April 2021 Management

Four Ways the Pandemic Changed the Restaurant Industry that Won’t Change Back

A 4-Part Weekly Series by Buyers Edge Platform: Part 2

Technology in the Food Ordering Experience

From kiosks, QR codes and tablets at a table, to online and mobile ordering, technology played a huge role in foodservice during the pandemic, and will only continue to grow in 2021 and beyond. Customers can now order their food and pay their bill straight from a tablet for cell phone and receive their receipts via email. Some operators have transitioned to self-serve kiosks in their operation due to high-cost table service. There is a goal of automating as much as possible in the dining experience and implementing technology where operators can increase efficiency and streamline their business model.             

But this transition to technology may have its challenges. Our survey of restaurant customers found that many are wary of too much tech when they go out to eat. We asked consumers what they thought of the new technology measures that were implemented in order to create a “less touch” experience at restaurants.

50% say that while they understand the need for this type of technology in the pandemic, they look forward to things returning to the way they were before.

This doesn’t mean operators should abandon customer-facing technology solutions. Instead, they should recognize that it may take some time for customers to get used to these changes, and that implementation should be done judiciously and with the customer experience always top of mind.

If you missed part 1 of this series, you can see it here: Four Ways the Pandemic Changed the Restaurant Industry that Won’t Change Back – Part 1.

Photo credit: Albert Hu/Unsplash

Tune in next week for part 3 of this series.

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