Tech & Mobile Insights
According to NDP, restaurant delivery is growing fast. In fact, over the past four years, the segment has grown nearly 34 percent, which has many restaurants looking for creative ways to satisfy customers who prefer eating in to eating out. Enter the virtual restaurant. No, we’re not talking some strange virtual reality experience.
Buying wine with a right swipe on your phone and having it arrive on your doorstep? Snapping a picture of a label and instantly geo-connecting with other people drinking it right now across the world? This isn’t the realm of Twilight Zone sci-fi. In fact, it’s the here and now. Make no mistake about it: Mobile wine apps are booming.
There’s no denying that, to a certain extent, the once Big Mac of the food industry has become a small fry in the restaurant business. After a near 60 years of success as the king of QSRs, the consumer shift away from fast food and to healthier alternatives, coinciding with the rise of fast casual, has taken a big bite out of McDonald’s.
Pizza has been an American stable for as long as most people can remember. It's usually affordable, convenient, tasty, offers variety, and can feed large numbers.
Because of all of this, when the economy is sluggish, pizza sales usually see a jump. While, other segments see less success.
"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. But what other piece of technology does Irvine find influential in the industry?
What if your restaurant staff no longer had to flip burgers? Instead, a robotic kitchen assistant would do all the grilling, so your grill cooks could stay out of harms way and focus their efforts elsewhere.
Well, this may be the step-up of restaurant kitchens in the not so distant future.
Recently, a few (very few) restaurants have begun offering a fully automated, Jetson-like food experience (think eatsa). The futurism is pretty cool, but what does today’s workplace automation really look like?
Most frequently adopted these days are self-order technologies, both at restaurant-provided kiosks and from guests’ mobile devices. Fast-casual restaurants like Panera, Starbucks, and others are providing guests with multiple service options, much like the banking industry has.
“At a bank, you can opt for traditional teller service, an ATM, a drive-thru, or online/mobile banking. Restaurants are doing the same by offering traditional counter service, ordering kiosks, touchscreen/video drive-thru, as well as online/mobile ordering. All orders are funneled to production for fulfilment and real-time inventory management,” explained Tommy Woycik, founder and president of Nextep Systems, whose tagline is “Order Food Faster.”