When 2019 ended, things were looking up for the restaurant industry. The U.S. economy was
booming, and restaurant sales reached a new record of $863 billion and 3.6 percent growth YOY.
Then came the pandemic. The industry did a 180, experiencing $130 billion in losses from
March to October 2020. First, restaurants faced dining room shutdowns, then operated with
limitations. Now, moving forward, restaurants are rebuilding both their businesses and consumer
trust. The post-COVID-19 world is uncharted territory for restaurants, but restaurant technology
will help address new trends and streamline new processes.
Here are five types of restaurant technology solutions to consider adding to your regrowth
Restaurant online ordering adoption has increased for several years. The market grew to $18.8
billion in 2018 and was predicted to grow to $37.7 billion by 2024. However, Statista research
found online ordering increased even more in 2020. More than 70 percent of U.S. consumers
planned to order food for takeout or delivery.
You can capture some of that business by enabling your customers to order from their laptops,
tablets or smartphones. Also, with the right solution, orders will integrate directly with your
point of sale (POS) system for greater efficiency and accuracy.
Stationary POS terminals won’t help you provide the new types of experiences your customers
want. However, POS on a mobile device can improve agility and efficiency. mPOS is a valuable
tool when serving diners in outdoor spaces and taking orders or payment car side.
Mobile POS will also save your team steps and time, so they can focus on providing excellent
service. That extra attention will help enhance dining experiences and build loyalty at a critical
time for your business.
QR codes have been around for years. You may have offered them so a diner could opt into a
loyalty rewards program or enter a sweepstakes. But evolving consumer behaviors during the
pandemic have given QR codes new life. For example, you can replace printed menus by enabling diners to scan a QR code and read menus on a mobile device. You can also create touchless payment experiences by allowing customers to scan QR codes. The code takes them to a secure payment page, no app download required.
Waitlist and table management
It will probably be a while before people are comfortable waiting near others at the hostess
station. Using a waitlist application, diners can put their names on a waitlist before they arrive at
your restaurant. Then, you can notify them when their tables are ready, allowing them to
maintain social distance.
Additionally, the right application will also help manage where you seat customers. The app will
provide visibility into staff workload. When you ensure table assignments are balanced, servers
can focus on customers and create great dining experiences.
The I’m Ready! app
Curbside pickup has become routine for many diners. A May 2020 survey found that 87 percent
of consumers want restaurants to continue to curbside pickup after the pandemic. Your
customers may have been patient as you quickly adapted processes to accommodate curbside
pickup during the pandemic. However, they’ll expect you to optimize this service now.
The I’m Ready! curbside check-in app provides a direct line from your customers. It allows them
to let you know they arrived and are waiting for their orders. The solution sends a ticket to a
printer informing your staff where the customer has parked. It also efficiently tells your team
which orders to deliver. The I’m Ready! app saves time and reduces errors – and provides the
excellent experiences your customers expect.
The Right Restaurant Technology Tools for the Job
There’s no doubt that restaurants have experienced a turbulent year. But there are ways to
rebound and restaurant technology tools that will help you manage your business in the new
To learn more, contact us!