Technology is everywhere. It’s advancing every aspect of our lives, and how we run our restaurants is no exception. So if you’re still using that old push-button POS, listen up. We’re going to dive in on the newest tech that’s rapidly improving efficiency, cost-effectiveness and customer service in the food service industry.
4. Tablet-Based Ordering
One trend you’ll notice pretty quickly is the rapid disappearance of the serving staff’s trusty notepads. Tablets are quickly becoming ubiquitous around the world as a better way of taking orders, and there are apps aplenty that will plug directly into your POS and back-of-house order queues.
The next step, and one that’s fast approaching as tablet prices drop further and further is cutting out the middle-man altogether. Imagine if your customers could order their food direct off the menu, freeing up wait staff to deliver food and devote more time to that extra level of customer care.
In fact, there are products available right now that include a touch-screen built into the table top. The technology isn’t perfect at this point, but it’s a definite possibility that this is the way all restaurants will go in future.
3. Advanced pressure fryers
This is one you’re probably already using, but it’s worth reiterating how much pressure fryers have advanced in recent years. They’re safer, faster and more effective than ever before.
Pressure fryers are similar to conventional deep frying, with the key difference that after the food is placed into the oil it’s sealed with a lid to create a pressurised cooking environment. This allows moisture and flavour to be sealed in much more effectively, while keeping out excess oil and allowing for a healthier final product.
The reason pressure fryers have made this technology list is because of the inherent risk of pressurised cooking, which a lot of restaurant owners would have shied away from having in their kitchens not too long ago. Advancements in tech have allowed pressure fryers to arguable surpass traditional deep-fryers in safety, because in addition to the pressure issue being taken care of, the closed environment also lowers the risk of burns to staff operating the machine.
2. Drone Delivery
This one may seem far-fetched, especially since here in Australia we’re only just starting to wrap our collective heads around the concept of third-party delivery full stop. But believe it – sooner than you think those bike-courier services or your own delivery drivers may be replaced by drones.
There are examples of companies that have experimented with this already, from the questionably-named “burrito bomber” service based exclusively in the US, to some who are already testing right here in Australia. Even large franchise chains like Dominos are getting in on the action.
If you’re struggling to see the point of a drone delivery service, think about the extra staff you need on a busy Friday night to ensure a reliable, fast delivery service. Drones don’t require payment. They don’t get stuck in traffic. They’re never rude to customers at the door.
If this technology can be perfected, it’s easy to see why it would be so appealing to many restaurant owners.
1. Robotic Chefs
If you thought drone delivery was verging on sci-fi, this one is going to make you wonder whether you’ve accidently read an Asimov novel. Fully automated, robotic chefs are on the way.
At the moment, these are being pitched at the consumer-market, but our prediction is that they’re actually going to end up being far more useful in commercial kitchens. While they’ll never replace the intuitiveness and creativity of a skilled human chef, imagine for a moment if your head chef had access to a sous-chef or even just kitchen hands who didn’t get tired. One that could prep ingredients faster than any human ever could, and would never let things burn or go cold due to inattention.