December 6, 2022
Lauren Platero

Digital Transformation In the Restaurant Industry

Once a restaurant undergoes a digital transformation, growth opportunities are abundant. The restaurant industry is a vast ecosystem with numerous sources of innovation.

In many cases, restaurant technology is a key aspect of an eatery’s launch plan. However, there are many restaurants that still operate as a traditional business model with very few tech solutions in place.

If you’re contemplating ways to advance your restaurant business, a digital transformation can do the trick! Keep reading to learn all about it.

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What Is Digital Transformation

A digital transformation refers to the evolution of an industry due to digital innovations. Whether it consists of cloud-based apps, online platforms, or robotic devices, a digital transformation always undergoes some type of technological advancement.

Digital Transformation In Restaurant Industry

A digital transformation in the restaurant industry involves innovative restaurant technology. It’s also common to see restaurant automation in many eateries to boost customer service.

A digital transformation for a restaurant can benefit the employees and customers simultaneously. From streamlining daily tasks to simplifying the ordering process, there’s so much to update in traditional settings.

But before we jump into solutions that can let a business experience a digital transformation, let’s define a handful of strategies that can assist such changes.

Digital Transformation Strategies

Education and training are the keys to effectively transforming a business structure. To keep up with restaurant and food tech trends,  we encourage you to onboard the appropriate solutions. So without further ado, here are four simple tips to help make the transition a seamless one.

1. Pinpoint Problems In the Business

In order to improve a business model, you must identify where there’s room for growth. Analyze your current restaurant business plan, financial standing, and list of goals for the future.

Next, you’ll want to determine where it’s been difficult to level up. After you acknowledge the business’ weaknesses, research which tech solutions from the restaurant industry’s digital transformation might work best for you.

2. Onboard Tech Solutions One At A Time

The way one tech solution works for a business might differ entirely from another. If you onboard too many solutions at once and the business begins to change, it might be challenging to know which one is to blame.

3. Train the Team

Once you choose the solution(s) that best suit your business, it’s time to train your staff. The restaurant’s employees will be the ones interacting with guests and creating the customer experience. With this in mind, you want to ensure that they’re comfortable with all of the on-premise and off-premise technologies.

4. Receive Feedback from Customers

Collecting customer reviews is always a smart idea. Customers will be the first to provide feedback about the business, so collect reviews as much as possible. Then, you’ll be able to update your strategy accordingly.

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Digital Transformation Solutions

Are you ready to be part of the digital transformation within the restaurant industry? Check out these nine solutions that could change the landscape of your business!

1. Omni-Channel Ordering Systems

An omni channel order fulfillment system is a way to simplify operations. An omni-channel ordering solution consolidates the most important information across every channel.

This solution is particularly valuable for franchises and enterprises. If a business owner operates multiple locations, they can securely manage every detail pertaining to their business. Such information can include inventory, consumer data, orders, promotions, and more.

2. Live Order Monitoring

Any restaurant that offers delivery should also provide live order monitoring. This feature allows customers to track their order in real time.

Making the order status available is beneficial for many reasons. Most importantly, it gives the consumer peace of mind that their order is in progress. Since it helps answer common questions, it also helps eliminate phone calls to the restaurant.

3. Restaurant Reservation System

Utilize restaurant reservation software for all bookings. Customers will be able to book restaurant reservations independent of a staff member. This kind of solution can enhance customer satisfaction, as people can take their time.

There are many digital features available for reservation systems, too. In fact, many eateries use them to scale their business. Whether customers book reservations on a desktop or mobile app, it’ll certainly increase efficiency.

4. Voice Ordering for Restaurants

Voice ordering is a feature within the digital transformation that’s been taking the industry by storm. It’s convenient, efficient, and innovative.

Voice ordering allows customers to place orders via verbal communication. Not only does it encourage consumers to engage with the business, but it helps ensure accuracy for each meal.

Customers are able to communicate specific requests and details about their orders. In doing so, they can request almost anything they’d like.

In addition to these benefits, voice ordering can help a restaurant abide by ADA compliance standards. It serves as a unique way to order food, helping eateries become more inclusive to the masses.

5. DIY Ordering Platforms

If you’d like your restaurant to undergo a digital transformation, we encourage you to implement DIY ordering solutions.

Pay at table restaurants are a popular example of DIY practices in eateries. Tableside devices allow customers to view the menu types, place their orders, and pay the bill. Bear in mind that in such restaurants, all of this can be done without the help of wait staff.

Another example of DIY ordering systems are self ordering kiosks. One of the great perks about kiosks is that they offer contactless payments.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many eateries show a preference for contactless transactions. The digital transformation is a customer-centric ecosystem, so it makes perfect sense that brands are making the experience simpler than ever.

6. Online Ordering Apps

Since the invention of smartphones, delivery apps remain as one of the most convenient offerings in the hospitality industry. But did you know that there are many ways to innovate them within the digital transformation?

Various app integrations can improve the functionality of apps for both consumers and businesses. Upselling and cross selling are two areas that can offer more to customers while boosting the restaurant profit margin.

Studies show a correlation between online orders and higher cart values, so these features can be quite profitable. Plus, apps are pre-programmed to always display additional offers. In a brick and mortar restaurant, the waiters and waitresses may not attempt upselling orders.

7. Marketplace Order Insertion

Setting premium marketplace pricing is a groundbreaking feature for restaurants. Marketplace order insertion allows eateries to accept orders from customers across different marketplaces (or apps). The gamechanger is that every order can enter the restaurant POS platform.

Off-premise restaurant solutions allow business owners to implement marketplace order insertion. It’s an aspect of the digital transformation in restaurants that’s becoming more mainstream for good reasons.

Without marketplace order insertion, restaurant hosts have to manage multiple tablets. During busy shifts, this practice can lead to mixups, confusion, and overwhelmed employees. And we all know that’s not what you want–especially if you’re understaffed or experiencing work overload.

8. In-Room Devices

The hotel industry is bringing back room service and in room dining services. However, they’re more innovative now than ever before.

Hotel guests are now able to order room service via in-room tablets. This feature solves the problem of not every guest having access to wifi. It’s also beneficial for including audio and visual features.

The digital transformation consists of numerous tech solutions that can work for in-room dining services. From contactless deliveries to scheduling orders ahead of time, there are many ways to maximize efficiency.

9. Robotic Delivery Systems

The digital transformation we’ve seen within the food and beverage industry recently is quite futuristic. Many businesses are investing in robotic technology to streamline intricate processes.

A high tech cruise ship recently started using robots to accomplish tasks. They use gadgets that can make custom mixed drink recipes for passengers. Though there are many other examples within the industry, this is one of the more groundbreaking and creative launches.

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Frequently Asked Questions About the Digital Transformation

Want to know more about what a digital transformation might look like? Read on to learn more!

How Is Technology Changing the Restaurant Industry?

Technology is constantly changing the restaurant industry by delivering new innovative solutions. These products and services help to improve the customer experience, cut restaurant expenses, market the eatery, and make it more profitable over time.

Why Should Restaurants Go Digital?

Restaurants should go digital to cut expenses, maximize efficiency, and increase profits. It’s also important to note that restaurants often improve their strategy implementation plan once they undergo a digital transformation.

What Technology Can Be Used to Improve a Restaurant?

If you want your restaurants to experience a digital transformation and improve in no time, consider the following tech solutions:

  • Delivery apps
  • Contactless payments
  • Voice ordering
  • Tableside devices
  • Marketplace Order Insertion

What Is Restaurant Digitalization?

Restaurant digitization refers to the ability to streamline processes with the help of digital technologies. The digital transformation in the restaurant industry consists of many solutions that digitize traditional practices.

What Is the Role of Technology In Restaurant Operations?

Technology aims to simplify restaurant operations. By cutting wait times, allowing staff members to multitask, and lessening expenses, operations are much more seamless when tech solutions are in place.