The restaurant of the future may seem like it’s years away. In reality, the pandemic caused a massive industry shift, which has fast-tracked restaurants’ futuristic plans even more quickly than expected. Thanks to technology, all restaurants will have the ability to evolve their businesses to meet and exceed ever-changing consumer demands. Here are five things you need to know about the restaurant of the future that may be popping up in your city in 2021.
Food Delivery on the Rise
One of the reasons many restaurants could survive during the worst of the pandemic was due to delivery services, whether through third-party services or in-house additions. The futuristic restaurant doesn’t mean dine-in will be the only option once a vaccine is deployed; it will be quite the opposite. Delivery demand will continue to grow throughout 2021, making it an industry staple for years to come. Although some customers will return to their old habits of only dining out for an in-person experience—that won’t be the case for all customers.
Originally, convenient delivery was only for quick-service spots and a few chains. Now that delivery services have expanded to local pubs, diners, and cafes unique to your hometown—the options are endless for the consumer. And consumers want it to stay that way. According to an article from Entrepreneur, U.S. food delivery was a $43 billion market in 2017. By 2022, analysts expect it to hit $76 billion. Successful restaurant owners will keep delivery an option to keep sales flowing in the new year. This will expand your potential customer base and keep sales on the rise.
Ghosting isn’t only relevant for your dating life. Many restaurants are looking to decrease their indoor restaurant options to make room for their business’ profitable components while reducing costs in other areas. During the pandemic, most restaurants had to shut down on-premises dining for months, making this concept a quick reality for many businesses.
A ghost kitchen is an off-premises-only restaurant, meaning there is no physical space for customers to dine-in. Orders are made in one location, picked up by a delivery driver, curbside pickup, or drive-thru, and enjoyed off-site. Not only can ghost kitchens be used to launch an entirely new business, but they can also be used to expand the delivery range for an existing brand. This is why they grew exponentially throughout 2020 and will continue to grow this year.
As delivery demand projects to grow by 77 percent over five years, ghost kitchens will be the solution to support restaurateurs. Even before the pandemic, 60 percent of orders were already off-premise, meaning ghost kitchens could serve as the best opportunity for success with low start-up costs and more substantial profit margins.
The Restaurant of the Future Meets Customers Where They Are
Before the pandemic, customers had to meet restaurants where they were located. Dine-in was the superior option before 2020, even though delivery and take out were always options as well. Last year, restaurant owners had to meet their customers where they were, meaning their strategy was customer-centric.
These trends will not only continue in 2021, but they will grow and expand as the year goes on. The most successful restaurants will be able to have customers support their business in countless ways to encourage repeat business, including;
o Takeout/Curbside pickup
o Online Ordering
o Text Ordering
Technology is paramount to keep up with customers’ orders—literally. With the way technology has advanced the industry in a single year, there’s a sure sign there will be even more ways to order at your favorite spots.
Other Futuristic Solutions Aren’t Distant
More than ever, there is a focus on the technology that brings food to your door. The goal is to cut delivery time and wage bills. Sure, you may have heard about text ordering and delivery serving as a primary avenue for ordering—but there are even more revolutionary solutions that may be coming to a restaurant near you.
Technology will play a massive role in how owners invest in new technology to cut costs and produce more money. Robot chefs may play a role in that success. In 2018, Creator launched its first restaurant using a robot chef. They loaded a recipe and procedure into its AI, and it produced any cuisine requested. After a few years of tweaks, this option may soon be accessible to the average restaurant, allowing more food to be made while decreasing labor costs. This method ensures consistent quality, which could increase repeat visits from customers.
It’s not a bird or a plane. It’s a drone delivering your pizza. I’m sure you expected robots to be delivering your food (but don’t hold your breath because this is still probable in 2021), but drone delivery has been in the works for a few years now. As with all restaurant tech trends, drone delivery has fast-tracked due to the pandemic and increased delivery demands. UberEats has been testing this concept further with McDonald’s, which means it may become more popular—and easily accessible—throughout the year.
Your Tech Stack Matters
There have been many changes that restaurant owners have faced over the last year. One certainty that remains is that many trends came to shake up the industry. That said, it has never been more essential to consider what technology you’re implementing to your business. In an ever-changing landscape, restaurant owners must put thoughtful investments in their tech stack to keep up with the competition and meet their customers’ needs.
Are you interested in preparing your restaurant of the future today? To stay competitive and secure the longevity of your business, Paradise POS offers innovative options to suit industry needs. Contact of our expert team members to learn more information.