10 Tech Tools Your Restaurant Can Benefit from in 2020

We’re in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution experiencing a sudden burst of new, and innovative technologies. Businesses that are inherently set up to adapt to digital disruption will see exponential growth, a greater share of profits, and be able to offer frictionless experiences to their customers.

In the restaurant sector, technology is enabling better operations at every point in the value chain. For many operators, the pressure to innovate amid such rapid technological breakthroughs can seem a daunting task, and quite understandably so. But thanks to these progressive companies, embracing digital disruption has become quite effortless. From Restolabs for online and contactless ordering to Postmates for delivery and Revel for Point-of-sale (POS) — we’ve vetted the top 10 tech tools your restaurant should be using in 2020.

Online ordering

Among a sea of tough competitors, Restolabs is one of the best online ordering software that ticks all of these boxes. Additionally, with a small set-up fee, bargain monthly charges, and absolutely zero hidden cost, their pricing is reasonable and more affordable than other providers in the category such as ChowNow.

Online ordering was touted as the next big thing in the restaurant sector, but the COVID-19 pandemic has now made it a quintessential for the survival and growth of the restaurant industry.

Point-of-sale

For new restaurants, Square is a great option. It’s compatible with all iOS and Android devices and does away with long-term contracts. The POS system features real-time sales, shift reports, payroll management, custom floor plans, etc.

We recommend selecting a POS system based on restaurant size and needs. The requisites of a small independent restaurant will vary greatly from that of a quick-service franchise.

Delivery

Postmates tops the chart in this category for us. The company has always been at the forefront of cutting edge technology, honored with the Best Innovation of 2019 by Time’s magazine for its semi-autonomous delivery robot named Serve.

Another reason why delivery is such a critical tech tool is because of the rise of ghost kitchens predicted to offer a $1 trillion global opportunity by 2030, according to a Euromonitor.

Marketing

In this sector, Eateria is one of the most in-demand tools because of its comprehensive features that cover almost all areas of online marketing. These include email, text message, mobile, social media marketing alongside other features such as reputation management, birthday and VIP clubs, coupons, and review monitoring. They provide real-time metrics to help restaurants understand the impact of their marketing efforts, segregate the activities that work and don’t work for them, as well as create data-driven strategies.

Contactless payment

Mobile wallets such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay, which use Near-Field Communications (NFC) remain popular because they minimize physical contact. Brands like Clover Go help restaurants set up these NFC and cashless payments, making it a great tool for deliveries in particular because of their on-the-go solution. Clover Go also offers other key features such as setting up discounts and tips, building and texting receipts, and running sales reports.

Discoverability

To increase discoverability, it’s mandatory to have a branded website. And you don’t need external agencies for this, a good online ordering provider can also help you create an efficient and great looking website and mobile app. Restolabs for one offers this feature and can even translate complicated menus online, making it much more simplified.

Besides a branded website and app, it’s important to sign up for Google My Business, Yelp, TripAdvisor and maybe even look at the newer platforms like ChefsFeed which offers Yelp-like services but from experts in the food business.

On-Premise contactless dining

Delivery and takeaways are going to be the most trusted forms of restaurant experience now and in the future, but this doesn’t mean that customers will stop eating out altogether. To build more confidence among on-premise dines, restaurants are not looking towards contactless dining.

Presto is one of the companies providing an end-to-end contactless dining kit to restaurants. This kit allows customers to perform all the regular tasks that they normally used to at a restaurant but by making minimal physical contact. Mobile menu, the digital waitlist for guests to check-in using their smartphone, contactless payment, computer vision that measures social distancing, and tracks occupancy are some of the features offered by Presto.

Reservation

AI and machine learning are also helping to bring in new transformations to online reservations. Allset is one app that uses these innovations allowing diners to not only make a reservation but also pay for it in advance.

Staff scheduling

Harri is one of the best known among the many companies offering staff scheduling software. It easily syncs with POS, payrolls, and other restaurant management systems. Harri offers several other features including smart staff scheduling, facial recognition clock-ins, and seamless communication among employees. It also enables integrated talent acquisition tools and real-time reporting and analytics to help gain insight into employee performance.

Back-of-house management

xtraCHEF leverages innovations like machine learning and data science and combines business intelligence, operations, and automation to help restaurants achieve high BOH performance. It offers features like recipe and inventory management, streamlines purchasing and order, provides budgets and forecasting as well as helps manage food costs in real-time.

Implementing restaurant technology is no longer an option, but an absolute necessity. With so many options to choose from, restaurants must first determine their requirements clearly and communicate them with the selected providers. Remember, not all tech solutions are suitable for all kinds and types of restaurant businesses. It’s a match you have to find for your business.

These top ten we’ve listed here have all received industry experts’ nods, but more importantly, they’ve achieved great reviews from customers.

Writer | Digital Marketer | Entrepreneur. Good food and a Good Book keep me sane!