Well, another year has come and gone. Like the one before it, this past year has been marked by an unending series of challenges for the restaurant industry: capacity limits due to COVID, a shortage of workers, the rising popularity of take-out and delivery, the list goes on and on.
But as the saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” The challenges of 2020 and 2021 have led to massive developments and improvements in restaurant technology. This new tech is set to change the way our customers dine — and here are just a few of our favorites.
For decades, vending machines have been the home for… well, junk food. Those massive machines housed chips, candies, soda, and other snacks with a cheap cost and a long shelf-life. But these days, vending machine tech has evolved in a healthier direction. In fact, some vending machines can offer packaged fresh food and even hot meals!
The fresh food vending revolution can mean big things for folks in the restaurant industry. Now, restaurants can expand their market to college campuses, corporate buildings, and even travel hubs. The new tech can keep your food fresh and maintain quality while still reaching that important on-the-go market.
Contactless payments through QR codes and mobile apps have been a staple in countries like China for years, and some restaurants in the U.S. have adopted this tech in recent years. But now (thanks to a particular health crisis that made sanitation a top priority), contactless technology is expanding far beyond digital payment options.
Restaurants can use QR codes to direct diners to digital menus, limiting germs between parties. Additionally, companies like Coca-Cola are investing in touchless beverage machines, preventing exposure even among employees. As contactless tech becomes more popular, your staff and your customers can expect a safer dining experience.
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced diners to stay home, third-party delivery services saw a massive increase in demand. And while companies like UberEats and DoorDash did rise to the challenge, the door is open wide for restaurants to make delivery even better.
How can we do it? With delivery robots! Forbes reports drones and other delivery machines will be in use in dozens of U.S. cities by 2022, making delivery faster, easier, and more cost-efficient.
Of course, hospitality and service will always be at the heart of the restaurant industry. Even as the dining experience becomes increasingly digital and automated, it’s essential to have a friendly and capable staff trained to do their jobs well.