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Technology

Are You Ready for the Next Generation of Guest-Facing Restaurant Technologies?

Restaurant server technology
Photograph: Shutterstock

Over the last decade, the restaurant industry has seen incredible progress in the variety and performance of technologies that empower QSRs and fast casual chains. The problem, though, is that each of these tools has traditionally had a standalone function. Tabletop tablets remain at tables; server handheld devices stay firmly in servers’ hands. 

Today’s restaurants are battling multiple headwinds, from pandemic-related restrictions to a pervasive labor shortage, and continued industry-wide challenges and changes are near certainties. A single function for a single device is no longer good enough. 

Plus, today’s tools have multiple shortcomings. They don’t integrate seamlessly together, they’re heavy, they have short battery lives—the list goes on. These limitations are frustrating for servers and customers—and can be costly for operators.

Now, restaurants need technology that’s as versatile as they are, and which supports—rather than hinders—leaner-than-ever staffs. The restaurant industry and its operators should expect and demand a single device that meets multiple needs, and which keeps restaurants flexible and high-performing.

Moving Toward an All-in-One System

Today’s operators should demand a multipurpose device with next-generation features and functionality, which allow it to best serve its ultimate goals of augmenting restaurant staff, improving the customer experience, and expediting transactions. That means this device should be:

  • Easy for servers to carry. Whether they’re busting lines in a drive-thru or racing from table to table within the restaurant, servers need devices that won’t weigh them down. A next-gen device should be lightweight, portable, and fast-loading, with a long-lasting battery capacity. 
  • Designed for use in multiple environments. The ideal solution is a versatile tablet that can be interchangeably deployed for various applications andshould work equally well in a drive-thru line and on a table. That means the device should have flexible WiFi and LTE connectivity, come with a glare-resistant screen and all-weather ruggedization, and be enabled with voice technology that allows guests and servers to place orders easily, even in a noisy location. 
  • Payment-enabled. A server quickly loses the benefit of a handheld ordering device if s/he has to make constant trips to the POS terminal. Next-gen devices should all be payment-enabled in order to expedite transactions and improve both the guest and the customer experience. As a bonus, a device with both front and rear cameras enables easier coupon scanning and a superior guest experience. 

Versatility Is the Name of the Game

Today’s operators will need to continue to embrace technology as a way to drive efficiency, reduce reliance on staff, and improve the customer experience. Now, though, they should not settle for point solutions for multiple use cases. Technology has evolved to the point where it’s reasonable—and prudent—for restaurants to seek a multipurpose, all-in-one solution that will help them combat the multiple challenges they face as efficiently and effectively as possible. 

So, by all means, check out that new product for your front of house—just make sure it’s built on best-in-class tech with an all-in-one architecture. If you make the wrong decision now, you might be stuck with an obsolete ecosystem for a long time. 

This post is sponsored by Presto

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