2017 is off to a flying start for the Hospitality industry and if the predictions are correct, intelligent voice-activated ordering and payment might be this year’s hottest tech.  Here’s what else has been going on and some other trends to look out for this year:

Tablet ordering manages that fine line between briskly busy but not overcrowded

Fast Casual restaurants are deploying tablets so guests can browse the menu, place an order and pay securely.  This sit and order system fosters a relaxed atmosphere driving more customer through the door and positively impacting customer satisfaction according to rmagazine.  Tablet browsing offers a rich user experience with engaging imagery and intuitive flow providing a retail-style journey which tends to result in higher check averages.  Some companies are turning wait time into play time by using tablets as virtual arcades loaded with games.  Tablet gaming offers another advantage of turning wait time into social time as guests can compete against each other in trivia challenges and card games creating a sense of community.  

Kioskmarketplace defines ‘kiosk’ in light of poor consumer understanding

A Kioskmarketplace survey found 71% think the industry sufficiently understands the term ‘kiosk’ as a self-service interactive kiosk.  But 69% also believe the general public doesn’t sufficiently understand the term.  Kioskmarketplace describes the kiosk as ‘It requires no human interaction, it helps the user so something that otherwise would require a human, it is computerized, it is interactive, it has a digital display.’  41% think the lack of uniform definition of ‘kiosk’ is a serious problem to the industry.  “I think the definition of a kiosk is evolving,” said Esther Lombardi, marketing and sales associate at Ideum. “I don’t think it’s necessarily the static functionality that it may have been in the past.  Users are expecting more dynamic use case scenarios for products in general, but particularly for this kind of technology, they want to be able to accomplish more than one thing with a product.  It’s becoming a more dynamic and diverse platform for content and interactivity.”

 

44% of consumers want restaurant websites to be mobile friendly

Consumer preferences for in-restaurant tech is changing fast.  Based on Technomic’s 2017 report,  here’s what consumers expect:

  • 38% think technology amenities are very important at limited services restaurants (LSRs). 50% feel it is very important.
  • 44% want restaurant websites to be mobile optimised and nearly 50% of Millennials want the ability to place orders online or on their mobile phones.
  • 26% of overall consumers and 38% of Millennials have used a tabletop tablet in Full Service Restaurants.
  • 78% say their experience using an automated service was positive.
  • 55% of parents with younger kids feel it’s important for restaurants to offer kid-friendly tech.

 

Ability to view the full menu is a restaurant mobile app must have

33% of restaurants have smartphone apps with the main driver being building sales and customer traffic.  But what are the restaurant app features customers really want?  According to Restaurant Business, they include:

  • The ability to view the full menu
  • 12% would make a reservation via an app if available
  • Geolocation to find their nearest restaurant
  • 70% expect apps to be more personal
  • Store deals and coupons
  • Mobile payment

 

Ordering efficiency and better informed staff are just 2 of the ways mobility has had a significant impact on restaurant operations

Rmagazine discusses the many ways mobility has an impact on operational efficiency including:

  • Eliminating the need for staff to write down orders then manually input it into POS
  • Orders getting to the bar and kitchen faster
  • Greater order accuracy
  • Servers are better informed of item and menu availability in real-time
  • Streamlined communication between server, manager and kitchen staff
  • Restaurant managers can monitor activity in real-time
  • Tables are turned faster if customers can order and pay themselves
  • Self-service payment options result in greater tips for staff