In recent years, technology has been transforming the restaurant industry. New, tech-driven processes have been implemented worldwide to help restaurants ‘keep up with the times’ and to give them more access to their consumers than ever before.

Gone are the days where restaurants relied on the majority of their customers walking through the door in order to keep business booming. You can now attract your customers with a number of new selling points, both inside and outside of the restaurant.

Below are just a few ways that technology has transformed the restaurant industry for the better.

Reservation Systems

Reservation systems such as ResDiary have given restaurant businesses the freedom and flexibility of booking in their customers online. No longer do they have sheets of paper or complicated spreadsheets acting as barriers, for both the customers and staff, to having a nice fluid experience when it comes to booking.

With online reservation systems, the customers can book themselves in to the restaurant and it shows up on an easy to read display for the staff. Innovations like this mean that the booking process is shortened and it saves the restaurant staff time.

Wifi & Data Capture

These days everyone needs Wi-Fi and what better way to utilise that need than allowing customers to use your Wi-Fi in exchange for their details – which can be used for marketing. Obviously, these data capture systems need to be GDPR regulated but it does not stop restaurants from being able to reach loyal consumers who want to hear about their offers and promotions from their favourite restaurant.

We have been told time and time again that print advertising is dying. Being able to market to your audience digitally reduces printing costs and increases the likelihood of a marketing campaign’s success. This technology can also be useful for gathering data for market research and finding better ways to target and promote to your key audience.

Self-Ordering

This is an emerging technology that has been used in a few ways; self-ordering through an app for food to be delivered using companies such as Deliveroo, Just Eat and Hungry House, self- ordering through an app but whilst inside the restaurant as seen in Wetherspoons and actual self- ordering on a screen as you see in many fast-food chains such as McDonalds.

This new technology has reduced the need for staff, which decreases expenses and allows restaurants to run more efficiently. Orders are more accurate and restaurants have become more accessible to the consumer.

Chatbots

Restaurant chatbots are a new development enabling restaurants to smoothen their customer service process by having a bot reply to their messages about bookings and general enquiries. If linked up to a booking system, the chatbot can work together with other new technology to control the booking end to end with no need for human help.

This development saves restaurant owners time and money while making their restaurant more efficient and accessible overall. The chatbot works 24/7 allowing customers to contact and book any time; an unparalleled transformation in the restaurant industry.

Use of Social Media

The string that could tie most of these new technologies together is social media. By posting links across your social media platforms to reservation systems and self-ordering systems such as Deliveroo, as well as installing chatbots on messenger such as Feebi, you are reaching your audience in the place they spend most of their time. The data you collect through Wi-Fi can also be used better target your advertising on platforms such as Facebook.

This digital era, so far, has made the restaurant industry more accessible to the consumer as well as more efficient for restaurants and their staff. These emerging technologies will only continue to get smarter and to transform the restaurant industry as we know it.