Restaurants have long been places where people meet, connect, and enjoy new foods and drinks.

The draw of restaurants may never change, but how these businesses serve their customers has dramatically changed in the last two years. From new ways to order food to new payment methods and technology, restaurants have had to adapt to changing customer needs and preferences.

As we move further into 2022, it’s time to look ahead at trends that will gain traction this year and beyond.

Here are the restaurant tech trends we are watching:

1. Providing Multiple Ordering Options

The global pandemic accelerated customers’ comfort with using self-service and kiosk devices. This shift helped restaurants stay agile in the face of changing demand.

In fact, according to one survey, most food service providers (71 percent) said that the digital transformation of their traditional operations was the primary enabler of business agility. 

Additionally, with increased mobile orders and more drive-through options, both restaurants and customers seem to be coming out ahead.

In fact, 86 percent of customers reported that having various order at the table technology, such as self-ordering kiosks and pay at the table technology, are important to their dining experience. At the same time, restaurants get the opportunity to weave these digital devices into their larger payment and transaction technology ecosystems to drive more visibility in their operations.

2. Offering More Payment Choices

In addition to using more ways to order, customers are also growing comfortable with other payment and self-service options. In particular, customers increasingly expect restaurants to offer contactless and mobile payments, with 34 percent of customers saying that having these payment options is very important to them.

This expectation was also captured by Juniper Research, which estimates one out of every two point-of-sale (POS) transactions will be contactless within five years, compared to just 15 percent in 2020. The research also predicts that contactless payments will triple in value to $6 trillion worldwide by 2024, from about $2 trillion in 2021.

The implementation of these alternative payment models not only meets customer expectations but also provides operational efficiencies and security enhancements.

3. Gleaning Insights from Data

In the back-of-the-house, restaurants are also increasing their use of technology and data to enhance the customer experience and gain additional insights into business operations.

Data comes from POS systems, kiosks, and mobile applications, and restaurants can consolidate this data from across their locations to:

Additionally, when faced with labor shortages or tight budgets, restaurants can use digital technology to handle simple orders, allowing employees to focus their time on customers with more complex requests. Restaurant operators can also leverage equipment such as smart safes and cash recyclers in their back-of-the-house operations to increase security and auditability, and reduce cash-handling tasks that can take up a lot of their employees' time.

Looking Ahead

It’s hard to predict customer trends and changes to the business environment. However, one thing holds true: Businesses that can adapt and stay nimble will remain ahead of the competition.

Fortunately, when it comes to planning, deploying, and managing the full lifecycle of solutions and support that makes it all work (e.g., self-service devices, kiosks, smart safes, and related technology), your restaurant doesn’t have to go it alone.

Burroughs has more than 135 years of experience serving businesses like yours. We are also OEM-agnostic, meaning we put your operational needs first, so you get the right mix of equipment and service your business needs to grow and thrive. 

Want to prepare your restaurant for the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow? Learn how to future-proof and customize your cash automation, self-service, and IoT technology ecosystem here.