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Technology & AI in 2025 Will Make Restaurants Smarter & More Profitable

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October 04, 2021

Technology is a rapidly-growing field that is working into every industry available, including the restaurant business. To keep up with the trends, restaurant owners should keep an eye out for technological advancements that could make their establishment stand out from the rest. In the next 5-10 years, restaurant operators and customers can expect to witness a dramatic shift in the role of technology in restaurants. 

Incorporating Technology & AI into Restaurants 

Change can be scary, especially when it impacts the day-to-day operations of your business. However, by staying ahead of the curve and looking toward the future, restaurant owners can be more efficient and improve their profits.

How Customers Perceive Technology in Restaurants 

Most restaurants should pursue an even blend of technology and human interaction. Already, many restaurants have begun this trend. Customers interact with servers while being shown to their table and receiving their food, but order and pay their bill through a tablet at the table. This blend of human interaction and technology offers restaurants greater opportunities to streamline processes and a customer’s dining experience. 

In fact, 79 percent of customers say that technology improves their overall dining experience. Customers want to be in control when they eat out, allowing them to have a more personalized experience. Some restaurants further capitalize on this by offering personalized menus based on a patron’s diet or other food trends

Restaurants operators suspect that more restaurants will utilize virtual assistance in the next five years. 36 percent of restaurant patrons say having this feature would improve their experience and 17 percent say this feature would prompt more frequent visits. Some restaurants already allow customers to order takeout using voice technology on Amazon Echo or Google Home. Now, this same technology could expand to customers dining in person. Imagine walking up to a kiosk or drive thru at a restaurant and instead of pressing buttons, customers say their order verbally. This voice technology allows restaurants to continue taking orders during their busiest hours.

AI Technology In Restaurants

Face recognition is a growing field of technology that will most likely find its way into the restaurant industry. According to a research study conducted by Oracle, 31 percent of customers say they would be more likely to visit a restaurant if they are recognized by an employee without having to give their name. This number translates into 49 percent of customers claiming AI facial recognition at a restaurant would improve their overall dining experience. 

Oracle also recorded that 60 percent of restaurant operators plan on using AI by 2025. The report suggests that customers still want some level of human interaction, however, they remark that technology could vastly improve their experience.

Food Service Automation

The number of restaurants offering their patrons a self service option is increasing dramatically. Currently, smartphones and tablets are being used for ordering and paying bills at quick service restaurants. However, studies are revealing that customers who order and pay by a tablet at their table are more likely to spend more money. They enjoy looking at pictures on the menu and taking their time to order. Early experiments with drones and robots are taking food service automation to the next level. Chipotle and Google partnered to deliver a burrito using a drone while robots have been tested and shown to make sushi just as efficiently as humans. While tests are still underway, drones and robots are revealing themselves to be promising additions to the restaurant industry.

Wearable Technology

Wearable tech is already present within restaurants. At Union Square Café, restaurant managers utilize Apple Watches and the app Resy to receive alerts about VIP guests. Looking forward, 53 percent of restaurant operators said virtual reality would be the next mainstream tech in restaurants by 2025. Staff training, kitchen design, guest entertainment, and enhancing a guest's overall experience are just a few of the places where wearable technology will most likely come into play. Virtual reality, like Google Glass, can be used to help restaurant workers train for hectic days while the restaurant is empty. It can train new employees without requiring the attention of another employee. VR can be used by restaurant management and guests to provide an optimal dining experience.

Restaurants Profit from Technology 

Restaurants have the opportunity to uniquely incorporate technology within their industry. If used strategically, technology can be used to improve profits and customer satisfaction. An estimated 80% of restaurant owners claim that technology has potential to improve their profits. The challenge though, is incorporating technology to improve efficiency and the customer experience seamlessly. By using technology creatively, restaurant operators can stay ahead of the competition and provide their patrons with a more customized dining experience. 

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