Technology is one of the biggest influencing factors when considering the future of foodservice. Developments in technology permeate throughout every aspect of a hospitality venue, from the till system, to the machinery in the kitchen, and everything in between.
The tech sphere is continually evolving, and it is important to stay up to date on the latest trends and products.
There are a plethora of advantages that a tech-based approach can improve business. Greg Harrison, co-founder and director of Extraorder, an integrational app developed to streamline ordering and payment, said that tech is something worth investing in.
“For example, efficient tech can improve margin control, as you can more regularly adjust prices as input costs rise and fall, such as produce, protein and beverage costs,” said Harrison. “There is no reason a restaurant or bar cannot have regular prices changes such as petrol, hotel rooms do. You can allow for revenue yield management as in hotels.”
Another positive impact that tech can have on a restaurant or café is in relation to staffing. Not only can tech help manage and track staff members, via a streamlined and integrational POS system, for example, but it can help minimise time spent on the till. Through an efficient and easy-to-navigate POS system, staff can focus on the customer-facing tasks instead of finding their way through a tricky POS system. This, of course, leads to heightened customer experience, greater revenue through faster ordering, and fewer staff to process the same amount of orders.
Harrison believes that the future of tech in the hospitality sector will revolve around software as a service, allowing owners and customers the chance to run software on devices throughout the restaurant.
“Customers will start to demand more solutions to do away with queues and waiting to pay—they will just want to be able to conduct all of their transactions from their own device,” said Harrison.
A range of technologies released this year has already given us glimpses into the futuristic world where tech and foodservice intermingle. The subtleties in tech, like an integrated POS system, may not be as flashy as the robot waiters or chefs showcased as prototypes, but it represents a more accessible sort of technology that could revolutionise the ‘norm’.
Tech solutions that incorporate data analytics should be another area of interest for restaurants—imagine being able to cater to each diner in a completely customised way when they walk through your doors. This is perhaps closer than we may think, with apps and data analytics getting stronger and more effective each day.
Tech-based solutions are instrumental in the future of foodservice. The implementation of tech into the foodservice industry has often been insidious; we wake up one day and realise that a lot of the work that we do in the hospitality sphere utilises tech that previous generations once thought impossible. This is perhaps how it will continue to develop.