4 Restaurant Technology Trends to Watch in 2022admin
What restaurant technology trends can trace your path to digitalization in 2022?
Catch up with the ever-evolving restaurant tech landscape to stay competitive and meet rising customer expectations!
Where does the restaurant industry stand in 2022?
According to Toast’s latest restaurant trends report, the restaurant industry is now fully recovered from the sales damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Both full-service and quick-service restaurant sales have reached pre-pandemic levels.
In 2022 alone, sales measured by gross merchandise volume (GMV) for full-service restaurants rose 18% since the start of the year. Customers are also more likely to opt for in-person dining once again. Toast data indicates that on-premise dining grew by nearly 22% in Q2 2022, compared to Q1.
How are restaurants dealing with rising inflation?
Like many other industries, the food service industry has also been hit hard by the historically high levels of inflation. While trying to navigate this difficult economic climate, restaurants are forced to adjust their business plans to account for labor shortages and supply-chain issues.
In a recent blind survey conducted by Toast, 956 restaurant decision-makers were asked to weigh in on several inflation-related issues, as well as current challenges and plans for the future of their business. Turns out over 30% of existing restaurants encountered massive hiring challenges this year, with the percentage going up to 44% for newly established venues.
To deal with the rising inflation, 39% of restaurants started tracking prices for all key ingredients, and 37% of them adjusted the number of food suppliers they collaborate with. Many restaurant operators admitted to rising menu prices, reducing menu sizes, and substituting low-cost ingredients as a response to the growing inflation pressure on their business.
Adapting to all the new challenges posed by inflation, supply-chain issues, and labor shortages won’t be easy for restaurants, but Toast concludes that “technology can play a significant role in implementing new systems to help restaurants navigate the year ahead”.
Following two years of pandemic-driven change, it’s no wonder that more and more restaurant owners embrace technology with rising speed. As an answer to their call for help, various tech solutions have been developed to optimize and streamline operations in a restaurant’s back-of-house and front-of-house alike, leading to The New Steps of Service in Fine Dining.
If you’re on the path to digitalizing your business operations, check out these 4 fantastic restaurant technology trends that will drive value and innovation in 2022.
4 Promising Restaurant Technology Trends
Predictive Order Management Software
Restaurant sales forecasting and inventory management boil down to having the right inventory to meet demand accurately. Unfortunately, that’s not an easy task for people. Without the right technology, tracking inventory is labor-intensive and highly susceptible to human error – hence the high percentage of food waste in the foodservice industry.
However, predictive order management software solutions have been developed to address these issues, and this restaurant technology trend is expected to take on new vigor next year. With this type of software, restaurants can reduce food waste and grow their bottom line while eliminating the burdensome, error-ridden task of maintaining complex spreadsheets by hand. In short, smart predictive software can better anticipate customer demand and save you substantial money in the long run, making it a great addition to a restaurant’s back-of-the-house operations.
No longer solely a feature of quick-service chains like McDonald’s and its tech-savvy customers, self-ordering kiosks and tablets are rising in popularity across the entire U.S. And to no one’s surprise, this trend is expected to persist well into and beyond 2022. TouchBistro says self-ordering kiosks improve order accuracy, reduce wait times, and boost check sizes — we couldn’t agree more! In fact, we have already outlined their many benefits in The New Steps of Service in Fine Dining.
Perhaps one of the best things about self-ordering kiosks is that they greatly aid the employees in ensuring customers have an enjoyable and memorable dining experience. Instead of struggling to keep up with low-hospitality duties, servers can focus on high-hospitality tasks, creating and maintaining a pleasant ambiance in your establishment. Other significant benefits include:
- Shorter lines at the counter/waiting time at the table
- Increased order accuracy
- Automatic upselling
- Appealing to younger consumers native to digital technologies
If you need more proof, we have it. According to Tillster, more than 65% of customers said they’d book a restaurant more often if they had self-service kiosks. In fact, 30% of customers surveyed stated they prefer to order from a kiosk versus a cashier, even if the lines were of equal length!
Cloud-based POS Systems
In the past few years, cloud-based (or web-based) POS systems have become increasingly prominent as a viable, cost-friendly alternative to the traditional POS, particularly for small and medium-size restaurants. One of the core features of a cloud-based POS is that it can be accessed directly from the internet using any web browser. Essentially, cloud POS software solutions empower owners to manage their entire business from virtually anywhere as long as they have access to the internet.
A 2015 study conducted by Techaisle found that moving to a cloud POS system can bring cost savings while significantly increasing productivity and visibility. According to Upserve, not only are cloud-based systems easier to install, but the hardware is less expensive, too. Moreover, software upgrades are free and can be done remotely, ultimately saving food businesses thousands of dollars in start-up and maintenance costs.
Air Purification Technology
When it became clear that Covid-19 spreads via air and restaurants opened up for indoor dining, some owners prioritized the safety of their staff and customers by upgrading their sanitization systems with air purification technologies. While this practice is – unfortunately – not mainstream yet, the market offers a wide range of efficient solutions based on safe methods like bipolar ionization or ultraviolet light. But the benefits of air purifiers in restaurants don’t stop at making your diners feel at ease in a virus-weary world. Bringing this technology into your own business can:
- Cut down the cooking fumes and kitchen odors
- Eliminate dust and mold particles in the air
- Reduce the bacteria and virus load (including but not limited to the Coronaviruses)
For these reasons, it’s believed that air purification technology will continue to be a growing focal point and a significant restaurant technology trend throughout 2022.
So What Does This Mean for My Business?
With so many exciting technology trends, 2022 seems quite exciting and promising for restaurants and other food service establishments. Perhaps this is the year you manage to digitalize parts of your business that have proven inefficient during the pandemic, use innovative tech to combat labor shortages, and create an overall better environment for both workers and diners!