The scale has tipped and busy consumers now spend more on food prepared outside the home than at grocery stores. That’s not necessarily an indication, however, that you won’t be able to get a table at your favorite restaurant. Consumers are also more often opting to order in advance for pickup or delivery and frequenting food trucks, trends that better align with their lifestyles.
Consumers are also frequenting restaurants that source ingredients from socially conscious producers, offer options for those with allergies (e.g. gluten or peanut) or for those on special diets (e.g. paleo or vegetarian), and that offer unique dining experiences as well as delicious food.
With one of the highest employee turnover rates at more than 70 percent and laws in many states increasing minimum wage and wages for tipped employees, the restaurant industry is also challenged to find ways to easily train and manage employees, optimize schedules, and automate tasks to reduce the demand for labor.
How Technology Can Address the Restaurant Industry’s Needs
To compensate for higher food and labor costs, restaurateurs are seeking ways to increase efficiency and reduce cost in other areas. IT solutions and services can automate many day-to-day tasks, such as taking orders over the phone or at the counter, communicating orders to various kitchen prep stations, updating digital menus, and even creating and enforcing the labor schedule. State-of-the-art inventory management solutions can track vendors to help restaurants comply with their sourcing standards, and solutions are available that facilitate online and mobile ordering.
Why the Restaurant Industry Market is an Ideal Fit for Services
With restaurant point of sale (POS) solutions delivered on a Software as a Service (SaaS) basis, restaurateurs can avoid a large capital expense to purchase the software they need to run their businesses and, instead, pay a predictable month-to-month OPEX. SaaS solutions also provide greater agility, enabling a restaurant to add more terminals, add mobile POS for tableside ordering and payment, or to provide service to an outside dining area during part of the year. Services can also offer restaurants efficient, cost-effective ways to manage, for example, menus, digital signage content, online ordering, reservations, gift cards, loyalty programs, and guest Wi-Fi — which can enhance dining experiences while reducing the demand for labor.