Updated: Dec 21, 2020
2020 was meant to be a year of change and innovation regardless of if a pandemic hit. Nonetheless however, a pandemic put a different emphasis on what developments would be most relevant to the industry.
With the year approaching its final quarter, we’ve monitored how COVID 19 has impacted the needs of restaurant owners, and put together a list for technology must-haves for entrepreneurs as we get ready for 2021.
Social distancing is something that every restaurant takes into account. Everything from your restaurant’s layout, opening times, staffing, and how people pay are affected. Not to mention, maintaining a proper social distancing protocol is paramount in positive customer experience.
Diners now want to reduce their interactions and touchpoints with restaurant staff. And in a COVID 19 restaurant study done by Toast, 34% of diners said that contactless and mobile payments are extremely important to their dining experience.
Keep your staff safe and customers happy by looking for ways they can pay either from their table or without handing over cash or cards.
Apart from changing the needs of the industry, the pandemic has had an undeniable economic effect, with many restaurants forced to reduce their staff to stay open.
Self-order kiosk point of sale systems is a great addition to any restaurant looking to compensate for staff reductions, or simply looking for increased efficiency.
Apart from replacing and supporting your staff kiosk POS systems can increase overall order amounts, enhance the customer experience, and help with social distancing as the interaction between staff and diners is reduced.
Mobile ordering and payments
With restaurants running at limited capacity, take out and delivery are key to revenue. Even with reduced capacity, restaurants can still serve beyond the 25% or 50% capacity they’re allowed to sit with adequate mobile ordering systems.
People don’t want to be outside mingling as much as they used to, therefore they don’t want to be hanging around your restaurant waiting for their order. A system where your customers can order online - or even better, on their mobile - will improve your customers’ experience in these stressful times.
We’ve talked a lot so far about going mobile and contactless but still, the need to print physical receipts remains. For your FOH staff, print receipts quicker with thermal printers. Thermal printers are quieter and don’t actually use ink when they print. Leaving you with one less thing to stock.
For BOH, a kitchen printer is crucial. Most are impact printers, which use ink, unlike the thermal printer. Also unlike the thermals, impact printers are quite loud, which should make them easy for your cooks to hear over the kitchen chaos.
BOH kitchen displays
Speaking of BOH, an even better helpful device for your kitchen staff would be a kitchen display screen. They’ve become more common than pinters in recent years because many kitchen teams find them easier.
By having a digital display, you don’t have to worry about paper or ink, plus it can make for a clean and less cluttered kitchen. Make sure your display(s) can be seen by any many BOH team members as possible, and you’ll get a team that stays on the same page.
Handheld POS terminals
Turning over tables is a driver for revenue in restaurants anywhere. Your servers want to get checks out to diners quickly as being able to do so leads to more tips.
Give your wait staff the tools to get customers their checks faster and turn over tables effectively with handheld point of sale terminals. With paying by card becoming more of the norm, being able to bring a terminal to the table not only helps wait staff bring the check faster but put diners at ease that they can actually carry out the payment. As opposed to giving their card to a server and having to wait on them to bring it back with a receipt to sign.
Predictive ordering tech
One of our sexier suggestions would be predictive ordering technology, which is a fancy way of describing apps. Specifically, apps that analyze your restaurant’s order history, in turn accurately predicting what items you will need moving forward.
As a result food waste will go down, automatic ordering can be put in place to alleviate the workload, and money will be saved with less overstock of various items.
Those are Infi’s 7 key pieces of technology to better manage your restaurant and enhance customer experience. Did we miss anything, what is your restaurant missing?