"This year is going to be the year of technology that changes our business, and I think it's going to be the paperless face," Robert Irvine, celebrity chef and host of Food Network's "Restaurant: Impossible," said.
The last few years have brought revolutionary technological advancements. From LDC monitor signage and location-based beacons, to tablet-based POS systems and inventory control systems that update as soon as a chef takes ingredients from the stock, to mobile apps to new, energy-saving equipment, foodservice is delving deeper into the digital landscape. Irvine has even seen brands in Canada that pay their servers through credit card, putting their tip amounts into those card accounts, and while making it possible for the government to track those expenses, also allows servers the ability to spend that money immediately.
But what other piece of technology does Irvine find influential in the industry?
"The menus. Menus are all technology now because we are visually stimulated," he said. "We want to see pictures of food or a bottle of wine, and we've actually proven that if you have a visual aid, in other words, an iPad with a menu or a wine menu on it, you can order wine quicker by 17 minutes."
What technology does he believe would be a hard sell? Mobile payments.
Although electronic payments provide efficiency, and while he believes the technology is ready for it, he doesn't think consumers are. Understandable, considering the idea of hackers having access to money and personal information makes the population wary, but the future is near, as long as cybersecurity continues to improve. Want to learn more? Check out this "On Foodable Insight Series" episode!