Even before the coronavirus pandemic hit the world last year, the restaurant industry was changing dramatically. Customer preferences are evolving. There is a new generation to serve, one that is savvier than the Baby Boomers. Millennials and Generation Z were filling up restaurant seats until the pandemic stopped them from doing so. And when the restrictions finally eased, they were also the first ones to dine in.
Amid all these is the restaurant tech that keeps every process seamless. The shifts in customer preferences did not only affect the marketing strategies used to reach them, but it also impacted the development of restaurant technology. The restaurant kitchen runs like a well-oiled machine these days. They use technology to serve customers better.
With well-designed utility carts and kitchen storage by Lakeside manufacturing, technology turned the restaurant kitchen into something akin to a car manufacturing plant. Everything is a working and functional component of the whole design and development process.
Touchscreen Point of Sale Terminals
Cash registers are a thing of the past. Point of sale (POS) terminals make a restaurant more efficient. It also allows new hires to learn quickly. POS systems have an easy-to-understand interface. They also act as an inventory system. At the end of the day, you can get a “report” of how many of a particular meal you served to customers. Most POS terminals have a customer-facing screen, so they can follow through and check what you inputted. This eliminates wrong order entries. Plus, it also enables customers to pay and tip.
The best POS terminals can accept credit card and mobile payments. They should also have Near Field Communication (NFC) and accept digital wallets such as Europay Mastercard. This is the most important tech you need for your restaurant business.
Order and Pay at the Table Tech
With a QR code, customers should view the menu in a restaurant and pay their bills at the table. Why should there be a need to call the waiter for the bill? The pandemic showed that there needs to be fewer interactions among people. Allowing diners to pay at the table will reduce the need for exchanging receipts, baskets, credit cards, cash, etc. This gives your diners peace of mind, as well as reduces labor costs and saves time.
Handheld POS Terminal
Waiters spend a lot of time going to the table and back to the POS terminal and back again to the diners. Aside from allowing diners to pay at the table, another popular technology is handheld POS systems. Servers can improve their accuracy and efficiency while diners don’t need to wait for a long time. Since servers are less tired, they can engage more with the diners. Some restaurant owners reported an increase of $500,000 in annual sales when they transitioned to handheld POS systems.
This is not only for restaurants. Retail stores are investing in contactless payments. In a survey, 34% of guests said they prefer to transact via mobile payment. Contactless payment has become extremely important for diners who want to tap, swipe, or dip to pay for their meals. It eliminates unnecessary physical contact with the cashier or server. Plus, contactless payment makes your restaurant up to date since many people are now using mobile wallets to pay for their purchases.
More than 53% of diners want self-order kiosks. This has been going on in Japan for more than a decade, but it’s only making a wave globally today. The importance of self-order kiosks cannot be emphasized enough. They give customers more control over what they order. It allows them to review the menu and customize their orders. These kiosks shorten lines in fast-food restaurants and ease the burden of restaurant servers.
Kitchen Display Screens
Many restaurants are still using printed tickets in their kitchen. However, tickets are not as efficient as kitchen display screens (KDS). They can get things moving in the kitchen. It provides a more detailed and accurate description of the customers’ orders. It is also environment friendly as you do not have to use paper for the printed tickets. In the long run, it saves on paper costs. The KDS is linked to the POS terminal, so every order automatically appears on the screen. That saves time and makes the whole process more efficient.
If restaurant businesses are to survive, they need to keep up with technology, digital marketing, and customer demands. The next decade is for businesses that can adapt to these changes. It is no longer about the quality of your food alone. It is about the experience and convenience above all else.