Aug 20, 2021
Technology is playing a huge role in how we will be served in restaurants in the future. Technology is helping on many fronts from improving the customer experience to reducing operational costs in restaurants to streamlining processes which allow restaurants to handle larger order volumes. In this article we take a closer look at the some of the most revolutionary and impactful pieces of technology that will change the restaurant industry.
We’ve mentioned this on several of our posts in the past, but applications will become a ‘must-have’ for many restaurants in the future. Customers love the convenience of ordering in advance, the simple navigation to place your order, receiving personal recommendations and being able to keep track of reward point balances. While many consumers have also requested the ability to order via text, this may take some time before this type of ordering can be executed effectively and efficient.
Designated Drive-Thru Lines for Mobile Orders
According to a consumer study conducted by Bluedot, a location technology company, the #1 rated technology that consumers wanted from the next generation of restaurant design was a designated drive-thru line for mobile orders. 31% of consumers reported that a dedicated drive-thru line for mobile orders would keep them coming back. Chipotle has really led the pack on this front with their Chipotlanes pick-up window where consumers can order in advance through the app and drive-thru the pick-up lane to receive their order. 70% of Chipotle’s growth will include one of these ‘order ahead’ pickup windows. Between the rapid adoption of applications and customers either ordering on the go or ordering for delivery, consumers are looking for more convenient options that alleviate the need for time wasted waiting for their order.
Digital Menu Boards
Digital menu Boards will no doubt be the future for restaurants for an abundant of reasons including convenience, flexibility and increased sales. Not only do they offer a more visually stunning format but they can also offer a mix of videos and photos to entertain customers while making it easier to communicate menu options. They also allow a very agile management of the menu board with the ability to change menu options or change the menu at different times of day to accommodate breakfast, lunch and dinner options. They also provide personalization for the consumer with the ability to greet customers by name, provide suggestive selling, show reward points balance, coupon offers and can show a customer their usual order. These digital menu boards will also be included with self-serve kiosks which have been showing more growth in restaurants recently.
Multiple Drive-Thru Lanes & Conveyor Systems
As the popularity and demand for drive-thrus continue to rise, stores will continue to expand with multiple drive thru lanes which may begin to include more automation including the development of conveyor systems and automated systems to serve orders through multiple drive-thru lanes without the need for a service attendees passing the order to the customer.
New technologies will ensure restaurants have the precise location of their consumers so they will know their ETA to prioritize orders and ensure on-time delivery for customers to minimize the time customers spend waiting for their food or the time food is kept warm until picked up.
What Else is Next?
As you’ll notice many of the items in the next wave of technologies revolve around the drive-thru. Many restaurants are placing most of their focus and emphasis in their growth strategy on the drive-thru and how they can improve the customer experience, make the process more efficient or enable ways to deliver food to customers, ghost kitchens, and delivery drivers.
If you’re wondering what’s fueling the next wave of technology beyond the ones listed above you can look forward to artificial intelligence and more completely automated service delivery without the need for service attendees. Artificial intelligence will be able to simulate human contact to manage reservations, take an order, respond to customer inquiries and analyze customer buying patterns at kiosks or through applications to make informed upsell suggestions to customers. In conjunction with synchronized operations between robotics, conveyor systems and windows will provide remote service delivery to customers. Together, these new technologies will allow restaurants to handle larger volume, cut costs, reduce errors, improve the guest experience and increase a restaurants marketing reach to its customers.
To learn more about how Quikserv can be a part of your next restaurant design, one off our sales representatives would be happy to speak to you about our use of ‘touchless’ automatic drive-thru windows or the most appropriate pass-thru system for your business. Contact our sales team at 1.800.388.8307.