The restaurant industry has traditionally been slow to adopt technology and innovative digital solutions. But in 2020 and 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic changed that and forced food and beverage outlets to look beyond the traditional. Many restaurants have turned to tech in the last couple of years, even if reluctantly, to adapt to a new reality. One which includes more contactless technology, ways to keep guests separated from other guests and lots of additional sanitary measures.
Technology and innovation are what have helped, even saved, restaurants as they transform how they operate to not just survive, but thrive, in this new connected and contactless era. From online ordering, self-checkouts, and touchless payments to delivery and pick-up, the F&B industry can no longer afford to ignore the trends that are helping businesses reinvent themselves to remain relevant and competitive.
As it’s predicted that growth in the restaurant industry will be entirely driven by off-premise consumption, using technology is not just about improving operations and service delivery, but also re-imagining restaurants.
So, what digital trends and tools should be top of mind in 2023 to stay up-to-date, and even ahead of the competition?
Online ordering systems and delivery apps:
- As restaurants remain vulnerable to imposed restrictions, strict sanitary regulations and even closure, online food orders and contactless home-deliveries have come to the rescue.
- Diners are growing accustomed to getting the food they want when, where and how they want it.
- The food delivery market is now worth more than $150 billion globally, which has more than tripled since 2017 largely attributed to the pandemic, according to statistics from McKinsey.
- Third-party food delivery apps like UberEats, Lieferando, Fleksa, or Eatarian will continue to be an important solution for those not able to offer in-house ordering and delivery services.
- But as many diners report a preference for ordering directly from restaurants, we can expect to see restaurants following the lead of larger fast-food chains and investing in developing their own integrated online platforms and apps.
- This digital proximity enables the restaurant industry to stay closely connected with their customers.
- Contactless technology is going mainstream, and it’s not just about placing an order online, but also about paying with a smartphone, smartwatch or smartcard via an app or touchless device.
- New payment technologies have been slowly gaining momentum within the global restaurant industry, but this trend has accelerated with the pandemic.
- It’s estimated that contactless payments will triple from $2 trillion to $6 trillion worldwide by 2024, and having such options are reportedly extremely important for 34% of customers.
- With no cash hand, no human contact is required – more hygienic and safer – and it’s quick, instant and convenient.
- From a cash flow point of view, it’s also more efficient.
- If restaurants don’t want to be left behind in the coming year, those who haven’t yet done so better invest and plan for a mobile and digital payment strategy.
Online table reservation system:
- Booking a table via a phone call is becoming a thing of the past as online table reservation technology takes on a new importance.
- Providers like Fleksa or OpenTable give customers the freedom to see available slots and make their own booking on-the-go. Fleksa also offers customers to book table online directly from google maps.
Companies like PayPerse and Fleksa are at the forefront of the digital transformation in the restaurant industry. They are providing innovative and cutting-edge solutions that are helping restaurants to adapt to the new reality of the COVID-19 era. From online ordering systems and delivery apps, to contactless payments and online table reservation systems, these companies are providing the tools that restaurants need to stay relevant and competitive in today’s fast-paced and ever-evolving market. They are not just helping restaurants improve their operations and service delivery, but also re-imagining the restaurant industry to adapt to the growing trend of off-premise consumption. As we head into the future, it’s important for restaurants to continue embracing digital solutions like those provided by PayPerse and Fleksa to stay ahead of the competition and to meet the changing needs and expectations of their customers.