It’s 2020 and new technology has arrived!

The five tech trends below are something your restaurant and foodservice operation should keep a close eye on. Why? Because these technological innovations have the ability to make or break your business. If you choose to adopt them, you could see a substantial increase in your profits. If you choose to ignore them, your restaurant and foodservice operation may die out to those willing to keep up with the changing times.

We’ll let you decide if adopting these new technologies are worth the investment to your business or not. Our purpose today is simply to inform you of what they are and what tech trends you should be watching.

1) Artificial Intelligence

While Artificial Intelligence (AI) scares many - who imagine scenes from iRobot and other thrillers that depict robots coming to life- others have fully embraced what artificial intelligence can do for them. Some restaurants are using it to track consumer’s buying habits to improve their marketing campaigns. It can also be used to create more efficient staff schedules (Forbes. January 2, 2020).

Since possibilities with Artificial Intelligence are endless, we recommend keeping a close watch on it. Especially how it relates to marketing. This could give your restaurant or food service operation an enormous advantage over competitors by keeping you consistently aware of your consumer base, their preferences and their buying patterns.

2) Kiosks

We’re sure you’ve seen these everywhere! They’ve popped out throughout fast food restaurants throughout the United States. From McDonalds to Chick-fil-a, they’re now offering self-service through kiosks. Some kiosks are specifically for ordering, while others can be used to get drinks or snacks. They’re quite an innovation! Fun for customers, they often result in less work for employees and the need for even few employees.

3) App and Delivery Services

If you read our 2020 predictions, you know that delivery is a topic close to our heart. Our prediction is that delivery will continue to be a driving force for food service sales in the upcoming year. But, not to repeat last week’s future forecast, we’ll jump into WHY app and delivery services is a technological advancement that your restaurant should definitely be embracing.

When your restaurant has its own app, you can more easily inform customers about menu items, opening times, and promotions. It also gives you the opportunity to effectively run customer loyalty programs such as offering special discounts to app users and rewarding return customers. For more on the advantages, and disadvantages, of creating your own app service, read our blog “Pros and Cons of Restaurant Apps.”

With new technological advancements and companies rising up everywhere to offer delivery services, you do not need to create your own app to offer delivery services to smartphone users. Teaming up with companies such as UberEats, GrubHub, and DoorDash gives your restaurant increased visibility and allows hungry customers to order delivery directly from their phones. Whatever delivery company you choose to use picks up the order from your restaurant and delivers it to customers.

We recommend doing research on the delivery services available to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Also, if you see room in your budget, consider partnering with more than one to increase visibility and sales.

It’s estimated by 2022, these third-party orders will make up at least 70% of all delivery sales. That’s a 33% increase over 2016 (Forbes, January, 2).

It’s an easy partnership that benefits all involved- the delivery company, your restaurant, and, most importantly, customers. Foodservice operations that have embraced these apps, or promoted their own delivery services, have greatly increased their sales from old and new customers.

4) Voice Command Ordering

This is an exciting one to us. It’s a relatively new technological development, but it’s future is promising. Currently, restaurants like Denny’s and Dunkin’s have already tried it, partnering with companies like Google so all customers have to do is talk to Alexa and their Google Home API to order!

It’s ingenuous and has far-reaching applications. Kiosks, drive-thrus, etc. could now potentially become fully voice automated. This will reduce the demand for qualified laborers as AI steps in to do the work.

It is speculated that with time, you can even completely order from restaurants from your own phone, by voice command (QSR, December, 2018). Imagine saying “Hey Siri, Can you order me a Big Mac from the closest McDonalds?” and that being it. Enough said.

We recommend watching this very promising new technology. If you’ve tried it before, either as a restaurant or by ordering from Denny’s and Dunkin', let us know what you thought of the experience below.

5) Energy Efficient Equipment

Yes, we would be remiss not to mention this. With so many consumers now being concerned about how businesses conduct themselves behind the scenes, it’s more important than ever to ensure your restaurant is up-to-date with the most energy efficient kitchen equipment possible. New innovations are made every year to reduce the amount of carbon emissions from various types of equipment. Refrigeration and Ice have made some of the most impressive advancements.

Equipment that has been Energy Star certified have passed the regulations for being energy efficient and overall environmentally-friendly. Using energy efficient for your kitchen will cost more initially, but ultimately save operations money over time. For more information, read our blogs on Energy Efficiency.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us. Our sales team is always ready to help!

And, be sure to keep a close eye on these food service tech trends. They could make or break your business as we head into the future.


Call: 888.778.4815