As we near the start of a new year, five tech trends are changing the food and beverage industry. Technology is becoming more integrated with food service and production. With this, we are seeing the rise of plant-based products and increased demand for faster and more efficient service.
In the highly competitive food and beverage industry, it’s essential to be flexible. Things are moving so quickly and customers’ desires change often and vastly.
By implementing new technologies, prioritizing convenience and quality, and allowing tech to lead your innovation, you can rise to the top in your industry.
Here are five tech trends changing the food and beverage industry.
1. Food Service Robots
Implementing robotics into your restaurant can increase production and efficiency. While some may choose to hire new staff to fill the growing demand, machines can run with tireless perfection. This decreases human error, which can save you time and money.
Tasks are completed faster since robots can move at much higher speeds and Service robots are made with food-safe materials to handle food. This means that food service robots are fast, hygienic, and appeal to most people.
Robotics can be introduced at every phase of the food production process. This includes drones and automated sorting arms in warehouses. For consistent output, food service robots have solved labor issues for many restaurants post-pandemic.
2. Online Ordering and Reservations
Customers love the convenience of apps that allow them to order ahead and save time. Starbucks has a popular pick-up-and-go feature. These apps’ main appeal is that they’re easy to use when designed well. An app that functions poorly can drive customers away.
When a customer makes a reservation ahead of time, you can ensure that their table will be ready when they arrive and they won’t have to wait to be seated. If you offer an order-ahead service, you can also have their food ready when they sit down so they can eat immediately. They can then pay on the app, too.
This seamless customer experience is what many are looking for. Uncomplicated interactions and systems that work well will keep customers returning time and time. Thanks to social media, word of mouth is one of the strongest millennial and gen-z marketing tactics.
People posting and talking about how much they enjoyed their experience at your restaurant will drive more sales than any campaign.
3. Inventory Management System
This involves consistent tracking of all your stock. By tracking every time you use an item or open a new container, your system can let you know when an item is almost used up and needs to be restocked. Certain systems can predict trends using the insights it gains from past information.
You no longer need to worry about ordering the right amount. An AI system can predict changes in yearly trends and demand. You can also schedule regular inventory reorders. This automation reduces food waste as you will only buy what you need.
Proper inventory management can save you time, money, and wasted energy resources on day-to-day minutiae. It also enables you to perform customer analytics to see which meals are ordered the most and at what times of the day. With this information, you can start preparing better ahead of time.
4. Food Technology Innovation
People are innovating more than ever with plant-based meat alternatives. The demand for better faux meat products is growing as more people experiment with and embrace the vegan lifestyle. Both health and social reasons drive people to consider the long-term effects of certain foods on themselves and the planet.
Currently, one of the biggest complaints about faux meat is its texture. It is essential to stay up to date with any advancements and try to feature some of those products on your menu. You can also try something out of the box and experiment with ingredients like cricket flour.
Customers will actively seek out a restaurant with good plant-based options. By marketing your support for alternative meat ingredients, you can draw a group of customers who would never visit your restaurant.
5. Digital Order Boards
These systems take any orders placed at a POS and instantly show all the information on a digital board in the kitchen. The board details what each order requires and which items go together. Instead of having someone running back and forth between the kitchen and dining room, everything is automated.
Kitchens can be extremely chaotic and it is essential to reduce friction in communication between the front of house and the kitchen. You can reduce the number of mistakes made and speed up preparation significantly. If anyone gets stuck, the information about the current order is always easily visible.
Technology offers the opportunity to streamline all the processes that were lagging. In every kitchen, there is one section that could be run better. Perhaps you’re missing a key piece of technology to put you over the edge.