The pandemic influenced many changes across the hospitality industry. While some of these changes were temporary, many others permanently changed the landscape of industry.
From hotels to restaurants, one large trend that has dominated the past few years is the digital transformation that has taken over. In restaurants particularly, this aided businesses to boost customer retention even from a distance, bolster their brand recognition online, improve employee training efforts, and support foot traffic amid the headwinds from government regulations.
So, let’s take a look at some of the main uses of technology that have taken hold of the restaurant space in recent years.
Third-Party Ordering and Delivery Apps
We’ll start by discussing the third-party ordering and delivery apps that really took off in popularity with the pandemic. Though many of the major players like UberEats, GrubHub, and Postmates have been around for years, the social distancing orders and closed dining rooms that were characteristic of the early days of the pandemic really caused these to grow.
While the adoption of these apps did prove to be a learning experience for restaurant staff early on, they are now second-nature to these workers. Plus, restaurants have found a better way to manage the number of online orders they can handle in addition to the dining room demands as they continue to return in full capacity.
Even as most of the restrictions around the pandemic ease, these apps have proven to have staying power. Being able to order delivery from nearly any restaurant nearby has become quite popular among consumers, which we expect will continue over the coming years.
Going along with the third-party ordering apps, contactless payments are a growing trend of technology in restaurants. And this is not limited to the ordering apps–many restaurants are finding ways for in-house patrons to pay through smartphones, apps, or touchless devices to better meet sanitation requirements and the needs of customers.
Many experts are even suggesting that the contactless payment market will reach $6 trillion globally by 2024, up from just $2 trillion currently.
So as cash becomes a payment method of the past, there is a growing case for contactless payment methods in restaurants going forward. This helps the customer experience become much more seamless, and has the potential to boost customer retention and satisfaction.
Online Reservation Systems
Another display of technology in restaurants becoming more and more popular is the growth of online reservation systems. Gone are the days of having front-of-house staff man the phones and manually take down reservations.
Not only did this leave room for human error that could harm the business’s reputation, but it’s a timely task that can be automated away.
Instead, a quicker, better, and more accurate system of using online reservation softwares has proven to be more effective for both the consumer and the restaurant staff. Of course, using these systems saves the restaurant time and makes the process more seamless and accurate for the customer, but the access to valuable customer data here means that there’s ways to boost customer retention and loyalty as well.
QR codes continue to play many roles in restaurants, even as the pandemic eases. With a wide rang of potential uses, QR codes are being utilized to display up-to-date menus, make food orders, pay, and even leave valuable customer feedback.
On the customer’s side, this means more timely service on their timeline–they can order and pay whenever they want. On the restaurant’s side, this means a more streamlined service delivery, and gives them a place to collect valuable customer data.
So while the appearance of a QR code would have left many scratching their heads a few years ago, they’ve now become a staple in all service areas, and will continue to be a staple use of technology in restaurants for the foreseeable future.
Inventory Management Software
Restaurant owners have been searching for a better way to track the inventory levels of food and beverages for some time now–so an inventory management software is the perfect solution for all their tracking and reordering needs.
While this has been a traditionally tedious task that was prone to human error, restaurants can now rely on a highly accurate and up-date automated system that ensures they always have what they need, when they need it.
Plus, using these softwares can even make your restaurant more sustainable and help you cut down on food waste. So, between saving you time and money, and be more sustainable, we presume that inventory management softwares will only become more widely-used and sophisticated going forward.
LMS for Employee Training
Employee management has always been a challenge for restaurants, and the pandemic didn’t help this dynamic to improve any. While staffing headwinds continue to plague the industry, individual restaurant owners have the opportunity to improve staff retention rates by investing in their employee training efforts.
A good LMS gives restaurant management teams the tools they need to effectively train their employees online, not requiring time-consuming in-person training sessions. Plus, with add-ons and integrations for polls, quizzes, videos, and more, they can be more dynamic and engaging for new hires than just handing them a printed out employee handbook.
For a quality LMS that has an easy-to-use interface and that is highly-customizable, look no further than Retention 360’s Retention360 HQ platform. With great communication capabilities, personalization, and more, Retention360 HQ is quickly becoming the go-to online platform for restaurants to use in employee training.
To transform your employee training efforts, visit our website today and request a free demo.