The restaurant industry is constantly evolving; new taste sensations are created, new restaurants open, and established businesses franchise. And while these shifts highlight the industry’s progress, they tell only part of the story. Like the rest of business world, the restaurant industry is also evolving in the face of new technology that allows restaurateurs and employees to do their jobs more efficiently and improve the customer experience.
To better understand the new technologies shaping the industry, here are three customer-facing technologies restaurateurs are using to improve the customer experience and two back-of-the-house techs that can improve efficiency and reduce the costs of doing business.
Technologies that improve the customer experience
* Point-of-sale (POS) upgrades. Ever heard of Scoutmob? If your restaurant is based in Atlanta or another major metro area such as Chicago, Boston or Dallas, you probably have. Scoutmob is one of several companies providing location-aware coupons to consumers over their mobile devices. The coupons are then redeemed at local restaurants. This new business channel has put more impetus on restaurants to improve their POS options to accept more payment types, particularly mobile payment options. Research from Hospitality Technology shows 56 percent of industry professionals surveyed said “enabling new payment options” was the most important business driver fueling their POS upgrades. The more payment options a consumer has, the more they will enjoying visiting your restaurant.
* Punchcard. Punchcard rewards consumers for shopping local, a great innovation for restaurants. To use the Punchcard app, shoppers need only to take a picture of their receipt with the app to start a punch card for the business. As consumers continue to add punches through subsequent visits, they become eligible to earn free rewards. Restaurants offering rewards have a chance to showcase the promotion through the consumer’s applicable punch card.
* Tabbedout. Tabbedout allows customers to pay their bill at restaurants and bars from their phones without having to wait for the check to arrive or worry about putting cash or credit cards out in the open. It also makes splitting a check easy and users receive perks simply by using the app.
Technologies that improve restaurant efficiency
* Digital refrigeration monitoring. Temperature control is essential for any restaurant; especially when no one is at the restaurant during off hours. New technology has enabled remote tracking of refrigeration temperatures. Wireless thermometers, such as the Comark Wireless temperature data logger, are placed in monitoring position. The readings are transmitted via Wi-Fi to the restaurant’s PC or sent out via alerts and emails to assigned users.. This gives restaurateurs and kitchen managers the ability to track the temperature of their most important inventory and identify changes from anywhere.
* Programmable equipment. Programmable equipment options are gaining popularity in restaurant kitchens because they lessen the opportunity for human error and increase the probability of delivering the right product every single time. Many of these technologies can be programmed for custom run times or custom settings. The Menumaster Speed Oven, for example, can be programmed for three different cooking options. These include: Forced convection, microwave, and infra-red radiant, offering your staff options that reliably deliver.
Technological innovations in the restaurant industry improve the customer experience and increase efficiency for restaurants themselves, both of which benefit restaurateurs and the industry as a whole. To learn more about your technology options and to find the tools that can help improve your business, visit www.ACityDiscount.com. (BPT)