At the height of the pandemic, technological developments and a customer taste for digital novelties saved the restaurant industry. With online ordering and third-party delivery services, digital menus and touchless payments as the norm, restaurants were able to adapt to new health and safety regulations and customer expectations in order stay open and survive capacity restrictions and shut-downs. During the pandemic, many owner-operators and industry experts anticipated this to be the peak of digital platforms for restaurants, with the public outcry for a “return to normal” the promise of “ business as usual” post-pandemic.
However, this is not the case, and at the start of 2023, these digital expectations are holding fast—along with renewed expectations for great customer service, fair prices, and an in-house experience when wanted. Industry professionals are calling it “the omnichannel experience, which has been the hospitality buzzword of 2022,” according to this Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN) article about the newest phenomenon that restaurants must prepare for.
“Owner-operators must be willing to make adjustments, to move forward, and to adapt to consumer expectations,” says Richard Weil, principal and owner of National Restaurant Consultants (NRC). Our restaurant consultants have explored all of the newest digital trends and concepts, anticipating that digital use would not decrease post-Covid.
Technology experts polled for the NRN article agree with our restaurant consultants and have rounded up some points for future technology use and guest expectations in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Their predictions include: data as king, simplified tech solutions, an emphasis on mobile-friendly tech, social media for communication, and digital experiences continue to expand over in-person ones. Understanding what is coming can ease restaurant owner-operators and their teams into the future rather than overwhelming operations with foreign concepts and tools.
Richard Weil further weighs in on this trend. “Even prior to the pandemic, technology has been an important evolution for the food service and hospitality industry. Guests from all demographics and generations have adapted and now are demanding greater resources at their fingertips. Furthering your restaurant’s technology, from the Point of Sales System to payment processing, is a requirement for future success.”
Our restaurant consultants have been in the business for decades, and we have seen changes implemented again and again. Businesses willing to move with the times and embraces changes for the benefit of customer experience find success. Working with a restaurant consultant can help your restaurant transform into an establishment of the future.