Technology trends in the restaurant industry

Technology-driven experiences are starting to grow in a variety of industries, with foodservice being no exception to this trend. This comes as no surprise, since generations like Millennials and GenZ spend an average of 14.8 and 15.4 hours respectively on their smartphones every week [1].

In the foodservice industry, it is with no doubt that technology plays an important role in consumers’ purchasing behavior. Using mobile applications, consumers can easily place orders, search for information and make payments. Although many small businesses may not immediately adopt these technologies, being aware of the latest developments may help in making informed decisions. Here are a few tech-driven trends every pizzeria should be familiar with.

Voice search

With the fast growth of Amazon Echo or Google Home, consumers can now perform every day tasks such as turning off the lights or Google searching by voice command. Some early adopters in the pizza industry are already allowing patrons to place orders and make payments through voice-enabled commands. For instance, Domino’s was quick to join the trend in 2014 with the launch of its virtual, voice-ordering technology “Dom”.

Chatbots

Chatbots are becoming common in the foodservice industry and chances are that most of us have already interacted with one. A simple example of a chatbot is asking Google what the nearest restaurants are. Additionally, websites with a simple chat function asking “How can I help you today?” is another example of a chatbot. In foodservice, chatbots can be programmed to respond to frequently asked questions and provide support in a timely manner, thus saving time and money.  According to G2, 85% of consumer interactions will be handled without a human by the year 2020[2].

Mobile payments

Mobile payment technologies are now allowing consumers to simply use their smartphones to complete a payment. For instance, Starbucks’s mobile app makes it easy for customers to simply show their smartphone to pay for their beverage. As customers are increasingly looking for convenience, mobile payment apps will become important in tracking loyalty programs, saving customer profiles and predicting future preferences.

The fast growth in technology allows businesses to offer customers personalized experiences, while enhancing convenience and satisfaction. Even though these technologies are still developing, foodservice business owners need to be aware of their potential impact on their operations within the next years. Have you adopted any of these technologies yet? If so, what was your experience so far?


[1] https://www.visioncritical.com/blog/generation-z-infographics

[2] https://www.pizzamarketplace.com/blogs/4-ways-ai-changes-the-pizza-game/

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