A fully automated fast food restaurant combines convenience and accuracy. Restaurant tech has the potential to accelerate business with little to no human interaction. By automating numerous tasks, consumers can be assured that their meals will be quick and accurate.
As a restaurant manager or business owner, do you ever find yourself wondering how to streamline restaurant operations? Or, are you amazed at how factory operations can make products with such high efficiency and precision? Well, the restaurant industry is on its way to a similar landscape.
In recent years, fast food restaurants have been thriving thanks to restaurant automation. The casual dining experience is more suitable for systems that eliminate elements of upscale establishments.
A fully automated fast food restaurant offers many perks for customers and business owners. But first, let’s define the new term within the restaurant industry.
Restaurant Automation: What Is It?
Restaurant automation is the ability to use innovative restaurant technology to streamline operations. Whether you’re looking for ways to boost the restaurant profit margin or customer satisfaction, automation is ideal.
From kiosks to tabletop devices, restaurant automation lets customers have control over their dining experience. Thanks to food prep technology and payment processing software, the restaurant manager on duty can focus on more critical tasks.
The fast food industry has been raising the bar for automation tools. More recently, other restaurant styles have begun using similar technology to offer a comparable experience.
Fully Automated Fast Food Restaurant
Restaurant automation is slowly but surely making its way into each quick service restaurant. Remember that a fully automated fast food restaurant isn’t something that can flourish overnight.
A fully automated fast food restaurant takes time, investment, and education. Plus, a selection of technology will be necessary to operate one.
Automated Restaurant Equipment
To begin running a fully automated fast food restaurant, consider onboarding the following six pieces of automated restaurant equipment.
1. Inventory Management
BlueCart allows you to categorize collections of items and store them as catalogs. This feature lets restaurant managers place recurring orders. In doing so, it removes the task of calling multiple suppliers from a wholesale directory. Plus, who wouldn’t want all of their inventory needs within one app where they can monitor deliveries and compare prices.
2. Digital Filing System
A digital filing system can simplify restaurant management operations. From financial reports to employee documents, the right system can streamline various tasks.
For instance, a digital filing system can assist in budgeting when it comes time to expand the restaurant. Or, it can help keep the business owner on track once tax season rolls around. By having all of your most important information readily available, you’ll never miss deadlines.
Digital filing systems might not be part of the restaurant experience for your customers. However, the simplicity it can bring to backend operations will result in positive results.
3. Integrated POS System
Payment processing can be made simple with automation. For instance, card payments can be made with devices that don’t require a cashier. Just think about self-checkout lines at supermarkets–it’s the same in fast food restaurants.
A restaurant POS platform that can be installed on-premise or off-premise (see on premise vs off premise), combined with mobile, contactless payments system, will provide you with the best experience for your customers. Not only does this provide seamless checkout for many customers, but it is quick and efficient. Plus, your customers don’t have to give someone else their card or other information.
Many payment processing options use encrypted software and payment gateway providers to ensure security. Plus, they all follow PCI standards. If you plan to use automation, ensure it’s safe for both parties.
4. Demand Planning Software
It’s important that your restaurant keeps high demand products in stock at all times. From specific ingredients for meals to fountain drinks, know what your target audience wants to see from you. A digital platform that offers such information will save your business significant time—especially at the corporate level.
Extensive market research is necessary for any business. However, when you realize how quickly supply and demand changes within the food and beverage industry, you’ll recognize the need to plan far in advance.
5. Self Ordering Kiosks
Pay at table restaurants are on this track. By removing the duty of handling payments, customers don’t interact with their server as much. So if you create a self-serve dining experience, there becomes a lesser need for waiters.
6. Pay At Table Devices
As mentioned above, restaurants with tabletop payment devices lean toward being a fully automated fast food restaurant. Though sit-down eateries and fast food businesses contradict one another, this type of tech makes it more fast food-friendly.
Tabletop payment devices allow restaurants to speed up the turnover rate. They also give customers more leniency with how soon they can order, pay, and leave. All three elements are reflective of fast food establishments.
A major benefit of tabletop payment devices is the freedom it gives the wait staff. As consumers perform tasks on their own, your employees can give their undivided attention to more important matters.
Tabletop payment devices can also integrate with your POS system and digital menus. An all-inclusive device is convenient for businesses and consumers.
Automation Saves Money
Furnishing a fully automated fast food restaurant can seem like a major expense at first. We can assure you that once you map out financial projections, you’ll find the restaurant automation will likely be worth the investment.
Consider the labor cost of your restaurant. Though the technology may be an expensive investment, it will pay for itself over time.
But what if the automation software you purchase has recurring payments? Even so, you’ll likely save money in the long run. When you hire employees, you need to consider the training costs and turnover. Once you use automation software, you won’t have to worry about these types of variables.
Frequently Asked Questions About Automated Fast Food Restaurants
Can Fast Food Restaurants Be Automated?
Yes, with the right technology and devices, restaurants can automate their processes. For instance, Chipotle has begun using robotic chips to automate tasks. It is expected that more quick service eateries will onboard such technology in the near future.
Is There A Fully Automated Restaurant?
Yes, Pazzi is a fully automated restaurant in Paris, France. The restaurant uses numerous forms of restaurant software to automate processes.
Will Robots Replace Fast-Food Workers?
Bots are beginning to dominate restaurant operations; however, they cannot fully replace human workers. Even though tech companies have been able to optimize kitchen and dining room tasks with robots, there are many duties that humans must complete.