Restaurant Technology is Transforming the Industry

By Caroline Cox | 3 min read

Restaurant operations are nearly unrecognizable from decades past. For many, notebooks, paper calendars and endless file folders have been swapped for emails, software platforms, and digital processes.

Restaurant technology continues to transform the way these businesses are managed and run, streamlining and automating tasks left and right. But, while these tools enhance efficiency, they also cost money. Plus, adapting to these new methods can be intimidating to some. But they don’t have to be!

These are just a handful of ways that technology has changed the restaurant landscape for the better.

1. Inventory tech

Inventory management software can be a real game-changer. These tools can automatically keep track of things like ingredient and liquor amounts, ensuring you never have to 86 (read: run out of) a menu item and potentially disappoint a customer. Systems like Upserve even let users automatically re-up on needed items, and make ordering a breeze with features like alerts and one-click purchasing.

2. Scheduling tech

Trying to manually schedule your employees can feel like a game of Tetris that never ends. Add in factors like prolonged illness and unexpected turnover, and the task gets stressful quickly. Luckily, scheduling software — like 7shifts, Restaurant365, and When I Work — can eliminate a lot of these pain points. Not only do these tools save you time, but they can track and reduce labor costs, and make it easier to communicate with your other locations.

3. Hiring tech

It’s no surprise that being understaffed can pose serious problems for your restaurant operations. It can result in subpar service, slower kitchens, and details falling through the cracks. Avoid those mishaps with hiring software that pinpoints the best employees for your business. Platforms like Sirvo and Efficient Hire help you vet candidates, get your open listings in front of the right people, and more.

10 Ways Restaurant Technology is Transforming the Industry

4. Self-ordering tech

Maybe you’ve seen a self-ordering kiosk at an airport restaurant or new fast-casual eatery. These techie additions do way more than simply take guests’ orders — they can gather helpful customer information, lower labor costs, virtually eliminate incorrect orders, and free up your staff to provide great customer service in other ways. Lightspeed, Zivelo, and Elo all offer sleek, modern self-ordering kiosks that are solid options for speedy ordering.

5. Private dining tech

We couldn’t highlight restaurant technology and not include private dining software. These platforms (like Gather, wink-wink) help you manage private dining clients in a way that doesn’t take away from your usual dining customers. Plus, this software allows your program to grow in a way you and your staff can easily handle, with templated documents, easy lead organization, and seamless communication.

6. Waste management tech

As eco-consciousness and sustainability become increasingly important to diners, restaurants are getting creative with their waste management. Along with paring down straws and eliminating single-use plastics where possible, there are also waste and recycling tech options. Brands such as Rubicon have engineered solutions that allow restaurants to send fewer leftovers to landfills, save money, and keep their spaces sparkling clean.

7. Reservation tech

Online reservations are some of the most longstanding types of restaurant technology. Sites like OpenTable and Resy see tons of traffic from people in search of restaurant reservations for special occasions, dining on vacation, or just a fun night out. These online marketplaces make it easy for restaurants to fill empty seats at any time. It’s lightyears ahead in efficiency over showing up and hoping there’s no wait for a table or following the old-school process of manually dialing up every spot in the local phone book.

10 Ways Restaurant Technology is Transforming the Industry

8. Point-of-sale tech

Most restaurants run on their point-of-sale (or POS) system. This is where financial transactions take place for customers. Thus, POS systems are heavily relied upon to work properly and accurately at all times. Popular systems like TouchBistro and Toast know that industry pros rely on these tools to control operations, increase sales, and work seamlessly with their other processors.

9. Food & beverage tech

Keeping tabs on your food and beverage volume is crucial to maintaining a healthy bottom line. Food cost management platforms like Orderly make the process easy through automated invoices and inventory counts while connecting with your suppliers and your POS system to boot. In a similar vein, BevSpot allows users to manage inventory, view sales data, and track orders while on the go.

10. Wearable tech

The most nascent of these trends, wearable tech is almost sure to make a big splash in the industry in the near future. There’s already buzz around devices, like Presto’s, that restaurant team members wear to alert them that a table needs something or that they’d like to speak to a manager. Faster response means an overall better dining experience, and that can lead to more business.

 

Technology has connected us more than we’ve ever been before. And while it helps save us time, manage our workload and quicken our tasks, the aim of any restaurant remains the same: to provide quality offerings paired with great customer service.

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Caroline Cox
Content Marketing Manager

Caroline Cox is Gather's Content Marketing Manager. She spends her time crafting blogs, thought leadership pieces, case studies, social media content and more, helping empower restaurants and other event venues to streamline their planning process and grow their events programs with success.

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