Technology Trends Restaurants Need to Adopt in India in 2022
The restaurant industry in India has been slow to accept and adopt new technologies and innovative digital solutions to their business. The onset of the pandemic in the year 2020 changed the outlook of many restaurateurs and brought a shift from traditional mindset to go digital and embrace technology. From online ordering, self-checkouts and touchless payments to delivery and pick-up, the F&B industry can no longer afford to ignore the trends that are helping businesses reinvent themselves to remain relevant and competitive.
So, what digital trends are restaurants adopting in 2022 to stay up-to-date, and even ahead of the competition?
Adoption of Drive-Thru Automation
Globally, major quick-service restaurant (QSR) brands are in a heat to automate their drive-thrus. For instance, Starbucks, which primarily provided a dine-in experience for customers faced huge losses due to the pandemic, has now started focusing on responding to consumer preferences for heightened social distancing and convenience. McDonald's, which has over 60 outlets in the West and South region, has witnessed a 100% growth week-on-week for their drive-thru service. Through the acquisition of Dynamic Yield, an Israel-based tech company, McDonalds plans to use their solutions in the form of data and artificial intelligence to create personalised experiences for their customers. One such example would be recommending an upgrade to a meal while ordering an a-la-carte burger or suggesting a particular dessert with the chosen meal preference. The other aspect of using this technology is to increase the speed to service the orders, thus enhancing customer experience and increasing sales numbers by upto 50%.
2. Availability across More Digital Spaces
Restaurants are finding their own ways to appear outside of their own digital platforms or the typical third-party marketplaces. Yum! Brands — parent company of Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut — acquired chat-based ordering and marketing platform company Tictuk, which creates software that enables consumers to engage with brands and to place orders through messaging platforms including SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Telegram.
3. QR Code Payment Option for Customers
QR codes are one of the most sought after technologies that are popping up at restaurants on a global scale. In this ‘no-touch’ era, auto-scanning barcodes with smartphone cameras on tables, coasters and doors enables customers to access online menus, order and checkout without contact, thus keeping diners and employees safe. Some of the prominent Indian tech companies offering QR Code solutions to the F&B industry are BharatPe, DotPe, Thrive and RazorPay. Offering a plethora of benefits at relatively low costs for restaurants, QR Code technology was a ‘must’ in 2021 and is still, in 2022.
4. Online Table Reservation System
Reserving a table via a phone call is becoming a thing of the past as online table reservation technology takes the centre stage. Reservation Systems give customers the freedom to see available slots and make their booking on-the-go. In turn, restaurants can efficiently manage seating, waitlists, customer loyalty and dining preferences as well as collect vital client data for market insights.
OpenTable, a US-based restaurant reservation service company allows guests to book their dining experience easily, directly and according to what excites their taste buds, thus enhancing customer experience and increasing brand loyalty. Due to their easy to use software, and convenient features such as inviting a guest, direct messaging and bonus points among others, OpenTable has helped increase sales of restaurants through their network and has almost 1 billion diners annually.
5. Automated Inventory Management System
Digitising and automating your inventory management means tracking food and beverage stocks, anticipating quantities and scheduling reorders to cut down the time consuming process of placing orders. More importantly, the implementation of such softwares in your business can reduce food wastage, which is reportedly costing the Indian hospitality industry a whopping $100 billion annually. Barometer Warehouse, an Inventory Management System solves this problem by alerting you when you're running low on stock, raising purchase orders and maintaining purchases, as well as providing detailed reporting on stock consumption trends, payment tracking and strict cost controls. All these features aid in cost reduction, time management and lead to an increase in profits.
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