The Future Is Digital: Restaurant Tech Landscape in 2024

Technology has changed the business world beyond recognition, and one of the industries where this transformation is evident is the food industry. 

Customer needs and economic climates are shifting, which means migrating to a digital business operation is the best solution for your restaurant. 

But why is it crucial to adapt to the latest restaurant trends? Let’s dive deeper and see for ourselves.

How Has Technology Shaped the Restaurant Industry?

Technology has revolutionized how restaurants operate. Businesses must adapt and embrace innovative solutions to remain competitive.

Many corporations are designing software targeted at restaurant owners, creating technological solutions to improve customer experience and staff performance. These advancements include restaurant AI, contactless payment solutions, and more.

Over 73 percent of customers claim that restaurant technology has helped improve their dining experience. On the other hand, 95 percent of restauranteurs claim that these restaurant trends have improved the efficiency and performance of their business.

Diner vs. Restaurateurs
Diner vs. Restaurateurs

What are the Different Kinds of Restaurant Technologies?

It’s no secret that successful restaurants are up-to-date with technology trends. These trends have evolved along with customer preferences. Do they want to dine in, takeout, or order for delivery? These are just some of the considerations owners must consider when serving their guests.

Some businesses have already dipped their toes into the latest restaurant technology trends. Others are gradually incorporating them into their businesses. Whether you’re new in the tech game or want to upgrade your restaurant operations, you can learn about the best restaurant technologies and how they can benefit your business.

Portable Point Of Sale (POS) System

Payment transactions can be done quickly and easily with this POS system. Since it is handheld, this tool minimizes the number of trips your server takes to close a check with any table in your restaurant. A portable POS system allows staff to streamline their work, enabling them to serve other diners and move things along fast.

A handheld POS system boosts a server’s ability and precision when taking orders. Additionally, it significantly impacts customer satisfaction since guests don’t have to wait too long for their meals and bills. It’s a tremendous complementary system to existing contactless payment solutions, too. A handheld POS system is perfect for better business operations and customer experience.

Touchscreen Point Of Sale (POS) System

One of the latest restaurant trends is modern POS technology, such as touch screen POS systems. These systems or terminals are run by POS software designed for restaurants. They have a user-friendly and intuitive interface that helps staff learn quickly and work more efficiently. Touchscreen POS systems also streamline the process of taking orders.

Sample Touchscreen Point Of Sale (POS)
Sample Touchscreen Point Of Sale (POS)

Most restaurants have POS systems that face the customers, allowing them to see the ordering process. It also enables quick contactless payment and occasional cash transactions. This technological advancement ensures order accuracy and speed, allowing your staff to take orders from more guests in less time.

Kitchen Display System (KDS)

Kitchen display systems are among the best innovations in the restaurant industry. Gone are the days when the kitchen and staff had to rely on printed tickets. All they need to do is keep track of orders and get things done in the kitchen with an efficient restaurant AI system and smart kitchen appliances like this one.

Since it is purely digital, KDS is environmentally friendly compared to ticket printers. Restauranteurs can save money on ticket paper and won’t have to worry about the text getting smudged. It also enables kitchen staff to see all orders on one screen. This allows them to move seamlessly and be organized, fulfilling orders timely and accurately.

Digital Menu Kiosks

Among emerging restaurant trends, self-order kiosks are gaining traction. You will usually find this system in fast-food restaurants or casual dining establishments. They have become essential to most businesses because they are easy to use. The enhanced digital experience also contributes to a quick ordering process.

A well-designed kiosk gives diners control over their order, allowing them to review the menu and customize their meals accordingly. This system also helps staff increase the order volume without growing lines. This innovation helps prevent any issues with staff performance and productivity.

Virtual Order and Pay

Contactless payment solutions promote speed and efficiency in a restaurant, and it has become crucial for safety during the recent pandemic. Over 44 percent of customers preferred ordering via mobile instead of a staff or server. 

More than half of these diners also preferred paying via the Quick Response (QR) code, one of the favored contactless payment solutions.

Some corporations offer order and pay software that gives guests more autonomy with their choices and helps increase the restaurant’s profit.

 Automated ordering systems and contactless payment solutions are restaurant trends that satisfy both staff and customers. On top of giving diners peace of mind, they also reduce labor costs and speed up table turn times.

Sample Contactless Payment Solution
Sample Contactless Payment Solution

Contactless Payment Solutions

As mentioned, contactless payment solutions are now one of the prevailing restaurant trends, and it is likely to stay that way indefinitely. It’s an essential part of a customer’s overall dining experience. Contactless payment solutions promote an atmosphere of safety and security, which many diners appreciate.

Diners can tap or swipe to pay for their meals. This process eliminates unwanted contact between customers and servers, especially now that safety is still a concern among many.

Integrated Online Ordering Solutions

The aftermath of the pandemic is still felt among specific industries, including the restaurant industry. More people have gotten used to ordering takeout or delivery, hence a growing demand for online ordering solutions. Ordering online delivery has increased by 300 percent compared to the existing dine-in traffic. 

Using an integrated online ordering system allows customers to order directly from your restaurant if they ever get hungry for takeout. It also complements the existing need for contactless payment solutions. By having your own online ordering system, you no longer have to coordinate with third-party delivery providers, lowering costs in the long run.

Online ordering platforms enhance a customer’s overall dining experience. This trend exemplifies the modernity and innovation of technology in creating an efficient and highly productive system.

Modern Cash Drawer

Despite advancements in restaurant technology, many establishments still use cash drawers to store money. You can still enjoy and merge the benefits of old and new technologies by syncing your cash drawer to your POS system. This will ensure that every transaction made will be recorded. 

Integrating automated ordering systems and restaurant AI into your traditional equipment can be great for your business. However, as you embrace modernity, you must still maintain traditional security practices. For instance, make it a habit to lock the cash drawer and store away the cash regularly.

Current Restaurant Technology Trends

With the rise of smart kitchen appliances, restaurant AI, and other technological advancements, restauranteurs can be optimistic about the future. 

Although statistics show that 98 percent of restaurants report higher labor costs and 97 percent report higher food costs, aid from restaurant AI and other automated ordering systems can turn the tables around.

POS Systems Have Taken the World by Storm

One of the tried and tested restaurant trends is a POS system, which is not going anywhere. It has allowed businesses to streamline their orders, transactions, and overall operations. Their prevalence in the industry makes them one of the most commonly used technologies in restaurants.

POS systems are relatively cost-effective solutions for restaurant operations. This system can integrate contactless payment solutions and automated ordering systems and enable inventory management. 

Consider it a central technological hub for your restaurant’s operational needs. You can even make the most out of this technology with the right integrations.

Reduction of Waste Through Technology

Using restaurant AI systems can be revolutionary for reducing wasted stock. We now have software designed to manage food costs. It can generate reports about your existing stock wastage. 

The valuable data can be used to strategize and implement waste reduction. As a result, restaurants can avoid overstocking or understocking. After all, having too much in your inventory could lead to ingredient expiration before you get the chance to use them while having too little could lead to rushed orders and unhappy guests.

Customers’ Heavy Reliance on Food Delivery Tech

People have shifted their preferences from dining to ordering takeout or delivery. Most customers often rely on third-party delivery apps like Uber Eats or DoorDash to help satisfy their cravings. Statista shows that over 53.9 million Americans use food delivery apps to order their meals.

Food Delivery Apps usage in USA
Food Delivery Apps usage in USA

To capitalize on this trend, you can tap into a technology that accommodates these behaviors. Online ordering systems can significantly help in this endeavor, especially when you couple it with automated ordering systems and contact payment solutions. It simplifies your staff’s work operations while reducing the costs of employing third-party delivery service providers.

Self-Order Kiosks Meet Customer Needs

Another effect of the pandemic is the rise of digital menu kiosks. Fast-food restaurants and casual dining establishments are the businesses that widely use these automated ordering systems. It is an investment worth making for restauranteurs.

Most POS systems have built-in self-order kiosks, maximizing the potential of automated ordering systems. They help keep track of orders while allowing servers to accommodate more customers. Not only does this system streamline the work of your staff, but it also increases the satisfaction of your guests.

The Rise of Loyalty Software and Rewards Programs

Keeping your customers engaged and happy can lead to earning their trust and loyalty. This is where one of the best restaurant trends comes in. Loyalty and rewards programs boost customer retention. However, for this strategy to work, you must make signing up easy for your customers.

Your POS should have a feature that integrates loyalty programs. For example, customers can collect and redeem points whenever they order through your website. It ensures loyal customers can monitor their rewards and get updated about discounts.

Digital Payments are Taking Over

Contactless payment solutions have been in demand for quite some time because of their convenience and safety. Unlike cash-based methods, contactless payment solutions eliminate the need for physical contact. Its speediness also makes it appealing to quick-service restaurants.

Increasing Demand for Quick Response (QR) Technology

Guests can see your restaurant menu through their mobile devices with a simple scan using this technology. This innovation also reduces the need for staff assistance, allowing servers to do other tasks.

QR Technology
QR Technology

QR code menus are significant since they help reduce labor costs by 30 percent to 50 percent. Servers no longer need to take orders and get payments from each table. This advancement streamlines restaurant operations, making it more efficient and less labor-intensive.

Benefits of Integrating Technology Into Your Restaurant

After discussing what kinds of restaurant technologies exist and which trends are prevalent in 2024, it’s easy to see how crucial technology is to your business. It offers many benefits that can help propel your restaurant to new heights. 

Some of the advantages of capitalizing on new restaurant technologies include the following:

Efficient Business Operation

As previously discussed, restaurant technology can help streamline your business operations and keep your staff organized. 

With the assistance of automated kitchen functions, cooks can easily see which meals need to be prepared and how soon they need to get it done. When everything is running smoothly in the kitchen, more customers are served faster.

Automation software can help kitchen staff and servers decrease any tension during peak hours. This technology allows these two halves of the restaurant to communicate without any issues. You won’t have to worry about any bickering from your employees as long as there’s an automated ordering system keeping them on the same page.

Enhanced Dining Experience

Many factors contribute to the happiness and satisfaction of diners, and that includes waiting time. With technology speeding up the ordering process, customers’ waiting time gets cut significantly short. 

Your guests can also expect everyone in their group to be served on time when everything is automated. And with a loyalty program implemented, you can guarantee they’ll come back again.

Boost in Profits

Restaurant technology is worthwhile because it guarantees a return on investment (ROI). Since it can help streamline operations, you can serve more guests in less time. And when you get to serve more customers, you gain more profits. You can even cut back on staffing costs because the software will do all the hard work for your employees.

Increased Staff Satisfaction

To boost your employees’ morale, you should integrate restaurant technology to assist them in their work. With all the tasks they have to juggle, your staff will need a breather now and then.

You can take some of their weight off their shoulders by investing in an automated kitchen and ordering software. Remember, happy employees are productive employees.

Key Takeaways on Restaurant Technology Trends

Restaurant AI, automated ordering systems, and contactless payment solutions are some of the prevalent restaurant trends for 2024. 

These technological advancements are designed to complement each other and provide customers and staff with a better experience. 

They promote overall work efficiency and productivity as well as satisfaction.

Is spending a little extra on the latest restaurant tech worth it? 

The answer is a resounding yes. Embracing technology is your restaurant’s key to success. 

So, if you want to scale and grow your restaurant, tap into the latest technology.

Picture of Edgar Abong

Edgar Abong

Edgar is a skilled software developer with a passion for building and evaluating software products. His expertise in software development enables him to provide in-depth evaluations of software products. He can draw out insights about features, functionality and user experience.

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