linkedin
service icon

Service
support

Top 7 Trends in Restaurant Technology for 2024

Home Our Blog Hospitality Top 7 Trends in Restaurant Technology for 2024

The restaurant industry is evolving rapidly and now sits on the cusp of a technological revolution. 2024 shows no signs of slowing down in terms of innovation.

It’s a year set to deliver more transformative advancements that will reshape dining experiences, as well as operational efficiencies both front and back-of-house.

From AI-driven technologies to seamless payment solutions, the latest trends are not just about improving service speed but also enhancing personalisation, sustainability, and data-driven decision-making.

Restaurant Tech Trends for 2024

As consumer expectations change, costs are cut, and competition rises, restaurant owners and managers must stay ahead of the curve by adopting cutting-edge hospitality tech.

This year and beyond, forward-thinking industry leaders are looking at:

  • Mobile and Contactless Payment
  • AI and Automation
  • Smart Ordering Systems
  • Data-Driven Decision Making
  • Waste Reduction Innovations
  • Cloud-Based EPOS Systems
  • Digital Customer Loyalty Programs

 

1.   Mobile and Contactless Payment

Digital payments in the UK are set to grow by 9% by 2028.

The general security and convenience of contactless payments is hard to beat. Spurred on by the pandemic, payments made via smartwatches, smartphones, and smart cards have become the norm.

Some predict that as much as 53% of global POS transactions will be contactless within the next five years. This method not only improves transaction speed and convenience, but provides a safer dining experience and peace of mind for both customers and staff.

As these technologies continue to enhance payment processes, restaurant owners will need to invest in mobile and digital payment solutions in order to remain competitive and meet the evolving preferences of their customers.

Streamlined Transactions and EPOS Integration

Contactless payments simplify and remove the stress from the payment process by reducing the likelihood of errors and discrepancies in cash handling. Additionally, they integrate seamlessly with Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) systems, enabling real-time transaction tracking and efficient financial management.

QR Codes

One of the most popular restaurant payment solutions to emerge from the pandemic is Quick Response (QR) codes. They minimise the need for staff involvement in payments by allowing to order and pay by simply scanning a QR code.

This can dramatically reduce labour costs in certain establishments and even replace traditional restaurant menus.

They’re a versatile solution too. QR codes can be used to access online menus, place orders, and pay directly from a mobile phone without the need for an app download.

Restaurant Technology, Top 7 Trends in Restaurant Technology for 2024, NFS Technology

 

2.   AI & Automation

The ongoing AI revolution, coupled with advancements in automation, is set to change the restaurant industry in major ways. This technology provides new solutions to enhance customer service, optimise operations, and address labour shortages.

Automated Systems

Automating various customer communications and payment processes is rapidly becoming a favoured response to global labour shortages. This automation helps streamline service and allows restaurant owners to provide excellent service both digitally and at their physical venues.

Artificial Intelligence

Customer service is the prime beneficiary of AI tech, at least so far.

From chatbots making and managing reservations and answering customer queries, to AI-driven personalisation that tailors dining experiences to individual preferences, this technology is making service faster, more efficient, and more personal.

AI chatbots are particularly popular.

They can be used to take orders, inform customers about promotions, and answer questions. By automating these kinds of repetitive tasks, restaurant managers and staff can afford to focus on growth and refining the dining experience.

Restaurant Technology, Top 7 Trends in Restaurant Technology for 2024, NFS Technology

 

3.   Smart Ordering Systems

The future of dining appears to be digital. Smart ordering systems are quickly becoming the norm over traditional menus. They facilitate contactless payments and make your staff and customers’ lives easier, all while providing valuable data insights (more on that soon).

Self-Order Kiosks

Self-Ordering systems have quickly become a mainstay of the fast food industry.

Customers enjoy the ease of ordering via intuitive digital displays. They also allow customers to personalise their orders independently, reducing the likelihood of errors from simple misunderstandings.

 

They provide several interesting benefits for restaurant owners as well. For instance, they reduce the need for front-of-house staff, providing a clear opportunity to significantly reduce labour costs. Orders are processed faster too, which can naturally increase table turnover and overall service speed. They also present valuable opportunities for upselling.

Many self-order kiosks include AI features that suggest additional items based on trending products or current weather conditions, effectively boosting the average order value.

Restaurant Technology, Top 7 Trends in Restaurant Technology for 2024, NFS Technology

4.   Data-Driven Decision Making

Hand-in-hand with AI is data analytics. In short, the automatic collection of data on sales, operations, marketing, customer preferences, and more to drive business decisions.

By strategically leveraging big data, analytics, and the Internet of Things (IoT), restaurant owners are transforming every aspect of their establishments to support the customer experience and supplement performance.

Understanding Your Customers

By reviewing the information collected from your POS system or the likes of Google Analytics, restaurateurs can develop their menus based on customer preferences and trends, provide personalised dish recommendations, and adjust the restaurant environment to match customer preferences and improve the overall atmosphere.

 

This level of insight and control not only increases customer satisfaction but also drives repeat business.

Smart Kitchens with IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to an environment loaded with interconnected sensors and devices that provide various key data points.

This interconnectedness can be used to make kitchens smarter and more efficient.

For example, you can monitor the performance of critical equipment with precision. This reduces downtime in the kitchen and helps ensure that it functions as needed.

These systems can also be used to prevent inventory shortages and get ahead of any pending maintenance requirements to minimise unexpected breakdowns.

5.   Waste Reduction Innovations

Every year, global concerns over sustainability grow. In the restaurant industry, technology plays a key role in addressing these concerns.

Energy-efficient kitchen equipment, waste reduction technologies, and sustainable sourcing platforms are helping restaurants reduce their environmental footprint, with the added benefit of catering to their more eco-conscious customers.

The Role of Inventory Management Software

Tracking food and beverage stock through inventory management software helps anticipate quantities and schedule reorders more efficiently, in turn reducing food waste.

This can drastically diminish both financial and environmental costs by ensuring precise inventory control and reducing spoilage.

Powered by AI, these systems identify the behavioural causes of waste and streamline inventory management accordingly.

Providing a Competitive Edge

Consumers in general are trending towards increasing concern about the sustainability impact of dining. By catering to these potential customers through the adoption of smart waste management strategies, restaurants can gain a competitive edge.

Restaurant Technology, Top 7 Trends in Restaurant Technology for 2024, NFS Technology

 

6.   Cloud-Based EPOS Systems

Cloud-based EPOS systems function like the brain of a restaurant, integrating sales, inventory management, and customer relationship management into a single platform.

They provide restaurants with a solution to optimise their operations and improve profitability by implementing a seamless customer experience and managing everything from ordering to loyalty programs.

Cloud Integration

One of the most practical advantages of these systems is that they allow for real-time data access and management from any location.

This enables restaurant managers to monitor operations, update menus, and manage staff remotely. The cloud also ensures data is securely backed up and easily recoverable.

Table, Reservation, and Staff Management

EPOS systems greatly enhance communications between kitchens and the rest of the establishment. In terms of order management, they deliver orders straight to your kitchen display system (KDS), preventing errors and speeding up service.

Systems for managing table assignments and reservations are generally included too.

Managers can use this to optimise seating arrangements, reduce waiting times, maximise table turnover, and improve the overall dining experience.

Finally, EPOS systems offer tools for scheduling, time tracking, and performance monitoring. They allow managers to create staff schedules, track hours worked, and analyse employee performance data to ensure efficient staffing and identify areas for improvement.

Alt text: Cloud based epos

7.   Digital Customer Loyalty Programs

Customer loyalty programs are an excellent way to raise customer spending and foster repeat business. Generally, customers can join either online or through a mobile app. The simpler the process, the more likely that customers will participate.

Personalised Rewards and Recommendations

Once a customer is enrolled, the loyalty program meticulously tracks their spending habits and preferences, providing data that can be used to enhance the dining experience and build a stronger relationship between the restaurant and its customers.

 

Overall, the idea is to encourage more frequent visits and higher spending during each visit.

Future Trends

Digital loyalty programs are more than a trend, but a fundamental shift in how restaurants interact with their customers. As they continue to evolve, we can expect to see more and more innovative features introduced.

 

For instance, AI and machine learning integration can further enhance personalisation, while blockchain technology could offer more secure and transparent loyalty systems.

Gamification elements, such as earning points for specific actions or participating in challenges, could make loyalty programs more engaging and enjoyable for customers.

Restaurant Technology, Top 7 Trends in Restaurant Technology for 2024, NFS Technology

Conclusion

The trends highlighted—ranging from mobile and contactless payments to AI-driven customer service—showcase the significant strides being made toward enhancing operational efficiencies and customer experiences in the restaurant industry.

These technologies not only streamline processes but also cater to evolving consumer preferences for convenience, personalisation, and sustainability.

Restaurants that stay ahead of the curve by embracing these innovations will be well-positioned to thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape.

To get a head start in setting up your restaurant for the future, visit NFS.

Chris Fletcher
Chris Fletcher Chris Fletcher Posted on: June 27, 2024
United Kingdom USA South Africa Ireland Asia
Copyright © 2024. NFS Technology
Almost there! Please complete this form and click the button below to download. We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe.

X

    Would you like to learn more about any of our products? We would love to hear from you. Enter your details below and one of the team will be in touch with you shortly.




    X