Since the pandemic, the number of entrepreneurs who are digitizing their business operations is growing, and restaurants, in particular, are embracing technology with rising speed, to ensure that they stay competitive, and relevant in todays evolving tech space.
A lot of food tech solutions that would have been explored a few years down the line, are today a food service necessity due to the tech revolution, enabling restaurants to set new standards of service to meet the growing expectations of customers. Right from robotic chefs to interactive chatbots, the restaurant industry has to keep itself up to date with the latest trends set in the food industry, if they want to thrive in this space. Isthara, a leading smart food court pioneer, has identified the key emerging food tech trends that are set to change the way people dine in the coming years.
AR/VR Technology- The application of AR/VR in the F&B industry will help reduce the number of human errors caused due to lack of attention or mismanagement and make it a convenient and hassle-free experience in the dining space. With AR apps, guests can visualize how the dishes are created and have a look at the complete dish before ordering them, thereby enhancing the user experience. When a customer arrives at a restaurant, they can be provided with an AR-based catering menu, which helps them understand the dish and its complete ingredients/nutrients, and maybe even the processing method and history behind the dish. It virtually presents the food options available in the restaurant, allowing customers to select the exact type of dish they want to order.
Self-service kiosks- Kiosks are small standing digital systems that let the customers place orders at the restaurant themselves. The kiosk offers versatile options, reduces waiting time in queues even during rush hours, and can drive in more customers, thereby increasing sales and enhancing customer satisfaction. Self-service kiosks allow restaurants to serve more customers accurately in less time, enabling the waiting staff to deal with more complex orders and customer service needs. The kiosk also provides real-time insights and data about customer preferences (like a bestseller, most tried), etc, and also increases revenue via up- and cross-selling. Additionally, self-ordering tablets that are placed directly at dining tables allow customers to order efficiently while minimizing server contact. Brands such as Isthara are digitizing cafeterias and providing vendors with valuable dining patterns and data through which they can refine their menus as per customer demand.
Automated Restaurant Service- While a lot of restaurants have already implemented QR codes that allow customers to self-order on their mobile, the dining experience is set to further incorporate digital ordering to automate the entire process. As a result, in restaurants, a robot that takes orders and delivers food to customers at a restaurant is not going to be a faraway sight. Robotic bars could also be a reality soon, through which people scan their drinks through a QR code and get their cocktail made by a robot. Additionally, with contactless dining set to continue being a major trend, solutions like conveyer belt deliveries, and drone deliveries within the restaurant might not be a visual that is too far away.
Chatbots- Chatbots have changed the traditional dine-in experiences. They are designed to provide a personalized experience to customers while they place orders on online platforms The chatbots are programmed to carry out specific functions like making reservations, showcasing the menu, taking orders, and directing customers to the payment getaways. The technology does not require a huge investment and can be easily integrated with other communication mediums. Additionally, a chatbox can also recommend dishes, suggest food options, showcase status or order, ask for feedback, and announce exciting offers, making it an interactive and exciting medium for the customer.
Voice Technology- Restaurants are starting to implement voice recognition software for ordering. This technology turns out to be promising as voice assistants will be helpful in ordering endlessly customizable foods. Instead of having to scroll through the entire menu and select every add-in and customization, users will be able to use the voice technology feature and simply ask for their order with a quick turnaround time. A voice assistant can also memorize the menu more quickly and can transmit the order to the POS. Using integrations with voice-enabled technology, restaurants can also provide personalized services through previous orders. Apart from providing value through upselling or decreasing ordering pressure, voice assistance also helps in increasing sales.
Technological innovations are at the forefront of revolutions and aren’t showing any signs of slowing down. More companies will embrace automated solutions, and technology used in the restaurant industry will become indispensable in the time to come. Technological evolutions have set high customer expectations and will continue to accelerate the restaurant industry. Smart food courts such as Isthara are already utilizing tech solutions across colleges and workplaces, to cater to the growing needs of customers. Moving ahead, digitalized restaurant services are set to create new standards in the F&B industry, and will provide them with an edge to better adapt to the needs of the customers.