The restaurant industry is riding a wave of digital transformation. The industry is evolving in response to consumer preferences with customer apps, self-service kiosks, and tabletop tablets. Today’s restaurant guests still seek quality food and friendly wait staff, but they also value the speed and simplicity of technology while dining.

Restaurant spending hit a record $863 billion in 2019, a 4% increase over 2018. In the past four years, digital restaurant orders have experienced a double-digit compounded annual growth rate. Restaurants who embrace digital transformation have the opportunity to capture significant gains in revenue and guest loyalty, while driving more efficient and stable operations.  

We’ve identified 5 key trends that are driving the current wave of technological change in the restaurant industry. These trends include:

Trend: Changing Guest Behaviors

Consumers of all age demographics are increasingly empowered to use mobile apps for loyalty and ordering. Millennials and Gen Z, in particular, are an increased proportion of the restaurant industry’s customer base and these demographics expect digital experiences. 

A recent study found 28% of restaurant guests had used a kiosk to place an order. 27% have ordered via tabletop tablet. This is a significant increase over 2015, when just 11% had ordered via mobile. 

Trend: Sophisticated Self-Service

By the end of 2020, 85% of customer interactions between brands will take place using a digital companion, including mobile apps, kiosks, or chatbots. Restaurants are increasingly adding digital companions to the diner experience. Self-service ordering kiosks and tabletop tablets can create an immersive customer experience on the restaurant guest’s terms. 

Trend: Setting the Stage for Tomorrow Restaurants

Restaurant operators believe the following areas will be the most important part of tomorrow’s digital transformation initiatives.

  • 37% customer ordering
  • 25% loyalty programs
  • 25% payment options
  • 8% robotics and automation

The restaurant experience is about to become big data-driven. Your transformation roadmaps should begin to consider these analytics use cases. Today’s hardware and apps should support tomorrow’s product initiatives. 

Create Industry Advantage with Mobile Modernization 

These three trends, along with the new mobile restaurant workflow and a movement towards streamlining everything, are creating a new set of rules and best practices for hospitality operators. Winning an advantage with customer loyalty and operational efficiency today and tomorrow requires restaurant businesses to create a future-proof product roadmap.

Simply having customer-facing kiosks and mPoS isn’t necessarily enough to create an advantage. REsearch from IDC and other leading firms indicates that digital transformation-proof technologies are flexible, agile, and scalable.

Discover the 5 defining trends that are driving the industry, and more importantly, a vendor-agnostic guide to hardware that matters in any restaurant setting. We cover the basics of how to choose mobile transformation technology based on:

  • Cost
  • Ease-of-Use
  • Portability
  • Security
  • Analytics

Download the E-book to learn more.

Our industry report outlines a complete set of key recommendations to evaluate and implement the right mobile technologies and hardware in your restaurant.