How can you create the restaurant of the future?
Since 2017, the net worth of the food market has more than tripled and now stands at a whopping $150 billion globally.
Part of the reason for such a huge increase—even during a pandemic—is due to restaurants adapting to innovative digital solutions in order to further their business.
Many restaurants have already turned to digital elements in the form of booking apps, smart shift technology, robot bartenders, AI inventory tracking, and collaborations with third-party food delivery groups.
However, advancements in technology mean that there are now even more ways for you to digitally transform your business. Here’s how you can join the transformation.
Tablet POS systems
Using a smudgy notepad and pen to take orders and staff running back and forth to the kitchen can be a thing of the past with a tablet point-of-sale (POS) system.
Easy to set up and manage, the tablet is directly linked to the kitchen display system (KDS), automatically displaying orders, priorities, and flagging any special dietary requirements.
Making this digital change will also allow you to monitor inventory and easily track meal delivery times, ultimately increasing your customer satisfaction.
Becoming 100% digital in this area will also ensure better communication, accuracy, and efficiency from your staff—a more sustainable kitchen operation.
Digital menus, ordering, and payment
There have been plenty of digital revolutions in the restaurant industry already, like online employee scheduling with Findmyshift.
Digital menus may be the next step. Instead of physical menus, many restaurants are now offering QR code or app-based menus.
The ability to have a digital menu where you can also order and pay all in one place offers a more hygienic, efficient, and convenient solution that benefits both staff and customers.
As we are swiftly moving towards becoming a cashless society, it is estimated that smart and contactless payments will triple from $2 trillion to $6 trillion worldwide by 2024.
Therefore, investing and planning for a digital menu and payment strategy will ensure that your restaurant business will continue to grow and isn’t left behind.
A multitude of restaurants have already embarked on utilising a food delivery service, whether that’s alone or with a third-party. But did you know that drone delivery is also on the rise?
No longer just for large companies such as Amazon, many small restaurants are also testing out the innovative service.
The ability to fly an order straight to a customer’s door not only frees up staff, but is also quick, contact free, and reduces the amount of carbon emissions that you would have with conventional delivery systems.
In a post-pandemic virus-wary world, many restaurant businesses have made it a priority to ensure their customers feel safe and comfortable on the premises. Digitalising your sanitisation systems can be a way to reassure and retain end users.
Although not mainstream yet, there have been significant developments in harmless-to-human technology.
For example, bipolar ionisation and systems that use ultraviolet light sanitise both air and surfaces by safely neutralising bacteria. Such digital ideas are increasingly becoming a must-have technology in the restaurant industry.
Digital marketing and online presence
Switching up your marketing strategies and concentrating on digital-only methods is one of the easiest and most budget-friendly ways to digitally transform your business.
Rather than relying on outdated flyers or coupons, embrace email newsletters, social media accounts, online ads, and blogging.
A recent survey found that a huge 72% of customers said they were spending more time on social media since the beginning of the pandemic. Therefore, it may also be beneficial to work with local influencers to boost your online presence.
Reaching out to influencers via social media, offering them a free or discounted meal in exchange for a post featuring your restaurant, will dramatically increase your scope of potential customers.
Food for thought
To keep up with a world that is rapidly becoming more digital in every aspect, it is important to remember that digitally transforming your restaurant won’t happen overnight. You’ll need to test, experiment, train, and then test some more.
As half of UK based businesses plan to experiment with new technologies and launch new digital initiatives this year, incorporating digital technologies within your business will ensure that you aren’t left behind.
Embracing an all-digital business will also keep costs down in the long run, erase human errors, and increase your customer satisfaction, customer retention, and thus profit.