Technology in the restaurant industry is booming and within the next year its impact will be very apparent. The new tech trends that will surely shake up the restaurant industry in 2019, are augmented reality, mobile scheduling apps, and digital beverage management. The 2019 restaurant technology trends will impact almost every step of the dining and running restaurant operations. A Step Into the Future: Augmented Reality
The future of restaurant menu interactions is here. Augmented Reality (AR) is one of the biggest tech trends to look out for in 2019. This new form of technology will allow customers to have a visual experience like no other. AR allows customers to use their phones or restaurant iPads to view 3-D renderings of menu items. This gives customers not only an image of the food, but to view it as if it was right in front of them.
While this concept sounds very complex and expensive, it is actually quite simple.
Tech start up Kabaq is at the forefront of the AR trend. Its application allows restaurants to add the 3-D experience to their menu within just a few weeks.
With the use of high quality images and other image guidelines, Kabaq is able to process them and create a 3-D food model. The customer is then able to access the 3-D renderings through Snapchat. Customers are first prompted to scan a Snapcode and this gives them access to the 3-D menu items.
There are multiple benefits to adding this technology to your restaurant. The first is sales: A study conducted by Kabaq says that restaurants saw an increase of 25% in dessert sales alone with the use of AR.
Another way AR can increase sales is through increased foot traffic. The AR trend is still in the early adapter phase. As a result those that choose to participate now will have an appeal that other restaurants do not. This can generate all sorts of marketing opportunities that will attract new customers vying for something new.
Tackling the Hassle of Scheduling
One of the biggest hassles of restaurant management is scheduling.
With complex schedules, last minute call offs and vacation time, creating schedules can be complicated and time consuming.
However, with scheduling apps like 7Shifts the process is a lot easier.
The app allows employees to enter their availability and even swap shifts. Users even have the ability to request vacation time. With this information the app is then able to generate a schedule that takes into account everyones availability.
Some applications even have the ability to use previous scheduling data and sales information to assist in the process. This is an added benefit because it can combat the issue of under or overstaffing the restaurant. The scheduling process streamlined with technology it can officially become a hassle of the past.
Going Digital: Beverage Management iPad Menus
Paper menus are quickly becoming a thing of the past because iPad menus offer so many benefits to restaurants.
While the task of replacing paper menus with iPads seems daunting, companies like Uncorkd have made the process cost efficient. Along with its affordability, there are numerous benefits to iPad menus that can save your restaurant money and increase sales.
Restaurants that used Uncorkd’s iPad menus noted a substantial increase in wine sales. The increase in sales can be attributed to menu features like suggested wine pairings, menu analytics, and the ability to feature new items.
The digital menus provide customers with a unique experience that includes tasting notes for wine, bottle images, and even producer details. Which is great in a restaurant climate where customers always want more information about what they’re ordering.
The iPad menus are especially perfect for restaurants with extensive wine lists because customers are able to search by region and color, among other specifics.
From an operational standpoint, Uncorkd’s iPad menus allow restaurants to view various menu analytics reports. These reports can tell managers which items customers are looking at the most and which items are underperforming. This also allows chef’s to add and strike things from the menu within minutes. This avoids the costly process of changing and reprinting menus. The list of benefits to iPad menus seem endless, as they provide benefits to restaurant operaters and the customers.
The days of spending hours taking inventory by hand are officially over. In terms of restaurant operations digitizing, the inventory process was a given.
The use of spreadsheets and taking inventory by hand runs the risk of small mistakes leading to costly outcomes. Inventory can now be completed with the digital inventory program by Uncorkd.
This system allows for multiple individuals to use their mobile phones or tablets to take inventory at the same time.
Beyond saving time, this inventory system gives you access to a variety of different inventory reports. These reports can notify you of inventory inconsistencies along with notifications on when an item need to be ordered. The Uncorkd solution also allows you to place orders with distributors so you don’t have to waste time typing up orders to send to each individual sales rep.
More advanced inventory systems, like Uncorkd, also have POS system integration. This means that whenever a drink is served the amount of product used is automatically subtracted from your inventory. This feature is a big money saver because it can highlight when servers or bartenders are over pouring. This tech trend will be vastly popular with its ability to simplify the inventory process and will take 2019 by storm.
Alayna is currently a marketing intern at Uncorkd. As a current graduate business student she stays up to date on all the newest marketing trends. She is also a wine enthusiast who has traveled the world studying wine and alcohol production.