The restaurant industry is taking advanced and progressive steps in 2022. Owners of fast-casual restaurants, full-service establishments, or restaurants exploring entirely new concepts find creative ways to improve guests’ on-site and off-site experiences.
1. Immersive and Augmented Reality Applications
Restaurant owners have always attempted to differentiate their restaurants from their competition by coming up with new and innovative ideas. Innovative technologies that allow restaurants to create immersive experiences for diners are one innovation to watch in 2019.
Restaurants can change diners’ dining experiences by implementing virtual and augmented reality technologies. Shortly, it could be possible to create a “live preview” of menu items using backlit led light boxes, enabling diners to see what that lamb chop or creme brulee will look like before ordering.
Restaurants may become even more valuable as VR and AR technologies improve, become less cumbersome, and become more affordable.
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2. Kitchen boards & digital menus change everything
Restaurants are going cashless, replacing cash registers with tablets and POS systems. Static menus and paper tickets are also on their way out. As a result, Kitchen Display Systems (KDS) are in demand.
With the KDS, kitchen staff can keep track of orders digitally. Communication is improved, accuracy is increased, workflows are streamlined, and you will have a more sustainable kitchen operation. A restaurant can also keep track of inventory by showing priority orders, signaling dwindling products, and marking dietary preferences, all of which are still done by hand in many restaurants.
A digital menu board is similar but is visible to customers. Innovative ways can entice the senses by showing rotating images and videos of products. If an item is short or a specialty item has recently been added, they can easily update the website. Additionally, they are more visually appealing to patrons in line.
3. It’s time to embrace contactless ordering and delivery
Restaurants are likely to continue investing in contactless technology and food delivery until 2022 as they search for ways to improve customer experience and meet evolving expectations. In 2022, digital QR-code menus and touchless payments will become more common. Currently, 94% of restaurants surveyed accept contactless payments. Three-quarters of restaurants accept mobile wallets, and 50% accept QR codes.
4. Robots are delivering food
Starship is rolling out autonomous robots that can partner with restaurants and retailers to provide fast, innovative, and efficient local delivery services. By 2022, Starship robots will have automated over 1,000,000 deliveries, and they continue to receive funding for expansion.
These friendly delivery robots use cameras to create 3D maps of their environment, similar to self-driving cars. Using that data, they detect curb edges, obstacles in their path, and people. They can follow sidewalks autonomously and travel over steps. The robots can carry up to 22 lbs of food and will not unlock unless you unlock them with your phone.
5. Restaurants rethink experiences to create lasting customer loyalty
Restaurants are coming up with an inventive process to attract and retain customers. Approximately 90% of restaurateurs plan to engage customers to keep them coming back during 2022.
Even restaurateurs who have not yet moved into new verticals like retail are changing their identities to make the pandemic a permanent part of their identities. The new strategies spawned by COVID-19 are here to stay, as 37% of restaurants will sell meal or cocktail kits and 27% will invest in virtual tastings in 2022, according to 34% of restaurant owners.