Restaurant owners, like any small business owners, want to stay on top of the latest and best technological advances in their field. New research from the National Restaurant Association shows just how restaurant operators currently use technology in their restaurants and sheds some light on where owners want restaurant tech to go in the future.
For years, restaurants have been increasing the amount of technology used in their daily practices, with online ordering, implementation of mobile apps, and payment processing directly at the table. However, the amount of this technological growth in the restaurant industry was somewhat of a mystery. The National Restaurant Association set out to explore the current technological climate, where it is heading from here, and what restaurateurs’ thoughts and opinions are of this growth.
In “Mapping the Restaurant Technology Landscape” report, Annika Stensson, director of research communications for the National Restaurant Association, said, “Restaurant operators and consumers generally agree on the benefits of technology use in the restaurants, but they’re also in agreement that while new technology is useful, it can complicate the restaurant experience.”
Technology usage is already huge within the restaurant industry, and the room for growth is seemingly boundless. Stensson continued that, “About four in five restaurant operators agree that technology can help make restaurants more productive, increase sales, and provide a competitive advantage. However, half say it also makes the customer experience more complicated. This research highlights the importance that user-friendly, streamlined tech solutions play in creating an innovative restaurant environment and that closing this divide will be a priority for the industry going forward.” The report notes that currently:
- 81 percent of restaurants use a point of service or electronic register system
- 68 percent of restaurants offer Wi-Fi for guests
- 37 percent of restaurants offer online ordering
- 32 percent of restaurants accept mobile payment
This current usage of technology largely depends on restaurant ownership and size of the company; franchises and chain-owned restaurants have implemented more technology overall, likely due to the resources available via the larger brand network. However, restaurants require happy customers to keep growing, and staying up to date on technology can have a positive impact on the customer experience and keep them coming back. The report also includes information regarding where restaurant owners want to see technology in restaurants go from here:
- 53 percent of restaurant operators say they would implement predictive ordering technology if it were available to them today
- 37 percent of restaurant operators believe the most important area of technology development in the next five years is customer ordering
- 32 percent of restaurant operators consider their operations to be lagging when it comes to technology usage, whereas 12 percent consider their operations to be leading-edge
Crucial to all of these advances in restaurant technology is cost-effectiveness, but the upfront cost of technological solutions may require an injection of cash, which can easily be covered by a capital advance. Implementing these technologies will help to keep customers coming and to keep your restaurant profitable. After using a capital advance to implement the tech in your restaurant, you will benefit as your restaurant’s profitability grows.