December 7, 2022
Lauren Platero

The History of Restaurants & Technology | Where It’s Going

The history of restaurants and technology spans a vast timeline. It is the inspiration for many restaurant tech solutions currently on the market. There are numerous growth opportunities within the restaurant industry, most of which relate to innovation.

It’s important to learn how the history of restaurants and relevant technology has led to the industry’s current landscape. So, without further ado, continue reading about the history of restaurants, tech, and where it’s all going from here.

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History of Restaurants and Technology

The history of restaurants spans various types of tech solutions. Innovative restaurant technology has come a long way, and there is certainly a lot to learn.

Before we know it, the hospitality industry will introduce new ways to maximize efficiency and boost profits. Some solutions will be brand new, while others will reflect current tech trends. So, continue reading about the history of the restaurants, technology, and common practices.

History of POS Systems

James Ritty of Ohio was the first person to introduce the cash register in 1879–the world’s first POS system. It wasn’t until 1971 that IBM launched the first electronic cash register. This device was also the first of its kind to handle the conversion of currencies.

POS systems have come quite a long way over the decades. Now, the industry has access to systems that cater to specific operations relevant to food and drinks.

For instance, it’s common to find a restaurant POS platform that hosts tools for booking reservations or a restaurant loyalty program. Others might even include features for shift scheduling and inventory management.

Best of all, restaurants can utilize tech solutions that integrate with their POS software. This way, they can provide customers and staff with a full suite of options.

The Future of POS Systems

As new solutions emerge, the future holds many advancements for POS systems. From omnichannel order management system options to cloud-based app integrations, the ideas for innovation are endless.

Speaking of which, Revolution Ordering recently rolled out a new reservation management system for large parties and events. Learn more about it here, as you’ll likely experience more technologies like this in the near future.

History of QR Codes

QR codes trace back to Japan in 1994. The original purpose of the scannable codes was to manage the high-speed tracking of vehicles during the manufacturing period. It wasn’t until the invention of smartphones that restaurants began using them.

Now, restaurants have resources such as SproutQR that make designing a custom QR code easier than ever. Book a demo to get started today!

The Future of QR Codes

Since smartphones dominate the mobile phone industry, it’s safe to say that QR codes aren’t going anywhere. Plus, it’s been shown that they make menu updates much simpler while giving tables a sleeker look.

History of Kiosks

The concept of self ordering kiosks stems from two ideas: food trucks and self-checkout devices. Whether it be vending machines or in-store kiosks, there are numerous variations of the solution.

The first food truck was introduced in 1936 when Oscar Mayer hotdogs became famous. The convenient bite to eat was quickly adopted by local events, schools, and businesses.

A self-checkout device was originally rolled out in the early 1900s in retail stores. It took almost an entire century to find them in most stores and eateries. By combining these concepts, you get kiosks serving anything from quick snacks to balanced meals.

The Future of Kiosks

We expect food kiosks to become much more diverse in the upcoming years. As stores and eateries implement them, more food trends and choices will be accessible.

With this in mind, it’s also more likely that kiosks will begin serving fresh, organic, and healthier options. If the kiosks allow for made-to-order options, then better food choices are a possibility.

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History of Delivery Apps

When you think of food delivery, your first thoughts are probably GrubHub or DoorDash. But have you ever heard of World Wide Waiters? World Wide Waiters was the first food delivery platform to ever exist in 1995. It originally serviced over fifty eateries in the San Francisco area and still exists as

However, apps like DoorDash and UberEats currently dominate the delivery app ecosystem. Upselling, scheduling, and customization elements are just a few features that consumers love about ordering online.

The Future of Delivery Apps

As the food tech industry evolves, online ordering apps will become more user-friendly. It’s also safe to predict that restaurants will begin utilizing more of them, joined by an all-inclusive solution for off-premise business.

One of the downsides of participating in multiple delivery apps is that it can get unorganized for the restaurant host. However, implementing software that integrates with multiple platforms is a simple solution that’ll help scale business and efficiency.

History of Tableside Devices

In 2008, an MIT student created the first restaurant tablet. It allowed customers to place orders and pay the bill without one of the waiters present. After about ten years, it was common to find tableside devices in many casual dining restaurants across the country.

Nowadays, tableside tech is more similar to computer-like devices rather than tablets. From displaying menu items to the check, it’s a solution that simplifies restaurant operations and speeds up the table turnover rate.

The Future of Tableside Devices

Tableside devices will likely improve throughout the upcoming years. The speed and user-friendliness of such technology can greatly benefit customers and staff.

It’s also safe to assume that such devices will remain in more casual eateries. Part of the experience within upscale restaurants is the stellar customer service. With this in mind, there probably won’t be tech solutions that offer DIY processes.

The Future of Restaurant Technology

We’ve covered the history of restaurants and technology. But what does the future look like? Though we can never be certain, we can confidently say that the industry’s future will entail significant innovation.

More specifically, restaurants will likely onboard more solutions that streamline operations for guests and staff. Though we can’t eliminate human interactions entirely, there will probably be much less of it in the upcoming years.

Want to learn more about the history of restaurants and technology? Read on to discover more.

Frequently Asked Questions About the History of Restaurants and Technology

The history of restaurants and technology traces back a long time ago. There is so much knowledge surrounding the topic and just as many takeaways.

As the industry continues to evolve, there will also be much to reflect on. New technologies that restaurants are using right now will influence future innovation. These resources will serve as key points in restaurant history that’ll inspire even better solutions.

Below you’ll find a handful of topics that people often question while discussing the history of restaurants and technology. Read on to learn more.

What Are the Types Of Technology Used In A Restaurant?

Restaurants use various types of technology, which include:

How Is Technology Improving Restaurant Operations?

Technology is improving restaurant operations by streamlining standard tasks. Even though many duties within a restaurant are simple and routine, they can be time-consuming.

Tech solutions like QR codes and tableside payment devices allow waiters to handle more pertinent tasks. For upper-level management, inventory software ensures accuracy and lessens the risk of buying excessive stock.

The purpose of technology is to make the lives of employees and customers easier. Luckily, many solutions currently on the market do just that.

How Does the Technological Environment Affect Restaurants?

The technological environment affects restaurants by advancing basic practices. For instance, inventory management has never been as tech-driven as it has been in the last several years. It’s safe to say that other forms of tech have similar impacts as well.

Revolutionizing the food and beverage industry has been on the horizon for quite some time. Advanced solutions are constantly improving efficiency and accuracy, making restaurants a much better experience for all.

Who Invented the First Restaurant?

The first restaurant we have records of was founded by a Parisian named Boulanger. It opened in 1765 on the Rue des Poulies, which is the Rue du Louvre today.

How Has Technology Changed the Food and Hospitality Industries?

Technology is responsible for many innovations across the food and hospitality industries. Tech solutions help to streamline operations and lessen the workload for employees. In doing so, it helps to deliver a better customer experience.

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Study History to Create A Better Future

Once you understand the history of restaurants and technology, innovations make much more sense. And as the industry continues to onboard new ideas, current solutions will become major learning points.