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Changing technology a driving force for restaurant industry

restaurant technology trends

Technology should help operators work smarter, not harder—but are you using all of the apps, tools and gadgets at your fingertips to their full potential?

According to The Restaurant Technology Survey 2016, conducted by the National Restaurant Association in partnership with American Express, four out of five restaurant operators agree that:

  • Technology helps increase sales.
  • Technology makes their restaurant more productive.
  • Use of technology in a restaurant provides a competitive advantage.

There’s no doubt that technology is becoming the new normal in many restaurants, but it can be more of a marathon than a sprint when it comes to implementation. Restaurant operators say the following are barriers to adding customer-facing technology: cost of implementation (63 percent), lack of infrastructure (50 percent), service and repair (49 percent), transaction/usage costs (49 percent), customer acceptance (48 percent) and staff training (44 percent).

Fortunately, many highlights of this year’s NRA Show aimed to help operators figure out how to navigate the sometimes tricky—and ever-changing—world of technology, including a series of Tech Talks which covered topics such as social media, connected kitchens and restaurants, using technology to curb workforce attrition and new delivery and takeout options.

Three emerging areas in the tech sector that operators should pay close attention to include the following, according to Dahlia El Gazzar, tech evangelist, who collaborated with the NRA at this year’s DigiTECH Bar:

  • Artificial intelligence (AI), because more and more apps powered by AI are becoming available for download on smartphones
  • Robotics, in the sense of taking routine processes and replacing the manual process with a robot—not replacing people—to enhance performance and service in the hospitality industry
  • Data analytics and getting granular by utilizing personalized preferences and customer profiles

More restaurant operators consider their operations to be lagging in technology uses than leading the charge, but the gap may be narrowing, as 25 percent of operators say they will devote more resources to technology this year.

If you have questions about what’s new in technology, head to the DigiTECH Bar (Booth #5575) in the Technology Pavilion at NRA Show on Tuesday to learn how to make the most of the shortcuts, tricks and productivity tools on your devices so you can streamline the way you work in the office or on the go. Experts will help you get up to speed on the latest tech trends, troubleshooting issues specific to Android and iPhone operating systems and share smarter social media strategies.

This post is sponsored by The National Restaurant Association®

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