Restaurant Technology Trends To Follow in 2024 and Beyond

Marketing 17 minute read 28th June 2024

Running a restaurant business used to be simple. All you had to do was create delicious meals, and people would come bustling in. Restaurant technology trends, instead, prove that customer expectations have changed drastically.

Many restaurant owners have already started investing in apps and new technology to meet these demands.

Knowing the effects of technology and current trends is the first step to keeping up. If you stick to the end of this guide, you’ll also be able to explore three future technology predictions. So, keep reading to learn more!

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How Has Technology Changed Restaurants?

Technology in restaurants has changed the industry in more than one way. However, the most drastic effect has been on restaurant operations. Processes have become smoother with technology, handling many tasks like order-taking, payments, inventory management, etc.

With that said, let’s answer “How has technology changed restaurants?” in detail. Firstly, systems like self-order kiosks have removed customers’ reliance on staff to place orders. As a result, restaurants can provide customers with an exceptional dining experience.

Moreover, investing in technology has helped restaurants reduce labor costs. They can better allocate their resources and leave the rest to software systems. This is true for both front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house operations.

At the front, technology is helping provide exceptional customer service. At the back, it keeps track of everything happening in restaurants. For example, inventory management software prevents stock-outs and excessive inventory.

Additionally, delivery apps offer customers ease and convenience. They can easily get their food delivered with a tap of their smartphone screens.

Technology also has a positive impact on marketing. It allows restaurants to collect actionable customer data to make their promotions more effective.

They create comprehensive customer profiles with demographics, behaviors, and preferences to personalize their campaigns.

All of the above aspects slowly increase a restaurant’s sales and revenue.

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According to statistics, 71% of customers say technology makes their restaurant experience better. Put simply, not investing in technology might mean you’re only getting 29% of sales opportunities compared to other restaurants.

Following the latest trends in the restaurant industry is the best way to combat this problem. But how do you know which trend is worth following? By exploring the current trends and their impact on the restaurant industry.

For that, here are six trends you need to follow in 2024.

During COVID-19, many restaurant workers lost their jobs and had to find other work opportunities. As a result, the restaurant industry faced a drastic labor shortage and had to turn to technology for help.

Chatbots were a massive part of restaurant operations during this time. They can take online orders and reply to customer queries.

However, the ease and convenience they provide have encouraged restaurant owners to keep chatbots even after the pandemic. They’re famous to the point where they make it to the list of restaurant technology trends.

Even restaurants that don’t have a labor shortage are using AI assistants to automate customer service. By freeing up time, they focus on other traits of a successful restaurant, like menu engineering, venue aesthetics, and marketing.

2. Restaurants Are Experimenting With Robotic Food Deliveries

After the pandemic, people have started leaning toward take-out and delivery for the ease and convenience they provide.

However, successful food delivery requires a large labor force to ensure deliveries aren’t late. Moreover, delivery services have started gaining popularity, posing another challenge to restaurants. They must compete with these services while keeping their costs low.

Therefore, many have started experimenting with robotic food deliveries. These driverless delivery vehicles allow restaurants to deliver food even when every other staff member is busy.

Plus, they generate a buzz around the brand. However, this technology is still relatively new and might take a while to become widespread.

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3. AR for Menus Is Keeping Customers Informed

Augmented reality (AR) has become a buzzword in every industry, including restaurants. One of the most common things restaurants are experimenting with is AR menus.

Some restaurants are using this technology to provide extra information to customers. For example, a Mexican restaurant group, Wahaca, used AR menus to let people visualize its dishes and see additional information.

QR codes allow customers to trigger an AR experience and visualize things before spending money.

They can see things like nutritional information, descriptions, images, ingredients, size, etc., before ordering, enhancing their experience.

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4. Digital Kitchen Displays Are Reducing Human Errors

Many restaurants are also using digital kitchen screens for accurate order processing. They connect these screens with their POS systems. When a customer places an order, the details appear on a digital screen in the kitchen.

Staff members don’t have to convey the order to the chefs manually, reducing the chances of human errors.

Moreover, chefs’ work becomes easier when everything is right in front of them. They don’t have to waste time confirming orders. Some kitchen screens even allow chefs to update the status of pending orders.

5. Robots Are Pre-preparing Meals Before Customers Place an Order

Late orders almost always lead to customer frustration. Optimizing business operations is one way to avoid this, but restaurants also utilize innovative technology.

Robotic meal prepping is yet another immature technology many restaurants are experimenting with. This automation technique can help restaurants with everything from cutting vegetables to assembling.

For example, chains like Chipotle and Wild Wings have used robots to cook fried food. A person simply has to place the item in the bin. From there, the robot uses artificial intelligence to recognize the type of food and cook it appropriately.

6. Air Purifiers Are Giving Restaurants a New USP To Stand Out

Air purification is another restaurant technology trend that has gained popularity thanks to the pandemic. Consumer preferences started focusing on hygiene after restaurants started reopening.

As a result, restaurants introduced air purification systems to clean the air of viruses and other health threats.

But in doing so, they also achieved something else. Heat and smell from the kitchen sometimes bother customers if they’re too close to the kitchen.

Air purifiers help get rid of these to avoid disrupting customer experience. Therefore, restaurants that don’t use air purifiers might have difficulty standing out.

Latest Restaurant Technology: Tips To Make the Right Choice

Even though the above technologies bring new heights of success, buying every single one won’t do you any good. You might lose money if you’re hasty buying the latest restaurant technology.

So, after learning the trends, let’s take a step back and assess your needs. Do your research and see what technology trends fit within your brand. You might not even need some trends.

For example, you won’t need robotic meal prep if you’re not operating on a large scale. Or if you have enough people to deliver food, you might not need robotic delivery vehicles.

Another tip is to consider your budget. Make a proper plan before heading out to shop. While technology in restaurant industry can play a significant role, you have to be selective about what you buy.

This is especially true for restaurants that want to improve sales by adding more technology.

Moreover, picking the right technology is not easy. You must assess various brands and request trials and demos to ensure the product meets your needs.

Lastly, it depends on the type of restaurant you run. For example, robots would make more sense if you’re a quick-service restaurant. But with fine dining, people expect a more human connection.

3 Predictions for the Future: What a High-Tech Restaurant Will Look Like in 2030

Since technology is ever-evolving, we might see apps for restaurant owners handing over everything to artificial intelligence.

After all, companies will keep introducing new software systems, and businesses will keep using them. Some technologies might be so drastic that they might even eliminate human tasks.

To prepare for such changes, you must stay aware of predictions for the future and explore current trends.

Here are three future predictions of what a high-tech restaurant might look like in 2030.

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1. AI and Robotic Waiters

Restaurants in 2030 might take robotic meal prep a step further and introduce AI or robotic servers. People might see robots taking orders, delivering them, and solving customer problems.

They could even save customer information or use facial and voice recognition. Using this, they’ll be able to interact with customers based on their history. Such personalized service will exceed customer expectations and increase customer loyalty to the practicing restaurant.

However, this technology will be harder to implement due to the costs and risks of failure.

2. Personalized Restaurants

Both personalization and health prioritization are already popular. Restaurants might find a way to combine these two customer demands and create personalized meals. They might collaborate with doctors and nutritionists to develop customer meals.

On the other hand, based on customer information, they might use artificial intelligence to suggest food portions, ingredients, etc.

Data systems might save information like dietary preferences, DNA, lifestyle, and nutrition goals to help.

High-tech restaurants might even take it further and create monthly meal subscriptions with personalized dishes.

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3. Immersive Dining Experiences

Combining entertainment with food has always been a winning strategy. In the future, restaurants might create immersive dining experiences by using holograms.

They might use these holograms to create unique scenes like beaches, rainforests, or mountains. They might also let customers choose the scenery they want to enjoy. They might even project holograms just for customer entertainment.

However, since holograms will be expensive when they first become widespread, restaurants might opt for screens within the tables.

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If you own an eatery, following restaurant technology trends is a great decision. New technology gives you valuable insights, reduces workload, and manages business operations. However, don’t invest in all technologies at once.

Staying aware of trends will modernize your business, streamline workflow, and increase profits. However, you need a great WiFi marketing setup, like Beambox, to use these systems.

With Beambox, you can:

  • Gather customer insights and data.
  • Create your restaurant email list.
  • Drive customers to your social media pages.
  • Manage your online reputation.

Beambox does this via WiFi marketing automation. Start your trial today!

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